Zhai Deyu, deputy director-general of the Bureau for External Cultural Relations, Chinese Ministry of Culture, presents the certificate of image ambassador at the Guest of Honor event to Mark Rowswell, known as "Da Shan" by Chinese people at the press conference in Beijing on April 7, 2016. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
This spring, more than 400 artists from 25 countries will join 400 Chinese performers to stage more than 100 performances and two theme exhibitions in Beijing.
The Meet in Beijing Arts Festival aims to enrich the cultural life of the capital's residents, broaden the vision of domestic literature and arts creation and promote cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries. This year's theme is "Romance in Spring."
The festival, now in its 16th year, will feature Canada as the Guest Country of Honor.
"Over the past 16 years, it has become one of China's foremost cultural events, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, we are honored to be the featured country this year," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his congratulation letter.
Luo Shugang, Chinese culture minister, also sent a congratulation letter to the festival.
"The Meet in Beijing arts festival will play an active role in promoting integration and development of Chinese culture and that of the rest of the world, and help to bridge friendship between Chinese people and other peoples," Luo said.
Mark Rowswell, a well-known Canadian scholar and host who is known as "Da Shan" in China, will be the image ambassador at the Guest of Honor event.
Under the theme of "China-Canada Spring", the festival will present a series of performances and exhibitions with Canadian characteristics that will open a window for Chinese audiences to better understand Canadian culture.
Zhang Yu, president of the China Arts and Entertainment Group, talks about this year's festival at the press conference in Beijing on April 7, 2016. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
The month-long event will raise the curtain on April 25 with a Spring in China and Canada concert. Chinese artists will perform together with famous Canadian artists such as the Buzz Brass Quintet, Ottawa Bach Choir, Soprano Katherine Whyte and GOH Ballet at the National Center for the Performing Arts.
According to Zhai Deyu, deputy director-general of the Bureau for External Cultural Relations, Chinese Ministry of Culture, the festival sticks to the idea of "promoting culture for the public benefit" and takes "meeting people's cultural needs and safeguarding their cultural rights and interests" as its code.
A series of practices will be carried out under this code, such as offering tickets at favorable prices, reserving seats for students, absorbing popular elements into the festival, organizing public performances and opening up feedback channels for the public.
The Meet in Beijing Arts Festival is a large-scale international festival hosted by China's Ministry of Culture, Beijing Municipality Government and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.
"After 15 successive sessions, Meet in Beijing has developed into a comprehensive international arts festival that has presented diverse and fabulous cultures and arts through performances by more than 30,000 artists and 1,000 art troupes from 115 countries and regions to over 4 million Chinese audience," said Zhang Yu, president of the China Arts and Entertainment Group.
The event will run until May 30.