Singing, dancing and fun at students’ Chinese New Year celebration

Singing, dancing and traditional dishes were highlights of the Chinese New year party hosted by York Region District School Board and EastRidge Church English as a Second Language (ESL) students.

On Feb. 15, ESL students, aged 20 through 80, celebrated the Year of the Dog at EastRidge Church. The event was open to all community members and more than 100 people attended.

“You are not alone here,” said Eric Guo, student and member of the organizing committee. “Everyone has a different story in Canada.”

The celebration kicked off with a speech from Mayor Justin Altmann and MPP Helena Jaczek.

One of many activities guests participated in was tai chi, a form of Chinese martial arts. As well, students competed in their traditional Chinese garments for the coveted title of most elegantly dressed. Prizes were also up for grabs for the student with the best homemade Chinese dish. Plenty of desserts, delicacies and even famous Chinese teas were featured at the event.

“It was a real blending of cultures and I think the common element is how much we enjoy a bit of singing, a lot of food and chatting to new people,” said Catherine Sword, an attendee at the event.

For details on the EastRidge Church ESL program, log on to

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