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Presenter's Bios

Mark Rowswell

Mark Rowswell AKA Dashan has been called “the most famous foreigner in China”, where he has worked as media personality and cultural ambassador for over 25 years.

Born and raised in Canada, Rowswell began studying Chinese in the mid 1980s, first at the University of Toronto and later at Beijing University. While in Beijing, he became interested in xiangsheng 相声, a traditional form of comedic dialogue, and was soon appearing on national television under the stage name “Dashan”.


Repeated performances on television programs with audiences in the hundreds of millions gradually turned “Dashan” into a household name across China, and his media career expanded from comedy to dramatic acting to hosting cultural, diplomatic, educational and commercial programs & events.


In recent years Dashan has returned to his comedic roots, combining traditional Chinese comedy with modern stand-up in a ground-breaking solo show “Dashan Live”.

Chan Hon Goh

Chan Hon Goh, a Director at Goh Ballet Academy & Youth Company Canada, Prima Ballerina at the National Ballet of Canada.

With an illustrious stage career of over 20 years as Principal Dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, Ms. Goh is one of the most prolific artists of her generation. Her delicate lyricism and emotional depth personify the essence of numerous lead roles. In 2010 upon retiring from her performing career, Ms. Goh accepted the invitation to become the Director of Goh Ballet, to further her passion to inspire dancers of tomorrow and to provide students with opportunities to train with world-renowned teachers. Extending her reach and always advocating for the arts, Ms. Goh serves as a jury member for several international competitions. She guest instructs and sets choreography for some of the most renowned companies in the world and since 2009 has been the Executive Producer of Goh Ballet’s critically acclaimed The Nutcracker, a holiday tradition in the City of Vancouver.

Ms. Goh is a founding member of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council, which assists in giving the creative community a voice. Her accomplishments, with irrepressible devotion to the enhancement of the cultural life of Canada, have garnered several prestigious awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and the New Pioneers Arts Award.


Dr. Jan Walls

Dr. Jan Walls is a Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Department at Simon Fraser University, where he was Founding Director of the David Lam Centre for International Communication and the undergraduate Asia-Canada Program. In addition to teaching Chinese and Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University, he also served as First Secretary for Cultural and Scientific Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing (1981-83), and Senior Vice-President of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (1985-87), and is an Honorary Director of the Beijing Popular Performing Artists Society. He has published many translations of traditional Chinese poetry and prose. He is Past President of the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, and serves as an Honorary Advisor to several Chinese Canadian cultural organizations.


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