"Vancouver’s Chinatown: then and now" featuring Cindy Chan Piper, Elwin Xie, Sid Tan, Winnie Cheung, April 10, 2021, 4.00-5:30 PST | 5.00 - 6:30 MSTThe artist and poet Jim Wong-Chu once remarked that Chinatown is all in our imaginations, for each generation who has lived or interacted there remembered it differently or had different experiences according to their place in time. What first began as a ghettoized space by colonialists used to contain and segregate a predominantly displaced Chinese male bachelor society from the rest of society, Vancouver’s Chinatown has hardened to survive major threats to its existence -- race riots, the TransCanada highway, and gentrification -- and has now become a contested space between real estate developers, small businesses, and those who reside there. As Chinatown is very much a cultural and historic relic of Canada, the city of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia have pushed to have Chinatown designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the future of Chinatown is uncertain in the midst of a global pandemic. Join us as our four speakers whose roots and history with Chinatown discuss and share their memories, experiences, and thoughts about the future of Vancouver Chinatown. Brought to you by ACWW.
Cindy Chan Piper is an architect and city planner (retired), an actor, and a photographer who is a fourth-generation Chinese Canadian. She still lives within walking distance to Chinatown.
Winnie L. Cheung was born to refugee parents in cosmopolitan Hong Kong, where she was surrounded by people converging from China and all over the world. She is fascinated by the forces behind people’s migration, and is curious to know how individuals’ identities are shaped by the knowledge of their families’ history. Winnie is a founding member and Executive Director of the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre Museum of Migration (PCHCMoM).
Sid Chow Tan is a retired media producer/community organizer for a number of non-government organizations. He is currently active on issues of racism along with highlighting the 62-years of Canada’s legislated injustices (1885 - 1947) of the Chinese head tax and exclusion. As a paper son and descendant of head tax payers and exclusion families, he has been vocal for a "direct redress" for exclusion. Tan was the Chairman of the Chinese Canadian National Council, a founding and current director of the Head Tax Families Society of Canada. He was a past President of the Full Figure Theatre Company Society and also a former Vice-President of the Firehall Arts Centre Society.
Elwin Xie grew up in Vancouver’s Chinatown during the 1960s. He is a museum interpreter at Burnaby Village Museum and whose most recent publication is "Union Laundry-The Story of Harry and May Yuen" in the Winter 2020 issue of BC History magazine. He is involved with the Vancouver Historical Society, the Heart of The City Festival, and LiterASIAN in the capacity of A.V. He is re-capturing his lost Yin Ping Cantonese - one of the dialects of the mighty Low Wah Kiu trailblazing pioneers.