The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation has received $1 million in funding from BMO Financial Group toward the creation of the Chinatown Storytelling Centre, an immersive space to present stories of early Chinese immigrants whose spirited resilience reshaped not only their own lives but played a critical role in the building of Canada. As part of BMO’s founding sponsorship of the Chinatown Storytelling Centre, the main exhibit space will be named BMO Hall. The Chinatown Storytelling Centre will be the first permanent space of its kind in Canada with programming, exhibits, and interactive kiosks sharing personal stories and featuring short films that provide opportunities to learn about people and places of significance in Canadian history.
“We are so grateful to BMO for its support in enabling us to collect and share these important stories about the Chinese community. Our ancestors were instrumental in the completion of the railway that united the country as we know it today,” said Carol Lee, Board Chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation. “The sacrifices and hardship endured by previous generations were made in hopes that those following in their footsteps would have a better life. The Chinatown Storytelling Centre is a way to honour and respect their collective contribution. It will be the heart of our community in Chinatown and a gathering place, designed to bring local residents and visitors to our unique neighbourhood to learn about the history and experience the rich cultural heritage found in Chinatown today.”
The Chinatown Storytelling Centre will be a space to gain a fuller understanding of Canadian history through an exploration of the Chinese experience and reflect on how that legacy still impacts communities today. In 2017, the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation purchased the former BMO Pender Street branch building in the heart of Chinatown. In addition to being the new home of the Chinatown Storytelling Centre, the building will include the Foundation’s Chinatown Revitalization Centre – making it the cultural and economic gathering place for a vibrant and sustainable Chinatown.
To learn more about the Chinatown Storytelling Centre, click here.