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HomeMoneyOttawa pitches in nearly $5.2M for Vancouver’s new Chinese Canadian Museum

Ottawa pitches in nearly $5.2M for Vancouver’s new Chinese Canadian Museum




The federal government is pitching in nearly $5.2 million for Vancouver’s new Chinese Canadian Museum, billed as the first of its kind in the country.

Roughly $3 million of the pot will go towards renovating the oldest building in the historic neighbourhood, the Wing Sang Building, where the museum will be housed. Another $2 million will be dedicated to the development of exhibitions, marketing, communications, and administrative operations.

The remainder will bolster the museum’s first exhibit, The Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act. 

“I think it is but one of the most important stories that this museum is going to tell,” said Mary Ng, federal minister of internal trade, export promotion, small business, and economic development at the Tuesday funding announcement. “Every person who is going to walk through there is going to have a lump in their throat.”

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The Chinese Exclusion Act — or Chinese Immigration Act — effectively eliminated Chinese immigration before it was repealed in 1947.

The museum will open its doors on July 1, which marks the 100th anniversary of the racist legislation’s passing in Canada.

“There has not been a more documented history than that of Chinese Canadians, because virtually every move you made — you were documented in this country,” said Ng.

“To those who came before us … I want to pay a tribute and a thank you. I am standing before you today as a member of Parliament and as a member of Prime Minister Trudeau’s cabinet because of the hardships of those who came before me, and paved the way.”

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Canada’s first Chinese-Canadian Museum to open in B.C.

The contribution from Heritage Canada and the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada adds to the $10 million in additional funds announced by the B.C. government in April. The province has committed more than $48.5 million to the project to help cover renovations and operating costs.

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In addition to the Paper Trail exhibit, the Chinese Canadian Museum will also showcase an overview of Chinese Canadian migration and provide a glimpse into the life of Chinese Canadian businessman Yip Sang and his family.

A “sneak peek” of the new museum is available on its website.

The announcement came on the sidelines of the U.S.-Canada Chinatown Cultural Preservation and Revitalization Conference, which is hosting representatives from 18 Chinatowns from across North America. That conference, hosted in Vancouver, included representatives from other Canadian cities including Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, as well as U.S. cities including San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York.

— with files from The Canadian Press

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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