Jason Kenney drops by LunarFest on Vancouver Art Gallery plaza

    1 of 14 2 of 14

      The grand opening of LunarFest attracted plenty of kids and quite a few politicians.

      Defence Minister Jason Kenney was one of several elected officials who dropped by the free family-friendly annual event on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

      "I just got off a plane from Toronto where it was 25 below zero," he said. "I hope you guys never take for granted living in Lotusland."

      Many years ago, LunarFest organizer Charlie Wu was president of the Chinese students association at the University of San Francisco at the same time Kenney was president of its student association.

      Kenney, also minister of multiculturalism, commented that he's known Wu since they were students before praising him as "one of the most remarkable producers of cultural events bringing vitality to our diversity" in Canada.

      "Thank you Charlie for all of the work you do," Kenney said to loud applause.

      LunarFest organizer Charlie Wu with Miss Chinese Vancouver Erica Chen.
      Charlie Smith

      Kenney then commented on the great friendship between Canadians and Taiwanese, which he said is based on "the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law".

      LunarFest is bringing in the Year of the Sheep with an amusing display of plastic sheep near the corner of Howe and West Georgia streets.

      LunarFest welcomes the Year of the Sheep.
      Charlie Smith

      Inside the tents, there are some elaborately painted sheep, as well as some activities for kids.

      Inside the tent, you could find elaborately painted sheep.
      Charlie Smith
      The display was called Canada's Sheep Parade.

      At LunarFest, which continues through Sunday, you can also witness how dumplings are created.

      Head down to LunarFest and learn how to make dumplings.
      Charlie Smith

      Dumplings aren't the only dish on the menu. You can also dig into some chow mein and spring rolls at LunarFest.

      It wouldn't be LunarFest without Asian food.
      Charlie Smith

      The highlight for me was the Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance team from Taiwan (Republic of China).

      They were brought to Vancouver by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver.

      With their nifty moves, it's easy to see why the Jhuo Lan Dragan Dance team was named the champion troupe in all of Asia.

      Kenney was the only federal politician I spotted at the event, but there were several provincial and municipal elected officials.

      The B.C. Liberals sent a Technology, Innovation, and Citizens' Services Minister Amrik Virk, along with three MLAs (Marvin Hunt, Richard Lee, and Linda Reimer). NDP MLA Bruce Ralston and Vancouver councillors Adriane Carr, Kerry Jang, Raymond Louie, and Geoff Meggs were also in attendance.

      Kerry Jang, William Chuang Geoff Meggs, and Marvin Hunt.
      Charlie Smith
      Charlie Wu, Adriane Carr, William Chuang, Fanny Hsu, Marvin Hunt, Erica Chen, and Vivian Louie.
      Charlie Smith
      LunarFest works with the Art of Hope Foundation.