This year, the Greater Victoria Chinese Community Alliance (GVCCA) aims to organize one of the largest groups represented in the 2019 Victoria Day Parade.
“This is unprecedented,” said Thomas Chan, a key organizer of the group. Over 200 members of various Chinese communities and organizations are expected to dance, play live music or simply march to help celebrate their heritage in the parade.
“By far, this is the biggest and most diverse group emanating from the Chinese community in Victoria. We have old people, young people, ladies, men, elderly citizens,” Chan said, adding kids between the ages of seven and 10 years would be seen wearing traditional Chinese costumes.
“This group will try to showcase all these wonderful features about Chinese culture over the last, say, 2,000 years.”
Dragon and lion line dancing and a Chinese martial arts performance has been planned with experienced groups that are coming in from Vancouver. The parade float highlights lavish Peking opera performances from a local group. Tai chi dancing, to be performed with help from a group out of Duncan, is also on order, Chan said.
The group’s penultimate rehearsal takes place at Gyro Park on Sunday.
GVCCA embraces over 20 Chinese organizations in the community, encompassing clubs that have been in Victoria for over 100 years, like Hook Sin society and Dart Coon Club, as well as groups for recently-arrived immigrants, young entrepreneurs and local businesses, Chan added.
These organizations are showing support for the annual parade while attempting to promote Chinese culture for the curious, he said.
“As a Chinese Canadian in Victoria for 40 years myself, I believe in strong unity and harmony and promoting cooperation…this is my basic objective,” he added.
The 121st Island Farms Victoria Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 20. The parade starts off at Mayfair Mall and continues along Douglas Street, finishing at the intersection of Douglas and Humboldt Street.