Event planner organizes big and bold Chinese New Year celebration

Tranel Chan finds joy in seeing people enjoy themselves at the events she plans

Tranel Chan is the consummate event planner. She loves the challenges and rewards it offers her.

“I get to use all of my life skills on the job,” says the Bow Valley College alumna. “I need to be organized and get to meet people, do budgeting, and offer customer service. I need to be on top of every detail.”

She took two years off after graduating high school to do a variety of jobs, including tourism, accounting, and graphic design. She considered going into culinary arts. But when it came time to make a decision about a career, Tranel chose Bow Valley College’s Business Administration Diploma, Event Management Major program. She graduated at the top of her class in 2015.

Tranel began working with Sien Lok Society of Calgary when she was still a learner at Bow Valley College. She was one of three learners chosen after a rigorous application process to be trained at Sien Lok Society while still studying.

After graduating, she continued to volunteer for Sien Lok Society. Last year, the organization, which promotes and preserves Chinese Canadian heritage, offered her a job as event manager. She organizes a number of events for the organization, including the Canada Day celebration and the annual meeting. In addition, she was instrumental in designing a tour of Chinatown pointing out many of the historical sites in the downtown community. She’s also working on an app to digitalize the history of Calgary’s Chinatown. Sien Lok Society is a valued Bow Valley College partner and donor of learner awards since 2013.

This will be Tranel’s sixth year working on organizing Sien Lok Society’s Chinese New Year celebration. She leads the planning committee for the sold-out 50th anniversary event, at which she is expecting 550 guests. It gives her the opportunity to up her game and shine.

“The 50th anniversary celebration is going to be bigger, better, and bolder than ever,” she says, adding the entertainment will be in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, appealing to a full diversity of guests.

“Knowing that the guests are having fun is all that counts to me,” she says. “If I do my job right, every person there will be having fun. It brings me so much joy to see every person smiling.”

Her work with Sien Lok Society is just one of Tranel’s jobs. She also organizes an annual international conference (ConvergX®) for the aerospace, defense, security, energy, and mining sectors, and military. And she caters on the side.

Tranel says she developed a passion for her field because of the quality of instruction at Bow Valley College.

“I learned so much,” she says. “I don’t think I have ever learned so much in school. And I don’t think I ever tried as hard as I did at Bow Valley College.”


Story and photos by Anne Georg

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