Chinatown, Existing

Chinatown, Existing is a field trip program developed in 2021 by INSTRCC research assistants, Emma, Moira, Shirley, and Andrew, in collaboration with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and the Chinese Canadian Museum

Featuring Vancouver’s Chinatown as a living classroom, the three-part field trip includes a visit to the Chinese Canadian Museum exhibition gallery, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and a mini walking tour of Chinatown. Designed to complement the BC provincial curriculum, Grade 9 – 10 students are able to explore the endurance of Vancouver Chinatown and the resilience of the Chinese Canadian community through stories of food, community, and activism. 

The program offers a broader scope of Chinese Canadian history beyond state-driven narratives or those confined to specific points in history such as the building of the CPR and the 1923 Exclusion Act. In addition to addressing these important histories, Chinatown, Existing delves into stories typically left out of the mainstream historical narrative. 

Read this blog post by one of our student research assistants on her experience working on working on the project, or visit

Written by Moira Henry