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Canada Day Cultural Evening
Shanghai, Thursday, July 1st, 2010
I know of the great admiration you have for the person who just introduced me, whom we know as Mark and you know as Dashan, a rather fitting nickname, I think, and I hope that this love story between a Canadian and an entire people reflects the ties that bind us and everything that is possible between peoples. It’s just a matter of putting our hearts into it!
And Shanghai has tremendous heart! What a magnificent city!
Shanghai defies the imagination, and I have long dreamt of coming here.
My husband and I, along with our daughter, Marie-Éden, and the Canadian delegation, are absolutely delighted to celebrate Canada Day with you here, on this spectacular site, at Shanghai’s world exposition.
Today, on the other side of the world, our fellow Canadians are celebrating Canada’s 143rd birthday.
And so we Canadians here this evening with our Chinese friends have double reason to celebrate.
And that’s not all.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Canada.
Clearly, we have a great many reasons to celebrate together this evening, and who better than artists from Canada to lend this celebration typically Canadian spirit, flavour and tone.
My Chinese friends, tonight is a special night, and we invite you to enjoy with us the rhythms and accents of our home, from our First Nations, our deepest roots and legacy, to our Acadian sisters and brothers and our many other cultural pairings. Canada contains the world; our diversity is our wealth.
We hope that this wonderful evening will add to the vitality and depth of the ties between our peoples, on which we wish to build in the years ahead.
And now, over to our artists, who will help us express our joy through their words, music and movement.
Once again, long live the friendship between Canada and the People’s Republic of China, and Happy Birthday, Canada!