The Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe

In 1972, China’s Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe embarked on a tour of North American cities and universities. The tour included a stop in Montreal, where they partnered with students to hold performances at the McGill Student Union building and Place des Arts.

The performance was dubbed “A Revolutionary Performance of Art and Friendship,” and spurred exchanges between McGill students and visiting Chinese delegates. In the Student Union building, banners were displayed reading “long live the friendship between the People’s Republic of China and Canada” in English and French.

The 1972 visit reflected strengthening ties between China, Canada and McGill University, which continued to evolve in the decades to come. Today, McGill is home to more than 3,100 Chinese students, who make up the largest foreign student group at the University and play a vital role in campus life.