Saturday, 26 September 2015

Edmonton Mid Autumn Festival

Despite having lived in Edmonton, Canada for 12 years, I don't think I really understood the size of the Chinese community in the city until I attended the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival celebrations recently. It was extremely well attended, support coming mainly from the Chinese community itself. 

The 2014 census of the metropolitan area of Edmonton estimated a population of 1.3 million driven partly by international migration. I’ve not been able to ascertain the number of Chinese living in the city but the vibrancy of this annual festival (only in its second year) sure indicates that it is a healthy number. 

The Mid Autumn Festival celebrations in Churchill Square provided 9 hours of non-stop entertainment culminating in a lion dance parade and the launch of hundreds of Wishing Boats in the pool in front of City Hall. 

My spouse and I lasted 5 hours, ample time for a few sketches. 

Here’s some of the performances we watched. 

My favourites were an orchestra of Chinese classical instruments and a 1930’s Shanghai-style song and dance routine by a group of mature (but very slim) ladies in beautiful long cheongsams. Unfortunately I was so busy watching these that I didn't sketch them.

Here's the main sketch in progress.

The interesting grey building in the background is the Art Gallery of Alberta.

The cone shaped building in the photo above is City Hall.

Pen and ink, watercolour, #Stillman&Birn, Alpha Journal 8.5x5.5"


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