SOURCE: Can4Culture


April 14, 2016 20:01 ET

Canada to Be Featured Country at China's Largest Cultural Festival

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 14, 2016) -  The Meet in Beijing Arts Festival will feature Canada as the honoured guest country this year, announced Minister John McCallum today at a press event in Ottawa. Launched in 2000, the annual festival showcases a diverse range of international and Chinese arts and culture programs staged at venues across Beijing. The festival opens April 25, 2016 with a showcase featuring a variety of Canadian performers (including The Ottawa Bach Choir, Chan Hong Goh, Buzz Brass, and Dashan) and runs until May 21, 2016.

"We are honoured that Canada has been selected as the featured country for the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival. Exchanges such as these promote and strengthen the strong relationship between Canada and China and benefit our diverse arts and cultural sector globally," said Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum. Governor General David Johnston also commented, "As bridge-builders between nations, artists and the contributions they make are essential to the smarter, more caring world to which we aspire."

"This honour spotlights Canada on the world stage and serves to strengthen ties through arts and culture," says Chair of Can4Culture Dr. Nelly Ng. Can4Culture coordinated Canada's involvement in the 2016 Meet in Beijing Arts Festival. "The power of collaboration from all parties involved in this project has transcended national boundaries. As we nurture connections, we promote understanding, and in the process, cement relations between the people of Canada and China," continued Dr. Ng.

Featured Canadian performers at 2016 The Meet in Beijing Arts Festival include:

  • Buzz Brass / Buzz Cuivres from Montreal, Quebec
  • Chan Hong Goh and the Goh Ballet from Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Comedian Dashan (aka Mark Roswell) from Toronto, Ontario
  • Ensemble Caprice from Montreal, Quebec
  • Soprano Katherine Whyte from Toronto, Ontario
  • Award-winning pianist and vocalist Laila Biali from Toronto, Ontario
  • Ottawa Bach Choir (OBC) from Ottawa, Ontario

In addition, a photo exhibition on Canada organized with Canadian Geographic, will be on display at the festival.

Prestigious artists and groups who have performed at the festival since its inaugural year include José Carreras, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Valery Gergiev with the Kirov Symphony Orchestra, Sarah Brightman, the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, the Bolshoi Theatre, River Dance, Paul Taylor Dance Company, the British Royal Shakespeare Company along with some of Asia's biggest pop stars. Australia, Russia, Mexico, Cuba and France are among previously featured countries.

Video from today's press conference can be downloaded via DropBox or WeTransfer

About Meet in Beijing  

Meet in Beijing aims to enrich the cultural life of capital citizens and promote cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries. Over 400 foreign artists and performing groups from 25 countries and regions will be present during the festival. For more information about The Meet in Beijing Festival please contact Bai Nan (+86-10-64031627,

About Can4Culture (The Canadian Fund for International Understanding through Culture)

Can4Culture aspires to strengthen global understanding through the shared experience of culture and has successfully organized cultural exchange missions, launched an arts and culture enrichment program, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFFC). Can4Culture has brought together over 60 Canadian and Chinese arts, heritage and science organizations for face-to-face meetings and exchanges.

Can4Culture has been bestowed the trust and endorsement of the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China, to ensure preparatory work for The Meet In Beijing Arts Festival is well managed. The Meet in Beijing Arts Festival is supported by the Government of China, with the Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and the Government of Beijing Municipality. Can4Culture is working in consultation with the Canadian Department of Global Affairs, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Embassy in China, the Chinese Embassy in Canada, as well as the China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG), the lead organization designated by the Government of China.

About Dr. Nelly Ng  

Dr. Nelly Ng was born in Hong Kong, came to Canada in her teens, and now runs a successful Family Medicine practice in Ontario. She is a committed volunteer in the community and has sat on many boards including The Harbourfront Centre, United Way, and The Toronto Symphony. She has also been honoured with many awards including, the Queen's Jubilee Commemorative Medal, Award for Promotion of Race Relations, Chinese Canadian Legend, City of Scarborough Bicentennial Civic Award of Merit, Commemorative Medal from the Governor General of Canada, Woman of the Year/Woman on the Move and many others. She was the only Canadian recognized by CCTV, together with other international luminaries, at the December 2014 "Brilliance of China Award" for her efforts in the promotion of relations through culture.

Her passion lies in building and strengthening understanding and relations for Canada between the peoples of China and Canada through arts and culture. She founded the Canadian Fund for International Understanding through Culture (Can4Culture) in 2006. Dr. Nelly Ng was also instrumental in the launch of the inaugural China Now festival in 2014 - an unprecedented exploration of Chinese arts and culture at the Harbourfront Centre. 76 artists, from 15 provinces of China, came to Canada (following the Smithsonian Folklife Festival) to showcase a variety of Chinese folk arts. The Ambassador of China to Canada and the Canadian Minister of Finance co-officiated the opening of the festival. As a result of the success of China Now, Canada is the featured country at the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival 2016.

Dr. Ng also co-founded the Canadian Foundation for the Preservation of Chinese Cultural and Historical Treasures (renamed The Canadian Foundation for Chinese Heritage Preservation) in 1993. She chaired this not-for-profit organization spearheading many initiatives and projects including Canadian tours of the Masterpieces of 20th Century Chinese Painting and Jade, The Ultimate Treasure of Ancient China exhibitions and the Three Gorges Preservation project. She also had the great honour of signing the Canada-China Conservation Protocol which has since fulfilled all its objectives.

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