In the fall of 2003, Chuang Wei Mu, his wife Ming Shan Gu and their 4 year old daughter,Ivy left their homeland- of China with their family’s blessings and dreams for Canada.
Chuang, with a MBA degree, had been a public servant of the Chinese Provincial Government for 10 years; his wife, Ming had been a teacher for 13 years. The well-educated couple chose Canada as the destination for their life adventure. While there have been many challenges, they believe in the saying: when life gives you a lemon, you make lemonade.
In 2005, after several rounds of interviews and training, the couple was selected to be a business partner with Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc, which is the largest convenience store operator in Canada with a network of over 2000 stores. Their first store was in Brockville, Ontario,
Chuang and Ming’s hard work paid off in 2008 as Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc. promoted them to a high volume store with a gas station in Smiths Falls. It was a milestone for them. They not only employed several local residents, but also built mutual respect within the local community. When people refer to them, they always say, "that nice Chinese couple." Smiths Falls became their new home.
The couple was interviewed for CBC Networking as a Smiths Falls Entrepreneur and was selected as one of Smiths Falls ambassadors in 2010.
Ming continued her studies here, graduating from Lakehead University with her Bachelor's Degree of Education in 2004 and received her Early Childhood Education diploma from St. Lawrence College in 2006. To give back to the communities of Smiths Falls and Brockville, the Eastern Ontario Wenbo Language School was established to offer free Chinese Mandarin Language and Culture lessons for children from all ethnic backgrounds. With the support of parents, the school site and local media coverage, the first Chinese Immersion, Arts and Culture Summer Camp achieved great success. Approximately 60 children are registered in this fall’s program. It is her hope that the learning of the Mandarin language will open a new window to the world for the local children.
Chuang, who maintains a wide networking with key people in the government of Henan Province, has a lot more to co-ordinate: building an education bridge between the Upper Canada District School Board and Zhengzhou Municipal Education Bureau; as well as collaborating with local travel agents to explore the business opportunity of tourism with China.
Ivy, their daughter, who came to Canada without knowing a single word of English, could speak both English and Mandarin fluently, and is learning French as well. She could be tri-lingual when she grows up and is looking ahead to a bright future. In the past few years, Ivy has won numerous awards including: Spelling Bee Contest; Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Poster; Brockville Music Festival; etc. She also designed the logo of Eastern Ontario Wenbo Language School, which showed her exceptional talent of designing. She helped organize the 2010 Chinese Immersion, Arts and Culture Summer Camp with her leadership and teamwork skills
The Mu family has had a successful adventure as a result of their decision to relocate to a small urban community like Smiths Falls. We wish them all the best in the future!