May 19, 2020

Chinese Celebrity Unrecognized in Canadian Hometown of Vancouver

qqtqtqt etqt
2 min
Chinese Celebrity Unrecognized in Canadian Hometown of Vancouver

Raised in Vancouver, Godfrey Gao had high hopes of becoming a successful model. Standing at an impressive 6-foot-4, Gao began his career where he lived—Canada—but was only met with minor success. In British Columbia, he worked as a “living mannequin,” but wanted more. Therefore, with his Asian looks and ability to speak the native language, he made a business decision to transfer to Taiwan to further test his hand at modeling.

The Sweet Taste of Success

Gao’s risk paid off! Godfrey Gao was met with success in 2011 when he was hired by Louis Vuitton to become the designer company’s first Asian model, which in turn, made Gao the first Asian supermodel—ever!  

RELATED TOPIC: Planning in Uncertain Times: 5 Strategic Steps to Success 

Now 30, Gao is quite well known throughout Asia. He can be seen on billboards, bus ads, Chinese TV dramas, Mandarin-language feature films, and on numerous covers of fashion magazines, such as: Chinese GQ, Chinese Esquire, Men’s Uno Taiwan, and Men’s Club Japan. However, his Vancouver hometown hasn’t seemed to notice his success.

Lack of Recognition

Though Gao admits that he has been recognized a few times in his Canadian country, the detection doesn’t compare to when he’s in Asia. He may be one of the most famous men to have ever hailed from Vancouver and was just recently named by the Canadian Tourism Commission as their spokesman for China, but when home, he doesn’t have to worry about the paparazzi. And he’s not the only one!

Because the Chinese entertainment market is so irresistible to Canadians wanting to break into the business, those who are familiar with the Mandarin-language have a head start on the competition. Therefore, success and fame can be found in Asia, but recognition in Canada is virtually nonexistent. Mark Rowswell is a leading example of this condition.

Known to Chinese audiences as “Dashan,” Rowswell was born and raised in Ottawa before becoming the host of a televised Chinese singing competition. He is now considered to be a famous Canadian who is unknown in his hometown. However, with the ability to speak fluently in Asian languages, launching a career in the entertainment business in Asia isn’t only popular, but smart.

A Change of Scenery

It’s quite interesting to see how a simple change of location can prompt fame and success. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the entertainment industry or perhaps choose another avenue of business—risks can be and often are rather rewarding! 

Let's Connect!


Read the latest edition of Business Review Canada!

Share article

Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


Share article