The lion dance featured a number of impressive feats, including this table portion. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

VIDEO AND STORY: Prince Rupert celebrations headlined with First Nations and Chinese collaboration

Chinese lion dancing and First Nations drumming delight the Canada Day crowd at Mariners Park

Canada Day festivities at Mariners Park started with a bang on Monday as the Prince Rupert Chinese Association and Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Dancers teamed up for a memorable performance.

Part of the Canada Day “All Canadian Simultaneous Drumming Celebration” taking part in cities across the country, both groups took the opportunity to show off special, and entertaining, aspects of their cultures.

READ MORE: Lion dancers bring celebration and scholarships to Prince Rupert

Alan Phuong, Catherine Phuong, Julian Mar, Kokoro Otake, Dianna Vuu and Anna Nguyen are part of the Prince Rupert Chinese Association lion dance team. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

“We want to show that First Nations are also part of Canada, and we celebrate with them on this day,” said Gerald Robinson. Robinson was taking part after arriving in town with the Gathering Our Strength Canoe Journey. Along with the Nisga’a Dancers, and a number of other participants, Robinson wanted to be sure that the land’s original residents were properly recognized.

“The drumming, we’re going to make noise and let Canada know that everybody’s here celebrating this beautiful day.”

READ MORE: First Nations and Prince Rupert community celebrate arrival of salmon

Julian Mar was the lead drummer for the lion dance portion of the performance, and explained the training that goes into mastering the craft.

“It takes maybe a day to put on a dance, but a lifetime to get really good at it,” said Mar. Mar explained that his team doesn’t perform some of the more adventurous moves seen at the higher levels, but a number of acrobatic maneuvers and table dancing showed that the young dancers of the Chinese Association have the potential to join the elite ranks.

The Prince Rupert Chinese Association and Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Dancers paired up to showcase their skills at Canada Day celebrations. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The collaboration was well received by the crowd, highlighting a pair of cultures that provide rich heritage to the Prince Rupert community.

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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