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

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

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read