Chinatown Past, Present and Future: Archive Project

Neil McMillan, Detail, paint on canvas

Neil McMillan, Detail, paint on canvas

The Canadian Society for Asian Arts, the City of Vancouver Archives, the BC Provincial Heritage Fair and Emily Carr University of Art and Design faculty and students are collaborating to host an exhibition celebrating Asian Heritage Month and British Columbia Heritage month, May 2010.

The City of Vancouver Archives gallery will host the exhibition of ECU students’ work titled Chinatown Past Present and Future: Archive Project opening on April 29th at 6 and running until May 31st.

The focus of the ECU initiative was for students to actively investigate and connect to local communities researching area history and creatively interpreting historic sites that are the underpinning of the city of Vancouver.

Twenty-four Emily Carr University Foundation Drawing and Creative Process students’ visited the archive and researched sixteen historically important buildings in Chinatown.  Each of the constructed artworks is informed by Vancouver Archive research and by location drawings and creations related to the past present and future of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

The day after the opening, May 1st, ECU artists will hold four workshops/exchanges in the Archive gallery for the youth of the BC Heritage Fairs Program. Youth Heritage Fair finalists from across the province will meet at the Museum of Vancouver located beside the Vancouver Archives, for the provincial finals on May 1st. The Heritage Fairs Program is a national educational initiative designed to increase awareness and interest in Canadian history. A ‘history fair’ actively involves Canadian youth, schools, businesses and community groups in a contemporary celebration of our shared traditions and heritage. Provincial students, grades 4 to 10, are encouraged to research aspects of Canadian history presenting the results of their efforts in public forums.

Justin Ng, Painting and Drawing. 51 W. Pender

Justin Ng, Painting and Drawing. 51 W. Pender

The collaboration between the various community partners support the ongoing importance of connecting youth from primary and secondary provincial schools to university students and faculty and community organizations in shared exchanges. Collectively this project is cross cultural, relates to the history and spirit of place, supporting cultural exchange and understanding.

The Vancouver Archive, the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, ECU and Provincial schools are facilitating this educational exchange as an example of community research collaboration. By collectively researching the past, we begin to understand the present and possibilities for the future of our cities and our place nationally in the global community.


Location: The City of Vancouver Archives, 1150 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC V6J 3J9
Opening Reception: April 29, 2010 6:00pm
Runs till May 31, 2010
Exhibition website:

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