TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Renowned for packing a wide variety of
rich cultural activities into its day-long festivals, the International Taoist
Tai Chi Society will be out-doing itself on Saturday, September 12, when it
celebrates the 25th anniversary of its International Centre.
Indeed, over 1,500 members coming from the 26 countries where the Society
is active will be in Toronto to take part in a day of celebration which is
also open to the public. In addition to activities that will take place at the
International Taoist Tai Chi Centre, near Orangeville, the Society is
organising public events in downtown Toronto and in Richmond Hill.
North America's longest Chinese dragon joins parade
The day will begin with what has become a traditional event -- the 23rd
Taoist Tai Chi Awareness Day. At 8:30 a.m., hundreds of members will gather at
Nathan-Phillips Square to demonstrate Taoist Tai Chi(TM) internal arts of
health, followed by the ever colourful annual parade through the downtown core
for the city.
This year, for the first time, the Awareness Day parade will feature a
traditional Chinese dragon measuring 330 ft. (100 m.) - the longest in North
America -supported by 50 strong and agile pairs of arms, and accompanied by a
smaller, 20-legged dragon.
Grand Opening of New Toronto Centre
Just before noon, buses filled with dragons, floats, marching bands,
marchers etc. will be escorted by two dozen motorcycled police officers to
Elgin Mills at Yonge St. That is where a second parade will start. It will
make its way to 371 Ohio Road, in Richmond Hill, for the Grand Opening of the
new Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada Toronto Centre. Several public officials
have confirmed their attendance, whether at the parade or at the site, where
ribbon cutting will be followed by a public Bar-B-Q.
Of particular interest to the Chinese community is the fact that a shrine
dedicated to the Taoist deity Wong Dai Sing will be enlivened at the Ohio Road
A one-day, multi-venue celebration in a single city is not unprecedented
in the Society's history. It illustrates its commitment to making the benefits
of Taoist Tai Chi(TM) internal arts of health available in all local
communities. The newly-purchased Toronto Centre will help provide the
Society's unique service to several northern-Toronto communities, plus be a
gathering place for all of the Greater Toronto area members.
A vibrant training centre in Orangeville
On the next day, the highlight of the Sunday programme will be a tai chi
workshop at the International Taoist Tai Chi Centre in Orangeville. This will
follow the annual general meeting of delegates from the 26 member-associations
of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society.
The Centre has gone through considerable change since its modest origins
when it was purchased in 1984. Then, and for the following decade, activities
took place in a renovated barn, with rustic accommodation for several dozen
A first wave of renovations, in the mid-90's, saw the renovation of the
practice hall and the construction of the Health Recovery wing, intended for
participants with severe health issues and restricted mobility conditions.
This brought improved accessibility, increased accommodation and better
Major construction took place from 2005 to 2007. The Centre is now
comprised of many pavilions, buildings and wings. It has three practice halls,
three temples and several living quarters that can comfortably house up to 220
The International Taoist Tai Chi Centre offers a quiet retreat for those
seeking dual cultivation of body and mind. It is also a vibrant training
centre for those wishing to preserve good health and quality of life in their
respective communities through the voluntary instruction of these arts.
The continued growth and expansion of the Society reflects the ongoing
support of its 45,000 members in over 600 locations worldwide.
For further information:
For further information: Dave Draper, (416) 725-6619; Chris Farano,