Burnaby signs 'art' bridge

Updated: 2015-04-11 04:03

By HATTY LIU in Vancouver For China Daily(China Daily Canada)

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Burnaby signs 'art' bridge

Chen Shi (left), representative of the mayor of Guiyang, signs the Burnaby-Guiyang friendship agreement with Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan at the Burnaby Riverway Golf Course on April 1. [Photo by HATTY LIU / FOR CHINA DAILY]

Agreement with Guiyang will set up logistics for more cultural exchanges

Burnaby, British Columbia, and Guiyang, China have created an artistic corridor between the two cities.

They signed a friendship agreement on April 1 in Burnaby to support the bilateral exchange of artists.

The agreement is intended to facilitate arrangements for sending visual and performing artists to exhibit work back and forth between the cities by standardizing logistics.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chen Shi, representing the mayor of Guiyang, expressed his hopes for a "successful friendship agreement that will take more Chinese culture outside of China".

The signing ceremony, held at the Burnaby Riverway Golf Course, featured a video introducing Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province; gift exchanges between government representatives and artist delegations and remarks by acting consul general of China in Vancouver Fan Xiaodong, the mayor of Burnaby, the Guiyang mayor's representative and artists from Burnaby.

The friendship city arrangement grew out of existing reciprocal exchanges that have been taking place between Burnaby and Guiyang artists. In April 2014, the Burnaby Artists Guild and Burnaby Council visited Guiyang to stage the 2014 Eco & Humanities exhibition and meet with local artists and students.

A delegation of artists from Guiyang paid a reciprocal visit to Burnaby to paint with local artists and put on the 2015 International Eco & Humanities Art Group Exhibition from April 1 to 5 and attend the signing ceremony.

Roxsane Tiernan, former president of the Burnaby Artists Council, wished Guiyang's artists a pleasant visit in Burnaby, telling China Daily afterwards that the Guiyang artists were "very good hosts" during her visit there last year as part of the artist delegation.

"The gallery opening of our work was very well promoted and everything we needed was offered," she said.

Tiernan said she hopes "the arrangement may create more and more similar type of artist exchanges between cities."

Friendship agreements are funded jointly by the City of Burnaby International Relations and Friendship Cities Committee and the Province of British Columbia under the province's 2007 Asia Pacific Initiative, which proposed strategies to better integrate BC with the Asia Pacific and give the province international recognition as North America's capital for Asia Pacific commerce and culture.

Fan said at the ceremony that with the designation of the 2015-16 Year of People-to-People and Cultural Exchange between China and Canada, he hopes "there will be more friendship agreements between Chinese and Canadian cities to spearhead the economic and cultural exchange between the two countries."

The city of Burnaby has additional friendship city arrangements with the Chinese cities of Kunming and Changshu, the Dongcheng District of Beijing, and the Dongli District of Tianjin.