As we get ready to begin the Year of the Monkey, the Chinese New Year celebrations gear up in Owen Sound. For the third year in a row, free events for the whole family will take place all day Saturday, February 6 at Grey Roots Museum and Archives, the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

Beginning at 10 a.m. at Grey Roots there will be special guests and activities. Artist Emily Bi will demonstrate how to create fei chun, a tradition Chinese New Year decoration and she will also perform guzhang, a Chinese dulcimer. Cathryn Graham and Tamara Schmitke will speak from their own experience of adopting children from China in a presentation titled "Three Embraces (Adoption, Heritage, Community). May Ip will be demonstrating Six Word qigong exercise for good health; Golder Tiger Kung Fu School will give a demonstration; and Bayview School Choir will perform two songs in Mandarin. At noon, there will be a short film in the theatre about the celebration of Chinese New Year in a remote village in China.

From 1 until 2 at the Tom Thomson Gallery, there will be an opportunity to meet the artists of the Year of theMonkey exhibit that is open in the lower studio all this week. The studio will remain open until 4 p.m. Chinese treats will be available to keep up your strength to make your own "door gods" - an art activity open to all ages – and you can sit and enjoy a short film about the monster Nian, whose banishment is celebrated each year with the firecrackers and red decorations of Chinese New Year.

From 2 until 4, upstairs in the Children and Youth department of our Public Library, activities will include Chinese Jacks, learning your Chinese name, a chopsticks challenge, creating monkey greeting card, and paper crafts that will create Chinese characters for "spring" and double happiness" and Chinese lanterns.

This year the Chinese New Year's celebration was once again organized by the hardworking volunteers of the Chinese in Grey Bruce Research Project, in partnership with the museum, library and gallery.

source:Kee-May Ip