VANCOUVER—Steven L. Point, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, was among the dozens of governmental dignitaries from around the province to send greetings to Shen Yun Performing Arts in anticipation of its upcoming run at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre from April 3 to 8.
As part of an 80-city world tour, the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts (formerly Divine Performing Arts) brings to the ethnically diverse coastal city a splendid combination of classical Chinese dance, exquisite costumes, rousing drumming acts and a live orchestra—not to mention the sprit and essence of China’s 5,000-year culture.
“I am so pleased events like the Divine Performing Arts World Tour can bring people together to share their unique cultural heritage with others. The performing arts form an integral part of our Canadian society and bring a special dimension to our world. Music and dance can uplift us from our daily lives and bring us together in a way that allows us to share in the grandeur of the human experience. There is no communication barrier in these mediums, nor is there any way to misinterpret the message. That is the magic of the arts,” wrote Point in a letter.
“This is an innovative and inspiring showcase of the best in classical Chinese dance and music. It is an extravagantly beautiful production, encompassing the rich customs and tradition and history of over 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” said B.C. Senator Mobina Jaffer.
“As the show has travelled across our nation it has been embraced and adored by all Canadians. It has connected and educated its audience about China’s inspired culture, reflecting the deep appreciation we feel for the multicultural tapestry that is Canada.”
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson also sent greetings.
“Audiences in Vancouver are privileged to enjoy this classic entertainment, which showcases the beauty and diversity of China's musical and dance heritage. Vancouver has a thriving arts community and I am pleased to congratulate Divine Performing Arts Tour for such an innovative show,” he said.
Other mayors to send greeting were Pamela Goldsmith-Jones of West Vancouver, Derek Corrigan of Burnaby, H. Peter Fassbender of Langley, Catherine Ferguson of White Rock, Rick Green of Township of Langley and Richard Steward of Coquiltlam.
Four local MPs extended their best wishes, among them Alice Wong of Richmond, Bill Siksay of Burnaby Douglas, Peter Julian of Burnaby–New Westminster and Joyce Murray of Vancouver Quadra.
“I am delighted that this event will inspire the renewal of the long lost Chinese tradition and culture. The fusion of Chinese and Western classical music will be an excellent experience and I believe it will be a highlight of the evening well appreciated by the audience,” said Wong.
“The elite company of dancers, singers, and musicians take their inspiration from ancient heroic legends and modern courageous tales, and their performance is a message of unification and appreciation of the rich blend of multicultural communities and values,” said Julian.
Mary Polak, BC Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, and Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, sent greeting letters as well.
“This is a unique opportunity for the people of British Columbia to experience incorporation of the classic and legendary tales of Chinese culture which make this a performance not to be missed,” said Polak.
Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General Michaëlle Jean sent their greetings when the show played in eastern Canada in early January. Returning to Canada this week, Shen Yun will play in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Regina.
“Tonight’s event is a celebration of Chinese heritage, and the rich customs and classic tales that go with it. I am certain that the intricate costumes, brilliant choreography and outstanding musical compositions that you will be treated to this evening will be a wonderful reflection of the beauty and grandeur of 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, and of the great pride felt by the Chinese Canadian community,” Harper wrote.
Since the three Shen Yun companies began their world tour in the U.S. on December 19, dignitaries and elected officials around the globe have sent their good wishes and greetings.
Shen Yun will play at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 600 Hamilton St., Vancouver, from April 3 – 8, 2009. Show times are: April 3, 7:30 pm; April 4, 2:30 & 7:30 pm; April 5, 4:30 pm; April 6, 7, & 8, 7:30 pm. Ticket Hotline: 604 454 1110 ; Ticketmaster: 604 280 4444. www.shenyunperformingarts.com .