The province is looking to establish several Chinese Canadian Museums, including one in Victoria’s Chinatown. (Don Denton/News Staff)

Victoria’s Chinatown looking to host a Chinese Canadian Museum

The province will establish heritage museums across B.C.

Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada, and the second oldest in North America. Chinese immigrants have contributed to the land for over 240 years, predating both the province and the country of Canada, yet there is no established museum to preserve their history.

That is going to change.

The province is seeking to establish Chinese Canadian Museums across the province in a “hub and spoke” model, with a main museum in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and smaller ones in cities across B.C., including one in Victoria.

“I’d like to see that there is a presence in Victoria as well,” said Alan Lowe, committee member of the Chinese Canadian Museum Working Group. ” We’ve got Fan Tan Alley, various buildings which have associate halls, the Chinese temple… there is a lot of history in Victoria and a lot of people don’t know it.”

ALSO READ: Governments join to push for World Heritage Site for Vancouver’s Chinatown

The move comes four years after the province formally apologized to B.C.’s Chinese Canadian community for historical wrong-doings. The apology include=ed a report with recommended next steps, where the idea for the museums emerged.

The establishment of a museum network couldn’t come soon enough, Lowe said.

“Many of the veterans and seniors that have been here a long, long time are getting quite elderly, and they may have content and stories that would benefit a museum,” he said. “Our forefathers have gone through a lot and I think it needs to be documented.”

For Victoria City Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, a museum is something she’s been hoping for for 20 years.

ALSO READ: Chinese New Year has its own unique traditions

“Through the years I have been collecting documents, pictures, costumes, dishes from families that I hoped would one day be in a museum here,” Thornton-Joe said in an email.

“I would like to see a Museum that documents the Chinese arrival in Canada, their struggles, their contributions and the paths they paved for individuals like myself who unlike my grandparents and parents saw times when they were not allowed to swim in the Crystal Pool, were not given the right to vote even if they were born here and the right to run for elected office”

The province is now in the consultation process and is looking for public feedback , which can be submitted online at engage.gov.bc.ca until Jan. 4 in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

There will also be a public hearing in Victoria on Jan. 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Ambrosia Conference and Event Centre at 638 Fisgard St.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

China

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria gets new collegiate baseball team, training facility

Golden Tide coach wants to see as many local kids play for the HarbourCats as possible

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

Sooke couple that owned Sooke Harbour House given $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Local MP Elizabeth May likes aspects of throne speech, but questions execution

According to May nobody is as ‘reckless’ as BC’s John Horgan in dismissing snap election

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read