On 11 June 2016, Ambassador Luo Zhaohui attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the 2nd Chinese-Canadian Buddhist Cultural Exchange Week in Toronto at the invitation of the Buddhist Association of Canada (BAOC).
The ambassador's wife, Dr. Jiang Yili, BAOC President Rev. Dayi Shi, Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees andCitizenship John McCallum, Senator Victor Oh, MP Geng Tan, Chinese Consul General in Toronto Xue Bing and Vice-President of the Buddhist Association of China Venerable Master Xin Cheng were among the VIP guests at the ceremony.
Minister McCallum read a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called the Buddhist Cultural Exchange Week an important platform for strengthening intercultural communication and promoting cultural pluralism, conducive to Canada's cultural diversity
Ambassador Luo speaks at the ceremony
In his remarks, Luo Zhaohui congratulated the opening of the Buddhist Cultural Exchange Week, noting that Buddhism is a common heritage of mankind and Buddhist cultural exchange is an important part of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. He said Chinese Buddhism, originated from South Asia, has developed and grown in China for over 2,000years, reaching and spreading to its neighbouring countries. The Buddhist Association of Canada, in close collaboration with the Buddhist Association of China, has made an immeasurable contribution to promoting Chinese Buddhism and culture in Canada. China is willing to work with Canada to strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and jointly contribute to the growth of the bilateral relationship.
After the opening ceremony, the ambassador visited the Cham Shan Temple and called on the 93-year-old Venerable Master Sing Hung.
Ambassador Luo, Minister McCallum and Rev.Dayi Shi pose for a photo
The 2nd Chinese-Canadian Buddhist Cultural Exchange Week is hosted and organised by the Buddhist Association of Canada. Its theme is "One Root, One Origin and One Buddhism". Over 80 Buddhist masters from China's Jiangsu province and hundreds of Canadian Buddhist believers attended the event.
According to Canada's official statistics, 370,000 Canadians identify themselves as Buddhists, accounting for1.1 per cent of Canada's total population. However Canada's Buddhist populationis believed to be much larger than the figure as a result of the arrival of more immigrants from China and Southeast Asia in recent years.