Canada’s first Chinese Canadian Museum established in B.C.

February 11, 2022 at 10:57 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

The historic Wing Sang Building, the oldest building in Vancouver Chinatown, will be the permanent site of the Chinese Canadian Museum.

“The contributions of Chinese Canadians to this province have been invaluable,” Premier John Horgan said. “The Chinese Canadian Museum responds to the community’s long-standing 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 Province is providing $27.5 million to the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of British Columbia to support continued planning and operations of the society, as well as the purchase of the historic Wing Sang Building at 51 East Pender St.

“Museums connect us to the past and the present. For years, the Chinese Canadian communities in B.C. have been calling on government to share the rich history of Chinese Canadians – both the challenges and contributions,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This new museum is a light in Vancouver Chinatown and a response to a call to action from our fellow British Columbians who have historically endured poor treatment. It is an important legacy for British Columbians for generations to come.”

The building will be owned and operated by the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of British Columbia.

The Chinese Canadian Museum will highlight places of historic significance throughout the Province, celebrating the heritage of Chinese Canadians in B.C. 

“Canada’s first Chinese Canadian Museum is the result of many passionate, knowledgeable people in the community working together over several years to build a bridge between the past and present,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. “I am honoured to have been part of that process and am looking forward to sharing the results of our vision with all British Columbians.”

The Wing Sang Building will feature space for permanent and temporary exhibits, multi-purpose programs and events, and learning spaces for students.

The museum is expected to open in 2023.

Quotes:

Grace Wong, chair, Chinese Canadian Museum Society of BC –

“The tremendous support of the Province of British Columbia allows us to establish the permanent home for the Chinese Canadian Museum. This is a historic moment for Chinese Canadians across the province. This is the first such museum in Canada and will widely share the history, contributions and heritage of Chinese Canadians and their lived experiences. Having the home in the Wing Sang Building, one of the most historic buildings of Vancouver Chinatown, is particularly meaningful. This wonderful building is part of the history of Chinese Canadians and has been lovingly restored by Mr. Bob Rennie. We thank Mr. Rennie for his belief in the importance of the Chinese Canadian Museum and for his plans for a legacy gift in the future. We hope everyone will join with us in appreciating this very special moment and in working toward fully opening the museum.”

Bob Rennie, founder, Rennie Foundation, previous owner of the Wing Sang Building –

“Our family’s duty to 51 East Pender has always been to be a good custodian and we are honoured and excited to have Vancouver Chinatown’s oldest structure now celebrated as home to the Chinese Canadian Museum for all Canadians to experience this piece of history and the journey of Chinese Canadians. Our family met recently, and we really want to make sure that the Chinese Canadian Museum has a solid foundation to carry out its mission, and so to help ensure the museum’s success we intend to have the Rennie Foundation make a gift of $7.5 million to the Chinese Canadian Museum Society in the near future.”

Learn More:

Watch the video about the vision for the Chinese Canadian Museum: https://youtu.be/x6cBLfvmyEk

Visit the Chinese Canadian Museum: https://www.chinesecanadianmuseum.ca/

Follow the Chinese Canadian Museum on Twitter: @ccmuseumbc (twitter.com)

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