Part of the Beijing trip experience was the opportunity to take part in the Ontario Trade signing ceremony, wherein Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne would detail and formalize several new business initiatives and deals that had formed between Ontario and China.

Over the course of the day we met the members of the delegation, including Premier Wynne. They told us that our Beijing business initiative was among their favourite projects and that they were interested to see what opportunities arise as a result of this new initiative.

Cheryl photobombs Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and others.

It was great to see that we were on the Ontario government’s radar. Each delegate listened with great interest as I told them about our history of creating programs for Ontario schools and how we were now eliciting such a high level of interest in China.

As a Canadian citizen, I was impressed with the dedication the Ontario team brought to the their Mission and with Premiere Wynne’s ability to articulate so vividly the advantages of doing business with Ontario. She had been on a whirlwind schedule, meeting top level political and business leaders in Asia for the past two weeks. It was clear she was doing a fantastic job and when I expressed that to her she expressed a heartfelt, ‘thank you’ in return. A simple gesture, but in the context of the day revealed a leader whose heart really was ‘in the right place’.

The KapowKidz team with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in Beijing.
The KapowKidz team with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in Beijing.

Looking back now over the past three years I can see how the experiences of this day foreshadowed our subsequent dealings with various Canadian government representatives on both the Federal and Provincial levels. Our experiences at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, as well as with Canada Trade commissioners have been uniformly excellent. 

Through Canada Trade we have participated in trade missions and met with advisors, potential investors and business leaders in several regions throughout China. And we have relied upon Trade Commissioners for advice when weighing the pros and cons of potential partnerships; their knowledge of how things work in China has been invaluable.

The Spectacular Impression West Lake show in Hangzhou, May 2018.

One recent Canada Trade related success story is the 2018 Animation Mission. We were one of just 7 companies chosen to participate. The mission took us to 4 cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and then to Hangzhou for the grand finale: the CICAF Animation Festival. Trade Commissioners found numerous companies for us to meet with to explore potential partnerships.

By the time we left we had established relationships with several major video platforms and production companies and had acquired another volume of fantastic interactions with a country and culture we had come to love.