31st Dragon Ball to celebrate the lunar year of the Rat
Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation kicked off the 31st annual Dragon Ball, its signature annual fundraising event, with the Media Launch at the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Toronto. Since the inaugural event in 1990, Dragon Ball has grown into the largest Chinese New Year celebration gala in North America. The 31st Dragon Ball will be held on the first day of the Chinese New Year, on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building). This year, the proceeds from the event will support Yee Hong’s services and programs for seniors, and the construction of three new long-term care homes. Recently, the Ontario Government awarded its first allocation of new long-term care bed licenses in 20 years. As confirmation of its pursuit of excellence, Yee Hong was granted 800 new bed licenses in Scarborough, Markham and Mississauga.
Kenny Wan, the co-chair of the 31st Dragon Ball, said, “Yee Hong currently operates four long- term care centres with 805 beds, but that is not enough with our ever-growing ageing population. We have started our next wave of expansion. To make the plans become a reality, Yee Hong must raise $80 million of the total $300 million required for construction of the new centres. Thank you to all of the sponsors and donors who are supporting Yee Hong and Dragon Ball.” The other co-chair of the 31st Dragon Ball is Lenny Wong.
Stephen Siu, President of Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, first thanked the long-time Dragon Ball sponsors – Audi Uptown, BMO, Manulife, TD Bank and Tridel. He then introduced this year’s theme. “The design and entertainment theme of Dragon Ball 2020 will incorporate more elements of traditional Chinese culture.
With the start of the Year of the Rat and a new 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, we are excited to show our patrons and guests a little more about Chinese culture than before,” he said. In the opening performance, the audience will be transported back to the Han Dynasty of ancient China. Young dancers from Chinese Collective Arts Association will take guests inside the caves of Dunhuang with the ethereal and serene movements of the goddesses.
A second dance performance will feature the pretty traditional “Peking Opera Hua Dan (actresses) ”Ms Wenyan Wu, an outstanding actress from the Guangdong Cantonese Opera Theatre, will perform New Year Cantonese Opera song to raise money for Yee Hong at the gala, while multi-faceted vocal artist Ms Angela Zheng will sing Chinese and Italian opera as well as popular Chinese songs together with her daughter Miss Piao Piao Huang, a Chinese-Canadian Pop/R&B artist, in the feature performance.
A team of high-performance martial arts athletes who have taken part in some international Wushu competitions will also perform a specially choreographed lion dance which will incorporate elements of Chinese opera to bring guests good luck and fortune. Ms Emily Mo, the director of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, said, “I am so excited for the upcoming Dragon Ball, especially the Chinese opera elements. The new Xiqu (Opera) Centre located on the eastern edge of the West Kowloon Cultural District opened in early 2019. The building houses a Grand Theatre, a Tea House Theatre, eight professional studios and a seminar hall. Its striking design was inspired by traditional Chinese lanterns and blends traditional and contemporary elements to reflect the evolving nature of the art form. We welcome everyone to visit this new facility when you travel in Hong Kong.” There will be a Hong Kong photo booth at the Dragon Ball with the Xiqu Centre backdrop and a pair of Cantonese opera Hua Dan there for the guests to take pictures with.
Dragon Ball is also well-known for its sumptuous cuisines. In addition to the four-course dinner, guests will be greeted with variety of exquisite food and drinks at the pre-dinner Grand Reception and post-dinner Dessert Reception, including Japanese street food from Gushi; Chinese dim sum from Crown Jewel Fine Dining; vegetarian bean desserts from Bean House; Hamona fresh coconut; specialty drinks from Hey Sugar; Japanese cheesecakes from H Cafe; macarons and Hong Kong-style milk tea from Daan Go Cake Lab; and signature items from Kobe Teppanyaki & BBQ, Yu Steam Pot, Liuyishou Hot Pot, Akasaka Japanese Restaurant, and more.
This year, the live and silent auctions will feature an excellent selection of items, including gold and silver yin-yang coins from Coin Market; an 18-karat yellow with rhodium plating gold lady’s bracelet from Royal de Versailles; a pair of Air Canada Business Class tickets to anywhere; RIMOWA travel luggage; Apple products; and close to 200 other items.
To support Yee Hong build three new centres, Audi Uptown has again donated an Audi A3 sedan as the grand prize of the 2020 Dragon Raffle. Tickets will be on sale on the event night.
In addition to major sponsors Manulife, Audi Uptown, and TD, the 31st Dragon Ball is strongly supported by Air Canada, Hanson Canada, MediSystem, Tridel, Aga Khan Musuem, Delta Air Lines, HKETO, HSBC, Lucky Supply, RBC, Royal de Versailles, Scotiabank, Telus, and more. Media partners include OMNI, 680 NEWS, Classical 96.3FM, and Sing Tao Media, etc.
Dragon Ball benefactor tickets are priced at $600 each; supporter tickets are priced at $480.
Please visit www.yeehongdragonball.org or call 416-321-0777 for further information.