Chinatown Today Issue III
A community older than the city it resides in, Vancouver is home to Canada’s largest historic Chinatown. This neighbourhood was home to early Chinese pioneers in the late 1800’s. Designated a National Historic Site in 1971, a visit promises a photogenic look into the history of Vancouver’s Chinese Canadian community through its society buildings, commemorative murals and statues. This historic Vancouver neighbourhood also invites you to experience and engage in a distinct living heritage. With streets lined with traditional Chinese businesses, some over a hundred years old, the sounds of clacking mah jong tiles, laughter coming from lively clan houses and Chinese drumming as athletic clubs established in the early 1900’s practice lion dance, you get a chance to not only see history but live in it. So come and visit! Become a part of the community and the experience!
True to its cultural roots, Vancouver’s Chinatown is home to incredible authentic Chinese cuisine. With experienced chefs cooking and baking coveted traditional recipes that have been passed down for generations, your stomach will never go hungry! Chinese fish mongers ensure nothing but the freshest catch to appease the palate and markets are stocked with anything you need to make an authentic Chinese meal. In fact, many say Vancouver’s Chinatown serves some of the tastiest Chinese dishes found outside of Asia.
A neighbourhood also in a state of transition, you’ll additionally find an eclectic mix of new Chinese and non-Chinese businesses to enjoy. Authentic Chinese foods, a Classical Chinese garden are found side by side art galleries, museums, coffee shops galore among hidden alleyways and spaces that engage youth advocacy. It is this diverse combination of buoyant intangible characteristics, respect for heritage and new businesses that aims to draw intergenerational audiences – local seniors, youth, and tourists alike.
Chinatown Today reflects the intercultural and inter-generational aspirations of Chinatown- a discussion on what the space has been and what it will become.This platform bridges cultural and knowledge gaps that are critical to creating an inclusive and safe environment, to inspire solutions for respectful and informed community development and cohesion.
Chinatown Today chronicles the change, past and present, in Vancouver’s Chinatown through the lens of local businesses, people, shared experiences and passed on traditions. Chinatown Today uses found objects in Chinatown as a starting point through which we can study and explore opportunities and challenges in the neighbourhood. This is a not-for-profit project and a public platform to gather and share diverse perspectives and wisdom with the community.
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