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Chinese New Year gala in Toronto successful despite delay

02-10-2014 17:37 BJT

TORONTO, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of Chinese top artists gave a stunning performance at the Chinese Spring Festival gala on Sunday despite a rough start of their Canadian tour.

Originally slated for Saturday evening, the extravaganza was postponed for one day owing to an engine failure on the Air Canada flight.

Rudy Gao, president of the Canada-China Cultural Development Association, said they had to scramble at the 11th hour to make the event happen.

But he said it all fell into place without a hitch. Not only the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, the venue for the show, was free to accommodate them on Sunday, but the community was also very supportive, he said.

Gao said a few hundred people still came Saturday and were disappointed at the news but they "appreciated it."

With 2,000 tickets sold, Gao said they gave people a choice to refund their tickets. But only a handful did, while most made it out for the rescheduled show, he added.

Many, like the Wei family, were just happy to be able to catch the performance. Wendy Wei and her sister said they especially wanted to bring their parents to the show.

"They just immigrated here last year, and this year it's the first time they're spending the Spring Festival here," said Wendy. "So me and my sister really wanted to bring my parents to experience how the Chinese community here spends the new year."

And with dozens of exciting and engaging performances to mark the Year of the Horse, including an acrobat riding a unicycle on a soft wire, unbelievable vocals, different ethnic dances and much more to see, it was definitely worth the wait.

Combining tradition and innovation, the show started in 2008 as a way to share the Chinese culture through a variety of rich traditional performances, and to showcase and celebrate the ancient Chinese heritage.

Gao said they strive to bring the best Chinese performers to Canada every year.

"We have selected the best troupes and best performances across China," he said. "The dancers are from the China Dancing Academy and have been trained since (they were) seven years old. We also bring the top acrobats, who just came back from Europe and got a gold medal."

Wei Yi, the host of the show, said it has not been easy for the 50 performers, who arrived last evening, as they had to rush through rehearsals with little to no sleep.

"But I think all of my colleagues will do our best to try for a beautiful show for our Canadian friends," Wei Yi said.

Cellist Vincent Belanger, who rehearsed late into the night, said it is all part of the job.

"We must do what we must," he said. "The show must go on."

After the Toronto debut, the show will also make stops in six other Canadian cities, including Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa, until Feb. 22.

By Phoebe Ho, Yan Zhonghua


Editor:Zhang |Source: Xinhua

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