Corp Comm Connects

Chinese universities' alumni gala in Richmond Hill postponed due to coronavirus concerns

Annual celebration had been expected to draw more than 1,000 people
Jan. 28, 2020
Sheila Wang

An annual Chinese New Year celebration in south Richmond Hill -- that had been expected to bring in a large gathering of people over the past weekend -- has been postponed indefinitely, due to heightened concerns over the Wuhan coronavirus.

The 4th Spring Festival Gala of the Chinese University Alumni Association in Toronto had been scheduled for Jan. 26, in the Leslie/Hwy 7 area, following months of preparation

The gala had been expected to draw more than 1,000 people who are alumni of a great number of Chinese universities, including three Wuhan institutions.

“We decided to reschedule the event because our guests have raised concerned about the coronavirus,” said organizer Xianrong Zheng, chair of the Toronto Alumni Association of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, a public research university located in Wuhan.

The annual event was intended for alumni who currently reside in the Toronto area, not people who are from China, he noted.

Zheng said the event may be postponed until spring, depending on the spread of coronavirus.

“I think it was a wise move, given the heightened concern about the coronavirus,” said Richmond Hill Councillor Godwin Chan, who was also invited to the event in the community where people of Chinese descent account for more than one-third of the total population

The Ward 6 councillor said it was not the only Lunar New Year-related event that has been postponed or cancelled so far in Richmond Hill, due to concerns over the coronavirus.

“It’s common sense, in a way, to take precaution, but I think rather than relying for your information on social media channels, it’s really important to look at the official sources,” Chan said.

You can go to to get daily updates on the current status of cases in the province.

There are currently two confirmed cases in Ontario and 19 cases under investigation, according to the website.