Chinese culture is alive and bursting with colour at Victoria Park with the unveiling of the city’s first Ting.
The gazebo-style resting place was donated to the city by the Saskatoon Zhongshan Ting Committee.
Tings are a common fixture in Chinese parks. The traditional architecture is painted bright red, green, blue and gold with elaborate floral and seasonal patterns, then adorned with Chinese symbols and sacred animals.
“We like to add something really traditional for our park and water for people to enjoy,” project organizer Dawn Zhou said. ” Considering our winter is so gray, we think it’s nice to have a more colourful structure by the river.”
Tings are used as places of gathering and reflection. Saskatoon’s Ting commemorates Chinese settlers and their contributions to the city.
“It’s a demonstration of the origin of the Chinese community,” Chinese consulate general Wang Xinping said. “I also think it’s a symbol of the friendship and the cultural exchange between the Chinese and Canadian nations.”
The Zhongshan Ting Committee spent five years and around $150,000 on the project. Parts were designed and built in China before they were assembled in Saskatoon. The gazebo sits not far from Saskatoon’s old Chinatown in Riversdale.
Saskatoon’s city council accepted Ting donation in 2013 while the Meewasin Valley Authority approved the project the following year.
A giant white tent went up in September to provide shelter while crews assembled the structure in the park. The tent will come down within a week and the Ting will be open to the public.
“Fifteen years ago, we had to tell people where is Saskatoon, where Saskatchewan. It’s a no mans land between Vancouver and Toronto,” Zhou said. “But now we could say we make the name international.”