Celebrating Asian Heritage Month at the Royal BC Museum


VICTORIA, BC — Throughout the month of May, the Royal BC Museum is celebrating the people and places at the heart of Asian Heritage Month. Today also marks International Museum Day and we are proud to highlight the dedication and incredible hard work of our friends at the Canadian Chinese Museum and the countless other museums found throughout British Columbia. 

Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated across Canada since the 1990s, and the federal government officially recognized it in May 2002. Celebrating Asian Canadians’ diverse heritage and outstanding contributions to Canadian society, Asian Heritage Month is the perfect opportunity to learn more at different sites across the province.

In Vancouver, the Chinese Canadian Museum features three timely exhibitions that celebrate and reflect on the Chinese experience at a temporary location at 27 E. Pender Street. Royal BC Museum is honoured to present the exhibition A Tale of Two Families: Generations of Intercultural Communities and Family Lessons, which opened earlier this month.  

A Tale of Two Families features two families — the francophone Guichon and Chinese Louie-Seto families — who can trace their heritage and histories back to the gold rush period.

“Their shared values in education, intercultural community building, and kindness resonate strongly with our needs during the unsettling time of global pandemic crisis,” says Dr. Tzu-I Chung, Curator of History at the Royal BC Museum. “The families’ strength is at the core of BC’s intercultural community lives.”

Also on display at 27 E. Pender Street are Seeds to Success: Story of the H.Y. Louie Family and A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia.

A Seat at the Table is the Chinese Canadian Museum’s inaugural project, in partnership with the Museum of Vancouver. Through stories of food and restaurant culture, A Seat at the Table explores modern and historical stories of Chinese Canadians in BC.

Stop by Victoria’s own Chinese Canadian Museum temporary exhibition in historic Fan Tan Alley to journey through the personal stories and sacrifices of early Chinese migrants who came to BC to find their fortune in the heyday of the 1850s Fraser River Gold Rush. Gold Mountain Dream!, created by the Royal BC Museum, takes you back through history to relive the highest highs, heartbreaking lows, and social turmoil of one of the most exciting and dangerous times.

While there, guests will also have the opportunity to explore First Steps: Chinese Canadian Journeys in Victoria, which shines a light on the early days of Chinese Canadians in Victoria, their community networks, personal accomplishment, and intergenerational resilience.

Tickets for the Canadian Chinese Museum exhibitions are free; however, guests are encouraged to book ahead as space is limited. For more information, visit the Chinese Canadian Museum website here.

Elsewhere on the mainland, in the heart of Surrey, is the newly launched South Asian Canadian Legacy Project (SACLP), a major community-led project based at the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, with the Royal BC Museum as a proud partner. A project more than a decade in the making, SACLP was created with the goal of showcasing the South Asian community’s resilience in the face of historical systemic injustice and discrimination as well as their remarkable contribution to a better Canada. The project features new education materials, digital archives, social and labour history books, exhibits, and online resources featuring the historic role of South Asian Canadians in BC. SACLP’s travelling exhibition, Haq and History, can be seen at Surrey Public Library. Find out more about the SACLP here.

Still want to learn more? Check out the Royal BC Museum’s Learning Portal Pathways on:

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About the Royal BC Museum: The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate, and inspire. Located in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations), we are a hub of community connections in BC — onsite, offsite, and online — taking pride in our collective histories.

For tickets to IMAX® Victoria and the Royal BC Museum, including combo tickets for both attractions, visit: Tickets
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Sam Rich
Corporate Communications Manager