What a way to celebrate Lunar New Year 2013! The David Suzuki Foundation joined the popular Chinese New Year Parade in Vancouver's Chinatown on February 17 and shared warm wishes with the 80,000 spectators who lined the streets from Pender and Beatty to Gore, Keefer and Carrall streets.
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The theme of our team was bringing nature to Chinese New Year. Our participants included David Suzuki and family, and foundation staff, volunteers, friends and the Suzuki Elders.
The Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade is an annual event organized by the Chinese Benevolent Association, Chinese Cultural Centre, Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, Chinese Freemasons Vancouver, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and Shon Yee Benevolent Association. Team-DSF was the only environmental organization invited to join the parade. We were honoured and thrilled not only because we helped celebrate the parade's 40th anniversary, but we also felt welcomed by the Chinese Canadian community, who cheered as we strolled along Pender and Keefer streets.
If you wonder what joining the Chinese New Year Parade has to do with environmentalism, this is how our Suzuki Elder Diana Ellis summed up the experience:
- Did DSF show the public that environmentalists can have fun and laugh out loud? Yes
- Did the contingent show the public that DSF has lots of young people involved? Yes
- Did the contingent also showcase elder involvement? Yes
- Did the event involvement provide an opportunity for DSF staff, volunteers and invited community folks to work and play together? Yes
Finally, advice from a spectator: "Do it again! It was so good and important to see you all there."
No kidding! It was wonderful to witness how well received Canada's most trusted environmental organization, the David Suzuki Foundation, is by Canadians in a very colourful event that celebrates our diversity.
If you want to see David Suzuki and Team DSF in the parade, Shaw TV on cable 4 will broadcast the entire parade this weekend (Feb. 23 at 5pm and Feb. 24 at 1pm).