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

Uncertainty continues to surround completion date of upgrades to Sidney’s Reay Creek area

A spokesperson for federal government could not offer a new completion date

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

Move follows weeks of criticism from parents, the public

Most Read