Lion Dancers. Supplied
Organizers and dignitaries. Supplied
On September 8th, large crowds enjoyed the Edmonton Chinese Benevolent Association’s Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival. This annual event featured an Asian-style bazaar with colourful lanterns, performers such as lion dancers and an erhu (Chinese fiddle) orchestra, moon cakes, and cultural games and activities.
Various officials attended the opening ceremonies to bring greetings and to acknowledge the Chinese community’s important role in the city. Speakers included federal, provincial, and municipal politicians as well as representatives of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China, which is located in Calgary. Leadership awards for young people in the community were also presented during the opening program.
City Councillor Sarah Hamilton recognized the work of Mei Hung, Chinese Benevolent Association board member, who served as MC. “Things don’t happen without her,” Hamilton said.
The festival has usually been held at Churchill Square, but a change of venue was required because of downtown construction activity. The Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market stepped in to provide a new location, the GWG building on 97 Street where the indoor market opened for the winter in October.
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.