The Confucius Institute in Waterloo, based at Renison University College, celebrated its tenth anniversary on July 12, 2017. A celebration was held at the College to commemorate this special occasion and to recognize the good work the Confucius Institute has done in furthering the understanding and appreciation of both the language and culture of China at the University of Waterloo and in the KW community.
Attended by over 100 people, the event’s speakers included He Wei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China (Toronto), Dr. Professor Li Yang, Vice President of the Shanghai International Studies University, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, and Waterloo City Councillor Jeff Hendry.
Renison’s president, Dr. Wendy Fletcher, remarked on the significance of this anniversary.
“The Confucius Institute in Waterloo is a partnership between Renison University College, Shanghai International Studies University and Hanban of the Education department of the People’s Republic of China,” said Fletcher. “It is a partnership which over these ten years has demonstrated itself to be rich in possibility, in friendship, in diligence and in commitment to a shared project: the project of building bridges between Canada and China, between peoples separated by wide geographical distance, language, and distinct and complicated histories. From a small beginning ten years ago, a wide and good work has been born.”
Bringing greetings on behalf of the other University of Waterloo’s university colleges, Richard Myers, principal of St. Paul’s University College, emphasized the role that the Confucius Institute must play in the wider institution and community.
“It is especially important these days for Canadians to have the opportunity to better understand China,” said Myers. “For the sake of global peace and prosperity, it is important to ensure that we better understand each other. The presence of a Confucius Institute in our region is a significant asset in this respect.”
Attendees heard from Confucius Institute students that had taken part in an educational trip to China. They heard of the students’ experiences and what the opportunity had both meant to them and imparted to them. One student who had participated in this trip spoke entirely in Mandarin to the audience.
The event finished with a ribbon cutting for the new Confucius Institute Resource Room at Renison and a celebratory lunch.
See the pictures of the event on Facebook.