OTTAWA—The nation's capital was treated to an impressive helping of traditional Chinese culture with the Canadian debut of New Tang Dynasty Television's Chinese New Year Spectacular at the National Arts Centre tonight.
Canadian Environment Minister John Baird came to the pre-show VIP reception, attended by more than 100 guests, including government officials and representatives, show sponsors and leaders from the business, artistic, university, and Chinese communities.
Addressing the reception, Baird said, "I don't think we realize how lucky we are, in the Ottawa area, in the National Capital Region, to have the performance stop here."
Divine Performing Arts, the New York-based company presenting the show, says that beyond the aesthetics it tries to convey the traditional moral values and the true culture of China.
The show will tour over 60 cities on four continents, with stops in five other Canadian cities to follow the Canadian premiere in Ottawa.
Baird said the show presents "a very different perspective of China and the values that are at the root of a lot of Chinese civilization, which is exciting culturally and intellectually."
"It's certainly an exciting show, and like all cultural performances it has a great message in it. The music, the dancing, the stories behind it are amazing."
"It's a great performance," he said.
Over the last two months several U.S. officials have made public letters from Chinese consulates in the U.S. warning them not to attend the shows or to provide support or congratulatory greetings in any form.
"I didn't receive a letter myself, but I was here last year and I am very happy to be here again this year," said Baird.
Canada's Governor General Michaëlle Jean sent a greeting letter, as did Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"I have no doubt that audiences will delight in the exceptional showcase of colourful, handmade costumes, brilliant choreography and outstanding musical compositions," said Harper in his congratulatory message.
Over ten other greetings were received from other Canadian government officials, including Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley, Minister of State and Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) Jason Kenney, Chair of the Conservative Caucus Rahim Jaffer, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David Onley, and Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien.
Baird wished all Chinese Canadians "a Happy New Year and the very best for health and prosperity over the next year."
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Divine Performing Arts shows that will perform in over 60 cities worldwide in 2008. To find a show near you, please visit www.bestchineseshows.com.