About the International Forum on Taijiquan 2006

Con College logoThe conference venue was Confederation College, a principal partner in organizing the Forum and providing the facilities and staff volunteers.

Peng YouPeng Youlian had the inspiration to invite the masters, and the enthusiasm to convince us to host the conference. He is the diplomat who negotiated everything connected with Chinese participation.

The Peng You Taiji Quan Association, applied for grants, hired Pat Forrest, the conference coordinator, and provided many of the volunteers.

South China Normal University in Guangzhou provided a model by putting on the first International Forum on Taijiquan in 2003 and offering suggestions and communication with scholars in China.

Thunder Bay City Council gave us the first crucial grant that let us hire our coordinator and enabled funding from FedNor (Industry Canada) and Ontario (Communities in Action Fund).

The delegates, came from China, Japan, Sweden, England, Mexico and of course, mostly from the United States and from Canada.

Thunder Bay Declaration

Two very successful International Forums on Taijiquan have now been held. The first was held in Guangdong, hosted by South China Normal University in 2003. The second was held in Thunder Bay, Ontario and hosted by Confederation College and the Peng You Taijiquan Association in 2006. Enthusiasts came from 5 continents and 8 different countries to celebrate Taiji, to share with each other and to learn.

The International Forum on Taijiquan 2006 was endorsed with letters of support by the Prime Minister of Canada, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China and the Premier of Ontario. Members of Federal and Provincial Parliaments, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, the Mayor of the City of Thunder Bay, the President of Confederation College and the President of South China Normal University gave their support with letters and by participating in the Forum.

Taijiquan, as we all know, is one of the treasures of traditional Chinese Culture. There is a growing body of scientific research that supports the anecdotal claims of health benefits for practitioners of the art. This exercise which benefits both mind and body is being embraced by more and more people all over the world. Thunder Bay, “The Martial Arts Capitol of Canada”, is a city where a remarkably high percentage of people do this wonderful exercise. It was fitting that the second Forum take place here.

Events like these create interest and foster the further spread and development of Taiji. Let us keep the momentum and gather the energy to stage a third Forum in the near future. We hope to meet you all again soon at the Third International Forum on Taijiquan!

Why Thunder Bay? Why not in Thunder Bay?

Thunder Bay is a hot-bed of taijiquan. On Canada Day, July 1, 2003 over 1000 people joined to do taiji in the Marina Park. Surrounded by the Boreal forest and Lake Superior to the south we have a beautiful and inspiring natural environment. We have a spirit of working together to promote health and sport which you see in the Thunder Bay Martial Arts Council. Thunder Bay people are friendly and hospitable - a small city with a big heart.

Sounds like a good place, but how did you persuade the Grandmasters to come to this small isolated city in Northwestern Ontario?

Master Zeng Nailiang came here on three previous occasions so he was able to assure the other masters about the place and the people. In 2005 Master Chen Zhenglei made a brief visit to meet us and to see the venue. Obviously he liked what he saw.

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Co-chairs of the Forum

Patricia Lang Patricia Lang, President of Confederation College

Wang Guojian, President of South China Normal University.
Wang Guojian

The Steering Committee:

  • Conference Coordinator - Pat Forrest
  • Chair - Oliver Reimer, Peng You Taiji Quan Association (PYTQA)
  • Treasurer - Brenda Reimer, PYTQA
  • Taiji Liaison - Peng Youlian, President PYTQA, President Confederation of Traditional Taiji Quan Associations, Vice President Thunder Bay Martial Arts Association (TBMAC)
  • Confederation College Representative, Tim Kerbashian, Director of International Education, Confederation College
  • Confederation College - Mary Zaina, Programme Coordinator
  • Academic Committee Chair - Jane Taylor, Professor of Kinesiology, Lakehead University
  • Volunteer Committee Chair - Wayne Bilbrough PYTQA
  • Venue and Risk Management Chair - Ed Linkewich, Project Coordinator, Thunder Bay Falls Prevention Coalition
  • Showcase Committee Chair - Kevin Kennedy, President TBMAC
  • Translation Committee and Hosting - Su Jing
  • Thunder Bay Chinese-Canadian Association - Edward Chang, President
  • Negahneewin College - S. Brenda Small, Dean
  • Lakehead University Representative - Gary Boire, Dean of Graduate and International Studies
  • Lakehead University Wendy Bons, International Recruitment Officer, (alternate)
  • Frances Wesley, Urban Aboriginal Strategy

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