On Saturday, May 3rd, members of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) Asia Pacific Community Consultative Committee hosted the Asian Heritage Month celebration in the lobby of Toronto Police Headquarters.
The Asia Pacific Community Consultative Committee (APCCC) is co-chaired by Staff Superintendent Jane Wilcox and Rey Tolentino, of the Filipino Centre Toronto. To date, APCCC has ten Asia pacific countries represented: Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar), Mongolia and Thailand.
"This year, Mongolia and Thailand were featured at the celebration as they are the newest members of the committee. The theme for the celebration is Embracing Diversity-Strengthening Community Partnerships, which is very fitting as the committee continues to strengthen police and community relationships with the Asian communities” said Wilcox.
The Mongolian community showcased their traditional dance, which is called the Uzbek dance. This particular dance is performed to the music of the Mongolian national musical instruments. The Thai community also featured their ancient and unique martial art that has been practice for over 2,000 years. Master Suchart and his students did a demonstration of Muay Thai. He said “Over the centuries Muay Thai evolved to be a method of challenge between people as a competition of human strength."
Toronto Police Services Board Chair Alok Mukherjee welcomed all the guests who came from across the province including Thailand Ambassador to Canada Pisan Manawapat, Consul General of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Vidhya Gyan Tota-Maharaj, and Chief William Blair.
“The Board very much supports the notion that much can be achieved when we work in partnership with all of our diverse communities to meet shared goals," Mukherjee said.
Chief Blair said the celebration was a unique opportunity.
” We are very fortunate in Canada to have a rich cultural diversity which provides us with a wealth of traditions and celebrations to enjoy. Asian Heritage Month is a time to showcase, share and celebrate the significant role our Asian community plays in Toronto’s success, growth and prosperity”.
Part of the Asian Heritage Month celebration is also the unveiling of the Local Media Heroes poster. Each year the Canadian Multicultural Council-Asians in Ontario (CMC–AO) and the Children’s Breakfast Club select key individuals who made significant contributions to the community. This year, Pauline Chan of CTV News, Manivanh Simmalavong of Sieng Lao Radio, and Allen Leung of Ming Pao Daily, were among the eight individuals in the Local Heroes Poster who attended. Each of them has given an opportunity to speak about their life experiences, achievements and their unique contributions to the community.
The masters of ceremonies for the event were APCCC co-chairs Staff Superintendent Jane Wilcox and Rey Tolentino.