Wuyi University in Jiangmen (part three of three)

(The following is the last of three posts from Barkerville’s CEO Judy Campbell regarding her adventures in Jiangmen for the mounting of the Who Am I? exhibit.)

Image

Chancellor of Wuyi University WANG Ke showing pictures of Barkerville on my Ipad to her colleagues

The last night of the Conference we had dinner in Kaiping, with lots of toasting and singing which continued on the bus all the way back to Guangzhou.  We have all made lots of good friends.

The next morning Wuyi University sent a van to fetch Nan and I to drive us the 1 ½ hours to Jiangmen for the next big task on this trip.  Barkerville has worked with the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition (OBAC) and the City of Prince George to prepare a smaller version of the Who Am I? Exhibit which will be presented to the Overseas Chinese Research Centre at Wuyi University by Mayor Shari Green of Prince George.  In this way Barkerville is contributing to the development of Prince George’s twinning relationship with Jiangmen, which it is hoped ultimately will lead to increased access to Chinese markets for northern BC products.  OBAC recognized immediately that the Who Am I? Exhibit, which focuses on the strong historical and  cultural ties that British Columbia has with Guangdong Province, can help develop and deepen relationships that will build a strong foundation for future economic interactions. This part of the project is a win-win-win situation. Wuyi University, particularly the Overseas Chinese Research Centre, is extremely excited about ‘bringing these photos and stories home’, and the emotion they felt about this was evident.  The City of Prince George was delighted to be able to add this major gift as a contribution to their side to the twinning relationship and to renew connections with Chancellor WANG Ke and their staff who had come to Prince George and Barkerville last May.  Barkerville is looking forward to the development of academic partnerships that will add to our knowledge of the Chinese community in Barkerville and our Chinese collections. The University hopes to send scholars to Barkerville as early as next year.  We also had a great dinner discussion Francis Zheng about the possibility of study tours, which could potentially be a revenue generator for Barkerville.

We spend the rest of the day and most of the next day with the set-up of the exhibit.  There were a few glitches with missing parts and the TV not working, but miraculously it all came together in time for the ceremony.  The Prince George delegation arrived, the Chancellor and the Mayor both spoke about the importance of these joint ventures, I presented some Barkerville books and the Wilds to Riches DVD to the University and then Mayor Green and I unveiled the central panel of the exhibit.  The ceremony was well attended by both University and local government officials and the Chinese media.  At the dinner that followed everyone expressed their satisfaction with the success of the ceremony and could not say enough good things about Barkerville and the exhibit.

Image

Luckily we had lots of help and the better part of two days to get the satellite exhibit organized on site

The next morning the university was kind enough to provide us with transportation back to Guangzhou in time for an 8:30 am meeting at the Canadian Consulate with Consul Stephen Doust and Counsel General Weldon Epp.  The Consul has been extremely helpful to us in ensuring logistics have run smoothly, however, they opened the meeting by thanking Barkerville for the work that we are doing, saying the main exhibit, which the Governor General of Canada opened at the Guangdong Museum of Overseas Chinese last month has raised the awareness of not only of British Columbia in China but of Canada as a whole.  This is exactly what we hoped for!

We have accomplished everything we have set out to do:

  • We have signed an agreement with the Guangdong Overseas Chinese Museum for the management of the tour of the Who Am I? exhibit
  • We have successful installed the smaller satellite exhibit at Wuyi University and arrange the gift ceremony with the City of Prince George
  • We have had an initial meeting which may result in a bilingual book about the exhibit being funded by Chinese institutions, and
  • We have established contact with museums across the globe with similar collections and interests.

It is also important to note that other than our airfare, for which we got deep discounts due to Nan’s connections in the industry, all our costs were covered by either the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office or the University.

Image

Consul Stephen Doust, ZHU Nan (Exhibit Liaison), Judy Campbell (Barkerville CEO), Canadian Consul General Weldon Epp

This meeting was the last of our official business in China and Nan and I will now officially be on vacation.  We are flying 2 hours north to his hometown of Xuzhou in Jiangsu Province to visit his parents. Nan’s girlfriend will join us there and then his parents are taking us all to Xian to see the terracotta warriors.  Then I am going on to Beijing before coming home.

Judy Campbell