Event Recap: Celebration Canada 2016

Sometimes living abroad can be most challenging around holiday times. One cannot help but feel a longing for home life as they skim through pictures and read statuses from friends and families celebrating back home. Though pangs of homesickness set in most around holidays, expat communities in Taiwan help ease the agony of missing festivities back home.

In Taipei, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce hosts a Canada Day celebration to give expats and travelers a chance to celebrate while also sharing Canadian traditions with the local Taiwanese community. This year, Celebration Canada was held on June 25th, 2016 at the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park from 1:00-9:00pm.

This year’s festivities included live music, a variety of local food and beverage vendors, a children’s activity center, an art corner, and even a bull-riding contest!

The CCCT also hosts a terrific raffle each year with all sorts of fun prices, including:

A round-trip ticket to Canada from EVA Air and China Airways, food coupons for Roots and Texas Roadhouse, hotel accommodations with Xitou Le Midi (米蒂亞套房雙人住宿券) and Zhongli Le Midi hotel accommodations (中壢米堤雙人住宿券), MacKay Charity Gala Tickets for two from the CCCT, Afternoon Tea for two at La Rotisserie, various items from Roots Taiwan, pearl bracelets from 引雅珠寶-珍珠手鍊, several bottles of Canadian red wine, various items from China Airlines, coupons from Alleycats Pizza, coupons from Carnegie’s Taiwan, coupons and coffee mugs from Campus Café, a number of Canada Beef Travel Kits, several coupons from The Diner, several packages of Canadian nougat, and three Le Midi Gift Bags.

The CCCT would like to thank our generous donators for our raffle prize. It gets bigger and better every year!

Celebration Canada 2016 - CCCT Reporter Caroline Hosey_2

Though the day started out cloudy and grey, the rain stayed away and everyone had a lovely time celebrating Canada! Many participants showed up in Red and White to show their Canadian pride! Everyone enjoyed the delicious food, music, and activities. Canada Day is a fantastic family affair, and it shouldn’t be missed by anyone traveling to Taipei in late June.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s event:

The diverse list of food vendors this year had something tasty for everyone!

Texas Roadhouse, a CCCT corporate sponsor, cooked up some smoky and delectable BBQ ribs and chicken. Mayur Indian Kitchen served up some tasty vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian options. Three Idiots Toast and Curry offered some wonderful vegetarian grilled cheese sandwiches and curries.

Maple Maple, a CCCT corporate sponsor, offered some typically delicious Canadian treats. Merkel and Meat Mate served up sausages all day long. Chelsea’s offered some delectable grilled cheese sandwiches, and Uncle Kunkel distributed some savory Tex Mex. Finally there was also a booth called Slyders selling sweet and tangy maple glazed pork sliders that absolutely hit the spot!

Celebration Canada 2016 - CCCT Reporter Caroline Hosey

This year the kid’s zone featured a bouncy castle and a blow up slide. There was also a face-painting booth and Canada-themed temporary tattoos so everyone could show their Canadian Pride! The children were grinning from ear to ear as they enjoyed all of the festivities!

Celebration Canada 2016 - CCCT Reporter Caroline Hosey_5

This year’s event would not be complete without the amazing lineup of bands. Nothing is better than dancing the day and night away to some fantastic live music.

We heard from Tony Taylor and the Rockits, Jesse Helton and The Green Machine, Pineapple Plaid, DC and the Funky Duds, Sam Lin, Red Cliff, and a special band that was organized just for Celebration Canada called the Canadian All-Stars! Many thanks to Brandon Thompson for organizing such an outstanding line-up of fantastic bands to entertain us throughout the day and evening.

Celebration Canada 2016 - CCCT Reporter Caroline Hosey_4

All day long, the bull riding machine had people lined up to try riding the longest in order to win the Grand Prize of a free ticket from Taipei to Canada. While some riders lacked the essential balance to ride more than a few seconds, a few skilled riders were able to hang on! This year’s lucky winner(s) were:

1st Place: Nick Coulson snatched up his grand prize with a whopping 95 seconds on the mechanical bull.

2nd Place: Jenna Robinette placed second with a very respectable 81-second ride. She took home a NT$1,000 coupon from Texas Roadhouse.

3rd Place: Tyler stayed on the mechanical bull for 70 seconds and took home a NT$1,000 coupon from Roots for his efforts.

Our bull-riding minors also took home prizes for showing their prowess on the mechanical bull. Natalie took home a NT$1,000 coupon from Texas Roadhouse for riding the bull for 164 seconds. Great job, eh!

We would like to thank EVA Air and China Airlines for offering two round-trip tickets for our mechanical bull prize and for our raffle prize.

Celebration Canada 2016 - CCCT Reporter Caroline Hosey_3

The success of Celebration Canada is all thanks to the participants from both the Taiwanese and foreign communities. Make sure to join us again next year for the 150th year celebration of Canada Day in Taiwan, which will be held on Canada Day, July 1, 2017.

Honouring Our Ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day

Every year on April 5, Taiwan honours its dead with a special festival. The festival is called Qingming, but it is often referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day. In Mandarin, Qingming is roughly translated to “Pure Brightness Festival,” and the day is intended for people to go outside and enjoy the spring weather while paying respects to their ancestors.

On Tomb Sweeping Day, the people of Taiwan traditionally go on family outings to visit the graves of their departed relatives. The families will usually pray at each grave site before sweeping and cleaning the grave as a sign of respect. Some families will even sing and dance at the gravesites and offer food and wine to the deceased.

Willow branches are a very common sight on Tomb Sweeping Day. It is believed that willow branches will fend off the evil spirits that roam around on Qingming. As such, people will carry willow branches with them, and some will even hang the branches from their front doors.

Another Qingming tradition you’re sure to come by is a bite-sized snack called caozaiguo. Caozaiguo consists of sweet dough made with rice flour, sugar and East Asian herbs that give the snack a green colour. The dough is then usually filled with ground meat or bean paste.

Tomb Sweeping Holiday-1988

Since 1975, Tomb Sweeping Day has always been observed in Taiwan on April 5, in order to honour the death of Chiang Kai-Shek, a Chinese political leader who ruled Taiwan for 30 years. Chiang’s legacy is the subject of much debate in Taiwan, but Tomb Sweeping Day is still recognized every year on the anniversary of his death.

For Canadians in Taiwan that are looking to take part in the festival, the Danshui Foreign Cemetery in Taipei is the perfect place to go.

Many Canadians are buried in the cemetery, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been maintaining the grounds every Tomb Sweeping Day since 1984. Don’t miss your chance to take part in this unique and meaningful festival!

Help Us Maintain the Danshui Foreign Cemetery

We are looking for friends to join us in our monthly maintenance event at Danshui Foreign Cemetery in Taipei.

The Cemetery is located near TamKang High School in Danshui. 

Please consider volunteering some of your time to help the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taipei keep up with regular maintenance of the cemetery. Help us to preserve this beautiful historic site in Taipei.

Please join us for our next cemetery maintenance event. We host family-friendly events throughout the year. Visit our Events Page  on the CCCT website or subscribe to our events on Facebook for up-t0-date information.

The Danshui Foreign Cemetery was established in 1870, and it is a symbol of Canadian heritage in Taiwan.

The cemetery has been cared for by the Canadian Society (now the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taipei) since 1984. There are more than 70 graves in the cemetery, many of which belong to Canadians.

Members and friends of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce join together at the cemetery to clean up the tombstones and clear away the grass and debris that collects there throughout the year.

This is a great way to take in some of Taiwan’s traditional culture while becoming familiar with the history of Canadians in Taiwan.

There are plenty of historical sites in the area that can be visited if you plan on spending the day with us, such as the Customs Building, the “White House”, the first high school in Taiwan, the Red Fort, Danshui Old Street, and the Fisherman’s wharf, to name a few.

The TamKang High School grounds are open for parking. You just have to find your way up the hill in the narrow streets!

The History of Danshui Foreign CemeteryGeorge Lesley Mackay

The cemetery grounds were consecrated in the early 1870s after a foreign event passed away in the Danshui area. She was buried on the top of the hill behind the Harbor. Soon after her, a second child passed away and was buried in the cemetery.

After the arrival of Dr. MacKay, the first Presbyterian missionary to northern Formosa, all foreigners were buried in the same area under the management of the British consulate, which was located in the Red Fort.

Dr. Mackay served with the Canadian Presbyterian Mission, and he is one of the best known Westerners to have lived in Taiwan. His grave lies in the eastern corner of the Tamkang Middle School campus.

His son is buried next to him.

The Japanese authorities in the early 1900s classified the lot as a cemetery, and it was given for perpetuity to the Consulate for the burial of foreigners.

The British Consulate was managing and maintaining the cemetery until the recognition of the PRC government in 1971, when the management was transferred to the Americans.

Following the closure of the American Embassy in the late 70s, the cemetery files were transferred to AIT, and the cemetery was abandoned.

Eventually, the wall was taken down, stones were stolen, and the graves became covered in tall grass.

In the early 80s, two Presbyterians missionaries, Jack Geddes and Georgine Caldwell, tried to do something about the miserable state of the cemetery, where many Canadian expats are buried.

They began by cutting the grass and cleaning the graves, and it eventually passed it into the hands of the Canadian Society in Taiwan for safe keeping in 1984.

And so began our tradition of paying our respects to those who are buried there by keeping their final resting place clean and beautiful.

Among the dead who rest here are Canadians, British, Americans, Germans, French, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Chinese. Some were missionaries, others were sailors, harbor masters, merchants, engineers and many infants.


Each year, on Tomb Sweeping Day, we visit the cemetery to clean up the grounds and to pay our respects.

In 2014, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan decided to visit the cemetery more regularly as many of the tombstones and walls were deteriorating quickly.

Some of the tasks involved with our clean-up are: cutting the grass, fixing and repainting the stones, and removing garbage and other debris that accumulates there. In 2016, the CCCT, thanks to its generous benefactors, was able to rebuild the entrance gate to the cemetery. We have also started contribution drives among the foreign community to rebuild the surrounding walls.

To stop the city government from destroying the cemetery to widen roads, the CCCT lobbied to declare the Danshui Foreign Cemetery a historical site in Taipei.

This happened officially in 1998, and the cemetery has been in our safekeeping ever since. Since then, money and raffle sales from our small business events has been allocated to the cemetery to help with its annual upkeep.

As the cemetery is adjacent to Dr. George Mackay and his family graves inside the TamKang High School, the school has also shown interest in helping with maintenance.

The wall between the two cemeteries was lowered to its original height, merging the two sites, giving them the view you have today.


Directions to Danshui Foreign Cemetery

1. On Foot, Taxi

  • Get off at the MRT Danshui Station 淡水站
  • Take Zhongsan Road 中山路 and turn right on Xinsheng Street 新生街
  • Walk up Xinsheng Street 新生街 and turn left on Xinmin Street 新民街
  • Walk up Xinmin Street 新民街 and turn left on Zhenli Street Lane 3 真理街3巷
  • You’ll see the entrance of the cemetery on the right. Note: Total distance 1.5km, about 30 minutes’ walk. Taxi is about $120.

2. By Bus

  • There’s a bus stop across from MRT Danshui Station 淡水站
  • Take Red-26 and get off at Aletheia University 真理大學.(it’s the 4th stop)
  • Walk up the hill, pass Aletheia University真理大學 and you’ll see Tamkang High School 私立淡江高中.
  • The cemetery is inside the high school on the north east corner of the campus.

3. Drive

  • Take Zhongsan Road 中山路 to Wenhua Road 文化路.
  • Take Wenhua Road 文化路 to Zhenli Street 真理街 and turn right on Zhenli Street, Lane 3 真理街3巷 to Danshui TamKang High School 私立淡江高中.
  • Please park inside the high School. The cemetery is inside the high school on the north east corner of the campus. Note: About 15 minutes’ walk.

Featured Image Source: Guide Gecko

 

Event Recap: CCCT’s 1st Annual MacKay Charity Gala

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (CCCT), in partnership with MacKay Memorial Hospital and in cooperation with the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei | 加拿大駐台北貿易辦事處 (CTOT), hosted our first Annual MacKay Charity Gala to benefit the MacKay Children’s Hospital.

MacKay Charity Gala 2015

The MacKay Charity Gala also honours 145 years of healthcare and welfare partnership between Canada and Taiwan. With the success of this year’s MacKay Charity Gala event, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (CCCT) has provided additional funding to the MacKay Children’s Hospital. Your generosity has provided Taiwanese children in need with high-quality medical support and care.

We are very pleased to announce that we raised more than $10,000CDN for the Children’s Ward at MacKay Memorial Hospital.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce would like to express our gratitude to you for your support of our first MacKay Charity Gala. It is only because of your support that we were able to host such a successful event and make such a significant donation to the Children’s Wing of the Mackay Memorial Hospital.

The Seewalds

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to MacKay Memorial Hospital and to Dr Yang, as well as

Our Gold Sponsor

FemtoPath HongJing 弘晉有限公司

Our Silver Sponsors

Asclepiumm 艾斯克立必恩
Fortune Medical 富強醫材
HAN
AP Bio 亞力生醫

Thank you to our Silent Auction providers:

Special thanks to:

  • Dr. Kuo for the use of his artwork
  • JDT International
  • National Taiwan College of Performing Arts 臺灣戲曲學院
  • MacKay Gentlemen’s Quartet
  • and to the CCCT MacKay Charity Gala Committee and Vanessa van Dyck for their hard work and dedication to making this event a success!

Facebook – CCCT’s Mackay Charity Gala Gallery on Facebook for more photos.

Photos by Antonin Lee Photography

2015 Remembrance Event in Taiwan

From August 1942 until September 1945, more than 4350 Allied prisoners of war were held in 14 POW camps on the island of Taiwan. They suffered terribly at the hands of their Japanese captors and more than 10% of the POWs died. In 1997, the Kinkaseki / Taiwan Prisoner of War Memorial at Jinguashi was built and dedicated, and every year since then a Remembrance Day service has been held on the site of the old POW camp.

The Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society with assistance from the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei is holding the annual Remembrance Day service on Sunday November 15th. This year we will have one former Taiwan POW returning for this special 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII event.

The Remembrance Day service takes place at 11:00 am on the site of the former Kinkaseki POW Camp in the village of Jinguashi. Following the service, everyone is invited to join together for a picnic lunch in the community center.POW Rememberence

Chartered buses will depart from the east side of the Grand Hyatt Hotel – #2 SongShou Road – sharp at 9:15am, and will leave Jinguashi for Taipei around 2 pm. The cost for the bus and lunch is NT$400 and reservations are required.

Reservations for the Remembrance Day event can be made by contacting Tina Wu at the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei – Tel: 02-8723-3031 or email to: tina.wu@international.gc.ca.

Please book early to ensure you have a place on the bus. The deadline for the bus reservations is 5pm Wednesday, November 11th.

It is highly recommended that the bus transportation provided be used, as there is no parking for private vehicles at the site, special vehicle permits are required for access to the park on weekends, and we cannot be responsible for anyone getting lost on the way or being late for the service, if going by private vehicle.

We would appreciate it however if those who wish to go on their own would kindly also contact Tina to let her know, so that enough seating, programs and food can be prepared.

Everyone is welcome to join us for this year’s special events and we hope that many will come out to remember and honour the men to whom we owe a debt that can never be repaid.

For more information about the Remembrance Weekend events, please visit the Society website at: www.powtaiwan.org

Reservations are to be made with Tina only.
+886 2 8723 3031
tina.wu@international.gc.ca

The Ontario MPP Delegation Visits Taipei

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (CCCT) and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) were pleased to host a welcome reception in honour of the Ontario Members of Provincial Parliament Delegation on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015.

Our welcome reception provided a valuable opportunity to meet the Delegation and to learn about green energy, travel, and business opportunities in the city. Following the reception, a small group of guests were invited to a late night dinner and drinks at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Taipei.MPP Ontario Delegation
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario, (also known as Ontario Legislative Assembly or Parliament of Ontario), is the legislature of the Canadian province of Ontario, and is the second largest provincial legislature of Canada by number of members. It meets at the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park in the provincial capital, Toronto.

The Delegation was comprised of:

Bill Walker (Member of Provincial Parliament for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound)

Gila Martow (Member of Provincial Parliament for Thornhill)

Michael Harris (Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener—Conestoga)

Jagmeet Singh (Member of Provincial Parliament for Bramalea-Gore-Malton)

MPP Delegation Ontario