Joseph Tsai, 14, and his sister Ellianna, 11, perform a lion dance for the Port Alberni Chinese Canadian Society’s Lunar New Year celebration at the Port Alberni Athletic Hall on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, while younger sister Mary, 7, plays the gong. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Alberni Valley News)

Port Alberni’s Chinese Canadian community celebrates Lunar New Year

Lion dance, lunch featured during Athletic Hall festivities

BY SONJA DRINKWATER

Special to the News

Port Alberni’s Chinese New Year celebrations went off with a bang at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 11:30 a.m. Joseph Tsai, 14, and his sister Ellianna, 11, performed the traditional lion dance, while their younger sister Mary, 7, played the gong while the lion danced. There were fireworks let off while the lion danced.

A lunch of Chinese food followed, and everyone received a monetary gift and an orange—both traditions for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The local chapter of the Chinese Canadian Society runs a Chinese food booth at the Fall Fair each year, this is run completely by volunteers with all earnings going to local charities.

The recipients this year were: Bread of Life and the Salvation Army represented by Cpt. Michael Ramsey and his daughter Heather, the Read and Feed Program with Sally Anderson and her grandson Zack, Alberni Athletic Hall with Bill Surry, Ty Watson House represented by Teresa Ludvigson, Gerri Sing and Marie Duperrault, West Coast General Hospital Foundation business director Chris Francey and Willa Thorpe representing KidSport.

Patty Xie, Chinese Canadian Society president, and vice-president Anameka Lee divided up $5,000 between the local charities.

The society publicly thanked their volunteers for staffing the booth at the Fall Fair. Thanks were also given to everyone that purchases their food at the Fair.

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Joseph Tsai, 14, and his sister Ellianna, 11, perform a lion dance for the Port Alberni Chinese Canadian Society’s Lunar New Year celebration at the Port Alberni Athletic Hall on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Alberni Valley News)

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