Denie MacIlquham

Denie MacIlquham

Robbie Burns and Chinese New Year Celebration held in Nanaimo

10th annual Nanaimo event fuses Chinese and Scottish cultures.

A fusion of Chinese and Scottish cultures awaits guests at the 10th annual Robbie Burns and Chinese New Year Celebration event.

The celebration is being held Saturday (Jan. 21) from 4-7 p.m. at Bowen Park auditorium.

Volunteer Yongcheng Jin is coordinating a live stream feed of pipa player Xin Xu from China. Xu and the audience will be able to communicate back and forth during the broadcast.

“It’s all volunteer, everyone volunteers and that’s what pulls it together,” said Lloyd MacIlquham, one of the event organizers.

The event celebrates poet Robbie Burns’s birthday and the Chinese New Year, which is the year of the rooster.

Entertainment includes highland dancing, a pipe and drum band, a lion dance, Chinese traditional music and folk dancing by Shu Zeng and The Flowers of Nanaimo.

Xiangshu Zeng, a member of the dance troupe Flowers of Nanaimo, said the dancers bring a lot of passion to their performances and throughout the year perform at various festivals and in seniors homes.

It also features an address to the haggis which is done in the original Robbie Burns dialect, Mandarin, Cantonese and French.

There is also a buffet dinner, which includes haggis wontons, neeps and tatties spring rolls, traditional Chinese dishes and more.

This year also features a surprise for guests.

“There is a surprise right after the dinner and it’s going to blow everybody’s mind,” said MacIlquham.

Tickets are available in advance only and are $25 for adults, $12.50 for children ages six to 10 years old and children under five years old are admitted for free.

Tickets are available by calling 250-729-9948 or e-mailing

Proceeds from the event are being donated to the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.

For more information, please go to

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