EDMONTON—Epoch Times readers, sponsors, and supporters in Edmonton got an early start celebrating the Chinese New Year, with close to 300 guests attending the Epoch Times Chinese New Year Party at the Emperor’s Palace restaurant in downtown Edmonton on Sunday, Feb. 15.
The dinner party celebrating the year of the goat started with a traditional Chinese lion dance followed by greetings from dignitaries.
“It’s truly an honour for me to bring greetings for Chinese New Year on behalf of all of my colleagues at the Parliament of Canada,” Brent Rathgeber, MP for Edmonton-St. Albert, told the guests.
Rathgeber said the day was particularly special as it was the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag.
“You’re probably asking yourself what does the Canadian flag and the Chinese New Year have to do with each other, and the answer may not be readily apparent,” he said.
“But the Epoch Times of course is an international newspaper that publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages, and it promotes and practices Canadian values of freedom of expression and freedom of thought. So I certainly congratulate the Epoch Times for all the good work that you do in bringing truth and justice issues and human rights abuses that occur in China that the Chinese media is not allowed to cover.”
Originally established in the United States in 2000 as a Chinese publication, Epoch Times quickly grew to become the world’s most widely distributed Chinese-language newspaper. The English edition was first launched in 2003 on the web, followed by print in New York in 2004.
In Canada, the publication has been recognized for various achievements. It has twice received the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada award for “Excellence in editorial/free expression, best concept and visual presentation,” first in 2005 due in large part for being the first newspaper to report on the SARS outbreak in China while official state media denied the existence of the disease, and again in 2012.
In Edmonton, Epoch Times was first published in 2003, and is currently available in both English and Chinese in the city.
“After more than 10 years of effort, our newspaper has expanded from just a few pages at that time to over 40 pages now,” said Shar Chen, president of Epoch Times in Edmonton.
“With serious challenges facing the global print media industry today, what Epoch Times has achieved is nothing short of a miracle,” she said.
“The Epoch Times, while rooted in the community, cares about the world. We would like to be on top of what is happening in this world together with you, commenting on the current affairs and bring boundless hope to your life and career.”
Throughout the evening guests were treated to Chinese dance and musical performances, as well as a traditional Chinese couture show.
The trivia question and answer part of the event drew enthusiastic participation from the guests, with those who answered the questions correctly receiving gifts from sponsors. There were also draws for door prizes, courtesy of the sponsors.
Gerry Gilroy, founder of Independent Jewellers, the largest jewellery store in Canada, said he thoroughly enjoyed the event, and also commented on his experience advertising with Epoch Times.
“We’ve had very good luck with [Epoch Times], it works very well for us, and it [brings the] kind of the people that we want to meet, especially on the higher end stuff,” he said.
Farid Shivji, general manager of Lexus South Pointe, said he enjoyed celebrating the arrival of the Lunar New Year with Epoch Times.
“The event was marvellous, it was really awe-inspiring. The variety, the fashion show, the different cultural dances, and the music performance really showed us more of the culture. It’s always fascinating to be able to be part of such a beautiful event,” he said.
“We have a very good partnership with Lexus South Pointe and Epoch Times,” he added.
“I look forward to a very bright future for Epoch Times. Epoch Times definitely brings the demographics of the customers that we’re looking for in our business, so it’s a good relationship we share.”