The Canadian Federation of Chinese Association sponsored the “Celebrate Chinese New Year Together Toronto” 2014 on January 25 at the Cultural Center of the Greater Toronto Area. Despite the cold and snowy weather, people were not dissuaded from coming; the Temple made for a lively atmosphere and helped people forget the winter weather. The high spirits of the Spring Festival meant that thousands of people spent a day having fun.

Shortly after 10 o’clock, various people entered the Temple site. Businesspeople were stationed at their booths, snacks were distributed and set up, the stage decorations were prepared, art galleries were installed, the line preparatory work was put in order and more than a dozen entertainment district projects were set in motion. After an hour, the Temple was transformed into a dazzling, colourful landscape. Soprano Huan Zhao Guiping sang a good luck song to kick off the festival. The President of the Association joined the stage and sent his greetings and salutations for the New Year to his fellow people.  The Chinese Consulate General of Toronto Fannie Consul General and Consul Xiashao Jie attended. Fannie Consul General on behalf of the Chinese government to the overseas Chinese wished everyone a happy New Year, Year of the Horse! The Chairman of the Federation of the Toronto Chinese Community Wei Chengyi and Honorary President Chen Bingding visited this Temple to impart their congratulations. Alderman Andrew Chan, Li Zhenguang and He Hu Jing deliberately rushed to the temple to greet everyone for New Year! Members of the Federation of Multicultural Affairs, Congress Secretariat Dr Liang and Tourism, Cultural and Sports Director Chen Zhi Jun sent a congratulatory letter expressing congratulations.

Theatrical performances were hosted by Xing Shan. These performances consisted of more than 40 individuals within our Associations. These brilliant performances were rewarded with applause and cheer from the audience. Meanwhile, other activities in the Temple were taking place. A lot of patrons were intrigued by the riddles, the prize and recreation area attracted a lot of children and the art in the exhibition area appealed to many. Four calligraphers were busy brush writing couplets for visitors. There were stalls of all kinds featuring food from Chongqing, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Beijing, Wandou Huang, Luzhu, Hunan and Inner Mongolia. This was the first time people partook of “Wang Li” snacks and enjoyed the authentic milk and cheese of Inner Mongolia.

In addition, the temple also hosted an auction which added another bright, exciting element to the festival. The Auction was organized by the Canadian Federation of Chinese Association’s Executive Chairman Yang Baofeng, who personally presided over it. Two bottles of Wuliangye was paid much attention to and underwent several rounds of fierce bidding before Toronto Hualian took the prize. Those present included the Chairman of the Federation of Fujian Association, the Chairman Wei Chengyi, Wang Qingguan, Fannie Consul General, Xu Wei and Wu Dong-Mei.  The two Deputy Consuls and all fellow co-presidents introduced new consul!

The temple’s chief sponsor Pengcheng telecommunications (Bell Chinese special agents) also hosted a booth.  They congratulated the success of our festival. Likewise, we would like to thank Pengcheng telecommunications for their support.

The 2014 Chinese New Year Temple Fair is the third festival organized by the Canadian Federation of Chinese Associations to celebrate the Spring Festival. Every celebration has brought joy to thousands of our people. Thank you to all the friends who give us strong support. We hope that the Chinese get more attention and support and that the next New Year festival will be even better.

(Temple photography: Huang Yuping, Eric Chan, Chen Jing)

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