Hong Kong and Camrose meet over music
Ms. Kat of the ELCHK Yuen Long Lutheran Secondary school performs a Chinese song at the Bailey Theatre at the East Meets West show in Camrose on July 6. Ryan Stelter/ Camrose Canadian
The best in music was on display from Canada and Hong Kong last Thursday at the Bailey Theatre.
A group of students from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong Yuen Long Lutheran Secondary School performed a variety of different acts, including singing, dancing, magic, and juggling. The 38 students and six coordinators were being hosted by the University of Alberta-Augustana and were taking part in a language immersion program in Camrose.
After the students from Hong Kong put on their show, a band of professors from Augustana, The Men Who Fell To Earth performed some of the best in Canadian music.
Rachel To, a student in the program, said she enjoyed all the space and friendliness of the people in Camrose.
“I like the people and the living environment, Hong Kong is very crowded and many skyscrapers and in Camrose houses are relatively lower,” she said. “One of the things I like most in Camrose is the people, they are so nice and friendly, we can talk like friends even though we just met.”
The tour is organized by Rev. Peter Chau, the executive director of the Lifelong Learning Centre in Calgary, a non-profit educational service supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The students underwent six days of lessons in the morning, and in the afternoons they went to different activities, such as the Canada Day celebrations or a powwow. Leslie Lindballe is also one of the coordinators, she teaches English as a foreign language at Augustana.
“We want to make use of this exchange program so that we know each other, both in Camrose and in Hong Kong,” Chau said. “Hopefully we can build up a partnership with both churches here in Camrose and in Hong Kong.”
Chau wants to see students go from Augustana to Hong Kong, to help strengthen the relationship between the two communities.
“We hope that there is students from the Augustana campus to go to Hong Kong so that we can actually strength our relationship together,” he said. “We will continue to have this type of exchange program year by year, we hope that more Lutheran schools [in Hong Kong] can have the chance to come over to Canada and have a visit.”
The Hong Kong students also saw some of the other natural beauty of Canada.
“We have visited Vancouver and also we visited the Columbia Ice Fields, and Lake Louise so that they have a taste of some of the nature of Canada,” Chau said.
One of the teachers at the Yuen Long Lutheran Secondary School, John Lee, enjoyed the time spent in Camrose.
“It’s a pleasure to be performing at the Bailey Theatre which is a very historical building and we are very glad and proud to be performing here,” he said. “We find the people here in Camrose very nice and kind, very supportive and helpful. We get immersed to an environment with a beautiful natural scenery with fresh air and very distinctive weather.”
Another one of the students, Dennis Cheung, said he learned a lot about both Camrose and Canada as a whole.
“The weather here is good we visited a lot of museums and we know a lot more about the history of Canada and Camrose,” he said. “We visited a museum that introduced us to the history of the railway in Canada.”
The friendliness of the people of Camrose was something reiterated many times. Another instructor from the school, Alan Lam, recounted a story of people in a shop looking for a student’s lost water bottle.
“One of my students left her water bottle in one of the shops and maybe 20 minutes later we went back to find the water bottle and we couldn’t find it,” he said. “The staff there are walking around the whole shop to find the bottle and even the customers helped, and we were so thankful for that.”