Ring in Chinese New Year early in Victoria

Performances at Alix Goolden Hall to celebrate Chinese culture

The Alix Goolden Performance Hall hosts a free concert this Sunday to ring in Chinese New Year, which officially happens Jan. 31.

A Harmonious Celebration, now in its third year, offers a family-friendly afternoon of live song and dance to celebrate the Year of the Horse.

“This event has been enormously popular since it began,” said Jane Butler-McGregor, CEO of the Victoria Conservatory of Music. “The Chinese community (are) such an important part of the cultural fabric of the region.”

Former Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe will emcee the event, which will see the Chinese lion dance and other visual delights performed by members of the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club and Victoria Chinese Culture Club Dancers. Traditional Chinese songs will be sung by the Victoria Society of Chinese Performing Arts.

An anonymous donor through the Victoria Foundation makes the free event possible, Butler-McGregor said.

The celebration begins at 2:30 p.m., but organizers recommend arriving early to secure a seat at the 800-person venue.


Did you know?

• Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and incorporates symbolic traditions, such as gifting red envelopes filled with money to bring good fortune.

• Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam also celebrate the new year by the lunar calendar.

• Chinese New Year is marked by one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Horse is said to be particularly fortuitous for people born in 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954 and 1942.