Workplace Diversity In Corporate Canada
I was a performer at a major Canadian bank’s workplace diversity event yesterday as part of Asian Heritage Month. Apparently, this bank has an internal Asian employee network and this was one of the events they put on each year to promote Asian culture.
This was an interesting event for me because it was a request for a martial arts performance rather than the usual requests I get these days as a keynote speaker – see my available speaking programs if interested. Originally, I was a bit hesitant to accept especially since I’m already a few years post retirement from my martial arts competition career.
Although I’m still doing some martial arts, I certainly have not been training at the level I did during my competition years – nor is there any reason to.
For martial arts performances to the general public, I usually do one of my weapons routines but this bank had a corporate policy where they considered my bo staff to be a potential projectile that could endanger the audience. I’ve been training with my bo staff for over 25 years and I’m not about to let it go out of my hands during a public demo.
But nevertheless, knowing all about corporate policies since I’ve been in that field for many years in my past careers, I chose not to debate it. Instead, we came up with an agreement for me to perform a non-weapons routine in which case my Chinese form would be the better one as a public demo.
This workplace diversity event also gave me a reason to return to a bit more intensive (but just a bit) training with my martial arts even if only briefly. It was nice to train like that and perform martial arts live again.
Asian Heritage Month Event Performers
I was then scheduled among four different sets of performers for this Asian Heritage Month event. Two were Chinese (including me) and two were Indian.
The first group were two very talented Chinese cultural dancers (pictured with me in the photo). One of the refreshing things I found with this group is that they had Canadian accents which implied that they were not recent immigrants.
This means that there is an interest out there among ethnic Canadians who were either born here in Canada like myself or those who came when very young, to rediscover their Asian cultural roots. These two girls were no exception and performers like them are part of an organization known as Chinese Collective Arts Association.
I’ll have more from this workplace diversity event hopefully in future posts as I get more photos.