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  

Just Posted

Large willow tree comes down in Beacon Hill Park

The tree has been in place for decades at Goodacre Lake

Traffic slowed after reports of a pedestrian struck in Colwood

Incident occurred on Metchosin Road near Sooke Road intersection

Videos show allegedly intoxicated teens forcibly removed from Luxton Fairgrounds

Posts about altercations with security personnel in Langford swarming social media

Lambrick Park School invites past kings and queens to 25th Mount Douglas race

Alumni, students, staff invited to school’s yearly King and Queen of the Hill race

Attendance matters for Saanich Peninsula students

Achievement depends on attendance, hundreds of students heard

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Nanaimo RCMP officer ‘walks on water’ to rescue lost camper

66-year-old assisted earlier this month by Mounties who can seemingly work miracles

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Largest driving factor is the province’s complex stumpage system that results in high fees, expert says

20 day search for missing Labradoodle in Princeton, B.C. ends with tears of joy

The search brought out bloodhounds, and groups hoping to find Mordy

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

Most Read