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November 12, 2019, 10:04 am

Preserving and Celebrating Chinese Canadian Heritage, Culture in B.C.

Province of British Columbia

VICTORIA - People soon will be able to learn about, and celebrate, the history of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia as the Province takes another step toward establishing a Chinese Canadian museum.

The B.C. government is providing a $1-million grant to the City of Vancouver to support continued planning and programming design. The funding will establish a project office at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver to work with the community and further develop plans for the museum. The project office will feature a pocket gallery.

“The contributions of British Columbians of Chinese descent are an essential part of our Province’s success, and our government believes in protecting and preserving this collective history,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Today’s funding supports our commitment to establish a new Chinese Canadian museum in partnership with the City of Vancouver. I’m excited to see how the vision takes shape.”

The grant builds on the government’s commitment to establish a Chinese Canadian museum to honour the contributions of B.C.’s Chinese community, past and present. In a recent public engagement on the project, people provided positive feedback on a proposal to establish the museum as a hub-and-spoke model, with a provincial hub located in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

“During our engagement, people told me that the stories of Chinese Canadians need to be told throughout our province, so people can experience history in the places it happened,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. “This is why we are pursuing a hub-and-spoke model. I know this funding will help our partner, the City of Vancouver, plan for activities here in Vancouver's Chinatown.”

Establishing a Chinese Canadian museum is part of the government’s partnership with the City of Vancouver to work together to pursue a United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site designation for Vancouver Chinatown.

Quotes:

Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism –
“As a first generation Chinese Canadian myself, I’m excited for the development of this museum because it will be such a valuable resource for me and others like me to learn more about our culture. I believe it is important to celebrate our rich multicultural history. When we come together and learn from one another, it makes us stronger as a province.”

Kennedy Stewart, mayor, City of Vancouver –
“Celebrating and commemorating the contributions that Chinese Canadians have made to the city is an important part of strengthening relations with a community that has faced historic discrimination. Just over a year ago, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the B.C. government to work together to seek a UNESCO designation for Vancouver’s Chinatown, supported by the establishment of a Chinese Canadian museum. We are pleased the Province has continued its support of these important efforts through this grant to start the on-the-ground planning process for the new museum.”

Bill Yee, working group member –
“This grant from the B.C. government shows it is committed to the establishment of a Chinese Canadian museum. I am so proud of how the Chinese community has gotten behind this project, and I am excited to see the government taking this concrete step.”

Quick Facts:

  • People of Chinese descent have settled in B.C. for more than 200 years.
  • Vancouver’s Chinatown is the largest in Canada and one of the largest in North America. It is also one of the oldest Chinatowns in Canada, dating back to the late 1800s.
  • On Sept. 17, 2018, Premier John Horgan signed a memorandum of understanding, reaffirming government’s commitments to the museum and supporting the UNESCO designation for Vancouver’s Chinatown.
  • The B.C. government held a public engagement on the Chinese Canadian museum from Dec. 7, 2018, to Feb. 8, 2019, and released its report in July 2019.
    • Close to 500 people attended eight in-person community meetings held in five different B.C. cities. More than 8,700 visited the website.

For a traditional Chinese translation:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NR-CCM-Announcement_Chinese-Traditional.pdf

For a simplified Chinese translation:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NR-CCM-Announcement_Chinese-Simplified.pdf

Learn More:
Find out more about the proposed Chinese Canadian museum: 
engage.gov.bc.ca/chinesecanadianmuseum/

Read the summary - What We Heard report: 
engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/451/2019/07/CCM-Final-English.pdf

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