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June 26, 2017

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Canadian office in Taiwan launches 'Canada 150' celebrations

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) on Wednesday detailed a series of events to be held later this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation, including a Canada Day celebration in Taipei and a video contest the winner of which will receive a round-trip ticket to Vancouver.

The Canada Day celebration will take place on July 1 at Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park and thousands of people are expected to attend, said Mario Ste-Marie, head of the CTOT -- which represents Canada's interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties -- at a press conference.

The Canada Day celebration in Taipei is usually the biggest celebration of Canada's national day outside Canada, he said.

Meanwhile, CTOT will hold a video contest, inviting submissions from Taiwanese who have traveled, worked, studied or lived in Canada or are currently doing so, to participate.

Participants are required to submit videos that focus on at least one of the four "Canada 150" themes -- youth, environment, diversity and indigenous culture, sharing their experiences of Canada, said CTOT General Relations Director Su Yun Geithner.

Entries must be two to five minutes in length and in English, French or Mandarin Chinese and the deadline for submission is Aug. 31, she said.

The winners will be announced in September, with the top prize being a round-trip flight to Vancouver, the CTOT said.

The second prize will be a gift certificate worth NT$10,000 (US$331) for Canadian lifestyle brand Roots and NT$5,000 for third place, it said. Roots will also provide special prizes, it added.

To celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, the office is collaborating on a series of events with several partners, the CTOT said.

The Canada Day celebration in Taipei, which is in its 12th year, will feature live music by local and Canadian musicians and a procession at Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park, said Carrie Kellenberger, chairwoman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (CCCT), the organizers of the event.

The celebration attracted about 8,000 people last year and the CCCT is hoping for an attendance of at least 10,000 this year, Kellenberger said, encouraging people to dress in red and white.

Another collaborator with the CTOT is Air Canada, which on June 9 will resume its Vancouver-Taipei service after a 14-year hiatus.

Air Canada -- Canada's flag carrier -- said it will offer a daily flight between Taipei and Vancouver from that date.

The carrier hopes direct flights will help promote tourism in Canada, said Sophia Chen (陳美至), Air Canada's Taiwan manager.

"Our goal is that visitors from Taiwan to Canada will be increased by 10,000 in 2017," Chen said, adding that the company is working with local travel agencies to launch special packages that promote tourism in Canada.

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