Chinese martial arts show hits the Interior
Chinese martial arts performances are coming to the Central Interior. Local governments are hosting the series of shows between Aug. 18 and Aug. 22, 2016, in partnership with the Cultural Department of Henan Province, People’s Republic of China. There will be stops in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Barkerville, and Prince George. The performing group is comprised of 18 elite martial arts practitioners from the Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School of Dengfeng City, Henan Province, People’s Republic of China. The communities of 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Prince George are hosting evening cultural performances. Barkerville Historic Town and Park is hosting an afternoon performance which coincides with their Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, a traditional Chinese celebration honouring Barkerville’s Chinese heritage. During the performances, these high-calibre performers will demonstrate various Shaolin Wushu martial arts techniques including pictographic animal boxing, knife and whip group boxing, variations of hard qigong (involving pikes and steel nails) and use of the 18 weapons developed by Shaolin monks over many decades. The Cariboo Regional District (CRD); Cultural Department of Henan Province, People’s Republic of China; District of 100 Mile House; City of Williams Lake; District of Wells; City of Prince George; Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and Barkerville Historic Town and Park are sponsoring the performance series with the support of the Central Interior Regional Arts Council. “The CRD is proud to be partnering with our municipal members in the Cariboo and our friends in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the City of Prince George to host the Shaolin Martial Arts School performers from China,” said CRD chair Al Richmond in a press release. “This upcoming martial arts performance series will be a great cultural opportunity for the Central Interior and further strengthen our relations with China by facilitating cross-cultural learning and exchange.” The CRD and its member municipalities have been taking an active role in recent years to build new partnerships and strengthen relationships with China. In June, the CRD hosted a group of business delegates from China in partnership with member municipalities. The Chinese delegation travelled the Cariboo region to learn about the local culture and heritage and explore potential business and investment opportunities. This event series is also part of the ‘2015 – 2016 China-Canada Year of People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges’ initiative the Government of Canada and the People’s Republic of China launched in 2015. During the two-year-long initiative, China is organizing or participating in major cultural events across Canada to give Canadians an opportunity to enjoy outstanding artworks reflecting modern China’s artistry and cultural development without leaving home. The Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School is world renowned for skillful and exciting performances and has won numerous national and international awards. The teachers and students from this school have toured more than 80 countries and delivered over 3,000 performances. Shaolin Wushu, also known as Shaolin Kung Fu (or Shaolin Quan), refers to the style of martial arts first adopted more than 1,500 years ago by Zen Buddhist monks at the temple of Shaolin at Songshan (or Majestic Song Mountain) in Henan Province, central China. Shaolin Wushu was born from necessity as a way for the monks to protect their monastery and its extensive grounds from marauders at that time. It has now become the dominant school of kung fu, with an extensive repertoire of both barehanded and weapon styles of engagement. Students at the Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School still practice a monastic life which involves a rigorous regime combining several hours a day of martial arts practice ("quan") with regular periods of religious study ("chan"), as well as the routine domestic and administrative chores of communal life. Tickets will be on sale starting Wednesday, Aug. 3 at the locations listed below for $15. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door; however purchasing advance tickets is recommended. The evening performances will be 70 minutes long, including a 10-minute intermission. The afternoon performance in Barkerville will be 40 minutes.
100 Mile House  Thursday, Aug. 18  Martin Exeter Hall (Highway 97)  Doors Open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.  Advance tickets at CRD Office (Unit 3 – 170 Cedar Ave.), District of 100 Mile House Office (385 Birch Ave.) and Donex Screamin’ Reel (145 Birch Ave.)  Williams Lake  Friday, Aug. 19  Gibraltar Room, Cariboo Memorial Complex  (524 Proctor St.)  Doors Open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.  Advance tickets at CRD Williams Lake Office  (Suite D, 180 N Third Ave.) and The Open Book (247 Oliver St.)  Barkerville Historic Town & Park  Saturday, Aug. 20  Theatre Royal, Barkerville Historic Town & Park  Doors Open at 12:30 p.m. Show starts at 1:00 p.m.  Advance tickets at Barkerville Visitor’s Reception Centre and  Prince George  Monday, Aug. 22  Prince George Playhouse  (2833 Recreation Pl.)  Doors Open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.  Advance tickets at Studio 2880 Ticket Centre (2880 15th Ave.) and Books & Company (1635 Third Ave.)