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Chau Luen Athletics Performs Spectacular Dragon Dance at Chinese Canadian Museum of Vancouver

At Chau Luen, we're known all across Vancouver for our lion dance performances. But outside of weddings, corporate events, and store openings, one of the things we're most proud of is our commitment to the community.

This past weekend, we wowed audiences with 2 different community lion dances and dragon dances, one at the opening of the Chinese-Canadian Museum, and another at the annual Canada Day Drumming event. Here are some of the highlights from both events.

Honouring History and Heritage at the Opening of Vancouver's Chinese Canadian Museum

With all the struggles that Chinese Canadians had to face (many of our students' families included) it was welcome news when it was announced that the new Chinese Canadian Museum of Vancouver was set to open in July 2023.

With this, we gladly accepted the invitation to perform our dragon dance with our brand-new LED dragon donated by Richard and Grace Wong.

Chau Luen Athletics performs a dragon dance in Vancouver

And with any memorable moment like this, some big names were in attendance, including:

  • David Eby, Premier of British Columbia

  • Ken Sim, Mayor of Vancouver

  • Richard K. Wong and Grace Wong

  • John Horgan, former Premier of British Columbia

  • Patrick Chan, Olympic Gold Medallist

Chau Luen Athletics performs a dragon dance at the opening of the Chinese Canadian Museum in Vancouver

Even with the small stage, our team banded together to snake the colourful dragon around our guests to give them a show of a lifetime and really kick off the opening of the new museum.

Kicking off Canada Day Drumming with a bang – from our drum

As much as we promote traditional Chinese culture through our dragon dance performances, we are incredibly proud to call Canada our home. Canada Day Drumming was created to promote both intercultural understanding and a sense of belonging in a nation as diverse as ours.

In this event, we brought some of our drums and joined hundreds of drummers across the country, just like we did when we won a world record in 2018.

The Chau Luen Athletics lineup for Canada Day Drumming 2023

Drumming is an integral part of both lion dance and dragon dance, both setting the rhythm for our performers and bringing energy to every showcase we’re a part of.

Aside from participating in the 6th edition of this world-record event, we also debuted our special Canada Day dragon dance routine, mesmerizing audiences from coast to coast.

Chau Luen Athletics dragon dance maple leaf

Hundreds of people attended the event, while thousands more watched the livestreams from across the country. To have so many eyes on us and so many rave reviews of our traditional performance meant a lot to us, and it was a precursor to some more amazing performances in the evening.

Lion dance, dragon dance, and kung fu showcase in Burnaby

It was a long day to say the least. After performing dragon dance at Floata and lion dance at Chinatown Memorial Square, we packed up our things and drove across town to Burnaby for one final performance.

To close off the Canada Day festivities, we were invited to Central Park to show off all 3 of our branches of skill. In addition to the dancing and drumming, we were asked to show some of our best kung fu forms in front of a large audience.

Some of our most skilled performers brought their A-game (and maybe a sword or two), dazzling crowds so much that we had more photo requests than ever before. It was a rewarding way cap a tiring all-day affair, and all the sore muscles, sweat, and $2.07 litres of gas were more than worth it.

Why we performed a dragon dance at Vancouver’s Chinese Canadian Museum and Canada Day Drumming

Of course, we didn’t just accept the invitation to perform to shake hands with some politicians and snag a selfie with an Olympic medalist…

Performing a dragon dance isn't as common as our lion dance performances, especially considering that we need a much larger group of performers and is reserved for more special occasions only.

Chau Luen dragon dance, Vancouver Chinese Canadian Museum Soft Opening

As this was a historic event (this was the first Chinese-Canadian museum in Canada), we felt it was important to further promote traditional Chinese culture in a space where it’s rapidly dying out. As Chinatown continues to evolve, old social hubs like the one that currently houses the museum find themselves surrounded by fancy fusion restaurants and the sad reality of the opioid crisis gripping the Downtown Eastside.

In these trying times, we draw from our years of experience to put on performances that both entertain and inspire. In the end, what keeps us going is our commitment to spreading awareness of traditional Chinese culture and the strength of diversity that makes Canada the great nation that it is.


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