Hundreds attended the Fraser Valley Chinese Culture Association’s sixth-annual Spring Festival Charity Gala on Saturday, Jan. 27, ringing in the lunar new year with family and friends.
The Spring Festival celebrates the end of the old lunar year and the beginning of the new year, and it is widely observed, with festivals hosted annually by Chinese communities all around the world.
The 1,500-seat Chandos Pattinson Auditorium was packed on Saturday night as festival goers took in the annual gala’s blend of formal and informal performances.
From children dancing to modern pop music to delicate chords plucked on the guzheng, a string instrument with more than 2,500 years of history, the evening offered all manner of spectacle and sound. Charismatic youth portrayed philosophers in comic asides, rock ‘n’ roll acts got the crowd moving, dance ensembles dressed in delicate, ornate outfits performed detailed and artful choreography: each of the 19 acts offered something unique.
Organizer Qing Ping said that the evening was the largest Spring Festival celebration planned for this year in Surrey, and that it took four months of work to get it to the stage. The volunteer-organized show was led by Director Dong Yang, who was the creative vision behind the gala.
As every year, several prizes were given away, including an electric guitar, a Huawei smartphone and an iPhone X, and small stuffed dogs were thrown into the audience throughout the evening in a nod to the Year of the Dog.
The charity gala once again donated a large portion of its ticket proceeds to local initiatives. This year, the FVCCA donated $2,000 to the Surrey Memorial Hospital. A further $1,000, raised by the student-led organization Hygiene for the Homeless Canada, was given to the Covenant House, which provides help and support for Vancouver’s homeless youth.