Surrey Mandarin amateur wins for 'pitch perfect' pronunciation

Mon, Dec 14, 2015

Surrey, B.C. – Surrey resident Chanel Kwong turned good grades into high notes for a ‘pitch perfect’ pronunciation performance.

Although she only enrolled in her first-ever Mandarin language lesson this September, the second-year business student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) recently sang her way to a ‘best pronunciation’ win at Western Canada’s largest Mandarin singing contest.

“I started doing singing contests and giving speeches when I was in high school, where I discovered a love of being on stage. I saw a poster for this opportunity and thought it was something I would be passionate about,” said Kwong, who will receive her diploma in accounting next spring.

“I liked going to karaoke when I was young, and have been singing since a young age. Winning ‘best pronunciation’ in a totally new language has actually inspired me to consider entering another singing contest next year.”

Kwong outsang more than 20 finalists with her performance of a well-known Chinese song for a panel of local professors and musicians adjudicating the 2015 BC “Chinese Bridge” Mandarin Singing Contest for University Students.

"This year, over 100 university students in B.C. participated in the preliminary and over 20 were chosen to enter the final competition. I am very proud of Chanel for her stellar performance and for her hard work in learning this fun but challenging language,” said Yanfeng Qu, Kwong’s Mandarin instructor.

“This award not only recognizes Chanel's achievements, but also showcases the dedication of KPU faculty to student success in and outside the classroom,” added Olivier Clarinval, chair of the language and cultures department.

French, Japanese, Punjabi, Spanish and, of course, Mandarin are offered through Clarinval’s department, along with linguistics and cultural studies. For more information, visit

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at    

Photos are available on Flickr.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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