[gallery type="slideshow" size="large" ids="11343,11344,11345,11346,11347,11348"]On February 24 -25 Ottawa Branch welcomed participants from the Pacific Region, Peterborough Branch and Kingston Branch to celebrate the Year of the Dog with a Chinese New Year Banquet and a National Program at the Ottawa Branch Centre.MP Anita Vandenbeld, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and Arnprior Councillor Daniel Lynch joined our celebration and brought greetings. Chris Lewis and Lise Laneville brought greetings on behalf of the Directors and Central Region Management Committee.Participants had many wonderful things to say about the weekend:"A weekend of coming together in our practice and with the banquet - seeing each other, helping each other - expanding our hearts and softening our tai chi.""What a wonderful atmosphere in the kitchen among a small army of volunteers. And the Chinese New Year Banquet that ensued was amazing!""At every program I am reminded that there is always something to learn and an opportunity to grow. This was no exception, and by watching and helping, we learn, grow and transform.""Chris Lewis started the National Program by reminding us to watch each other. Also, that a Banquet is 'Tai Chi'. Our invited guests, including Mayor Watson and MP Anita Vandenbeld, were happy to be part of our Chinese New Year Banquet.""What a lovely weekend! Chris' guidance to watch each other, stay together, and have a light spirit helped us to transform, find the strength in fragility, and to smile. The banquet was such fun - great music, food, and festivities.""Watch Everyone. Was one of the areas of focus for the National Program led by Chris Lewis. We watched and worked together in our practice and everything we did to prepare for an enjoyable and delicious Chinese New Year banquet. We were honoured that the Mayor, local MP, and other invited guests took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate with us. Gung Hey Fat Choi!"