As British Columbia moves to honour the Chinese community’s contributions to the province, the capital will also be reflecting their historical stories starting Friday (Feb. 18).
Victoria’s Fan Tan Alley will host two Chinese Canadian Museum exhibitions until the end of September.
The temporary exhibitions are a chance for locals and visitors to learn about the history and lived experiences of Victoria’s Chinese community, said Mayor Lisa Helps in a release. She also touched on how the displays will be housed in a very fitting location.
“Victoria is home of the oldest Chinatown in Canada and has a strong and diverse Chinese community with a rich and deep history,” she said. “Members of the Chinese community have been leaders in arts, culture, business and politics, sometimes needing to overcome discrimination and racism to do so.”
The Chinese Canadian Museum exhibitions, located at 10 to 14 Fan Tan Alley, are called First Steps: Chinese Canadian Journeys in Victoria, and Gold Mountain Dream!
Chinese Canadian Journeys highlights important starting points for the community and features examples of inter-generational resilience and agency through stories of support, entrepreneurship and personal accomplishment. The Chinese Canadian Museum and the Victoria Chinatown Museum Society partnered on the exhibit.
Gold Mountain Dream! looks at personal stories of and sacrifices of early Chinese migrant workers who came to British Columbia in search of prosperity during the Fraser Valley Gold Rush in the 1850s. Photographs tell the migrants’ tales of adventure, heartbreak and social upheaval. The exhibition is produced by the Royal B.C. Museum in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History.
Helps credited former Mayor Alan Lowe and the Victoria Chinatown Museum Society for their tireless work in helping to “achieve this significant and important milestone in our community.”
The local historical display comes after B.C. announced $27.5 million on Feb. 11 for the Chinese Canadian Museum to have a permanent home in one of the oldest buildings in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
“The contributions of Chinese Canadians to this province have been invaluable,” Premier John Horgan said, acknowledging the community’s longtime desire for a place to share stories of achievement and shine a light on injustice.
“The museum will be an important place for all British Columbians, connecting the past to the present and future generations.”
The exhibits are free to visit and the museum space is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.
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