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Edward Gong: keeping connected

By Hong Xiao in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-12-23 11:09

Using the power of broadcast to enhance the China-Canada connection, CNTV's chairman sees even brighter days ahead

Canada National TV (CNTV), a Mandarin-language cable TV station located in Toronto, was established by Edward International Group through purchasing existing TV channels in 2013.

With the continuous expansion of the Chinese population in Canada, the station was built to meet the growing entertainment needs of local Chinese and promote cultural exchange between China and Canada, according to Edward Gong, chairman of Edward International Group.

Canada now has about 1.6 million Chinese with more than 700,000 in Toronto alone.

The TV station is closely connected with Chinese not only locally but also in China.

Edward Gong: keeping connected

Gong said that when major disasters happen like the Ya'an Earthquake in Sichuan province in 2013, CNTV reacted immediately broadcasting related news and calling for Chinese Canadians to donate money for disaster relief.

Since 2014, CNTV has held an Overseas Chinese Spring Festival Gala annually to celebrate the Chinese New Year. In the 2016 gala, along with 1,200 performers and a 3,500-member audience, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended, counting down along everyone for the New Year.

CNTV also has programs including in-depth interviews, financial newsletters, life services and culture and entertainment.

Gong believes that with the further expansion of economic and trade cooperation between China and Canada, the needs of business and product information exchange between the two countries will increase as well.

"Canada National TV station is also devoted to promoting economic and trade cooperation between the two countries; and to providing a good platform for the two sides' cooperation," said Gong.

"China and Canada relations are enjoying a honeymoon period. After Premier Li Keqiang visited Canada and met Prime Minister Trudeau in Sept, more than 20 agreements have been reached between the two countries," Gong said.

"I believe the exchange and communication between China and Canada will definitely be taken to a new high. Among efforts by all the parties, a media outlet represents China's voice in Canada is absolutely necessary," said Gong.

Before moving to Canada in 2002, Gong was an opera director in China. Even though he has been immersed in business for more than a decade, Gong has always had an affinity for the culture industry.

In 2006, Gong bought a building in Hamilton, about an hour drive from Toronto, to establish Canada National College of Art. The building has 120 classrooms, with a theater, library, stadium, which can accommodate 3,000 students.

The college is collaborating with world-class academies to build an international art hall.

In 2008, National Art College of Canada signed an agreement with the 100-year-old Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, setting up a music diploma program called The Royal Conservatory Associated Diploma (ARTC) Collaboration Program.

Gong said because Canada is a diversified, multicultural country, one of the purposes of establishing the college is to integrate the art of each country to create a new kind of art.

With the aim of serving and benefiting the society, Edward Group is keen on social welfare philanthropy.

It sponsored and participated in China Central Television's program "Going into Canada", the concert featuring Chinese pianist Fu Cong's visit to Canada, to great response.

Gong has won many awards for contributions in promoting China and Canada cultural exchanges and development from Ontario Government and community.

"As a country, Canada provides equal opportunities for everyone, it depends on if you can seize the opportunities," said Gong, who believes that "talent is sure to shine".

Besides education investment, the bio-pharmaceutical industry is also an industry that Edward Group is involved in, including research and development, production and sales.

Last year, Edward Group successfully acquired Ford Group's core assets - Ford International Convention and Exhibition Center in Detroit.

This year, the group acquired Motorola's production and research center in Harvard, Illinois, aiming to establish a biological engineering research and development production base.

"As Chinese Canadians, we should shoulder the burden of playing a more important role in the historical process," Gong said.

"I hope through my personal efforts, more Chinese stories can be told to the world and we can win more respect from the world," Gong said.

Edward Gong: keeping connected

Top : A Canada National TV news truck stands by. Left & Right: A scene of the 2016 Overseas Chinese Spring Festival Gala held by CNTV to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Photos provided to China Daily

(China Daily USA 12/23/2016 page11)

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