Slashing into street festival

Isaac Ho, a seasoned disciple of the Ji Hong Tai Chi School here inCalgary, is one of many performers who will show off their skills atthis year’s Chinatown Street Festival on Aug. 15.

Isaac Ho, a seasoned disciple of the Ji Hong Tai Chi School here in Calgary, is one of many performers who will show off their skills at this year’s Chinatown Street Festival on Aug. 15.

Armed with an aluminum training sword and dressed in traditional garb, Ho and his fellow performers will undoubtedly mesmerize passersby with the fluid and graceful yet furious movements of this martial art technique.

“It’s like a dance,” says Ho, who has been practicing Tai Chi for three years. “But there’s a lot of power involved. Its about strengthening your body and mind.”

In addition to Ho’s Tai Chi performance, throughout the day there will be a colourful mix of traditional entertainment and music and a chance to taste cuisine from Thailand, Malaysia, India and of course, China, said Calgary Chinese Merchants Association president Ken Lee yesterday.

Essentially, the streets of Calgary’s Chinatown will become a “buffet” showcasing the diversity of Calgary’s Chinese district.

“We are in the process of creating a festival that is vibrant and an integral part of the community,” Lee explains.

He says the CCMA expects the festival to garner the same success as previous years, despite the economic downturn, though he admits it has been more of a struggle to raise sponsorship for this year’s event.

Last year the daylong festival attracted approximately 50,000 people.

 
 
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