Vancouver’s Chinatown: Past, Present and Future

Vancouver’s Chinatown: Past, Present, and Future uses the stories of Chinatown’s buildings to chronicle the evolution of this important Vancouver community. The film follows Chinatown’s history from its humble beginnings as a place and community for labouring Chinese men and their wooden shacks to its heyday where Chinese Canadians like Yip Sang, H.Y. Louie, Bick Lee, Mary Lee Chan, groups like the Chinese Student Soccer Team and associations like the Yue Shan Society strengthened the community and helped to extend it beyond Chinatown. However, today’s Chinatown is losings its former vitality and is becoming more and more neglected. For a place that is so important to the history of Vancouver and Canada, if this decline is allowed to continue, what does the future hold in store for Vancouver’s Chinatown?

This film was created for the Chinatown Gala Dinner held on May 14, 2009, by UBC History 483 students Alejandro Yoshizawa and Jennifer Yip. Funding was generously provided by the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), INSTRCC UBC, and UBC Library.

Many of the historical photographs used in this film and displayed at the Chinatown Gala Dinner were lent from the private collections of the many families who grew up in Chinatown during the 1930s to the 1970s. Copyright is retained by these families and the reproduction or use of the images for any other purposes is strictly prohibited.


Chinese Canadian Stories

“Chinese Canadian Stories — Uncommon Histories from a Common Past” was a collaborative project between the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and various campus and community-wide partners. This project aimed to reshape the way all of us understand Canada, and reclaim the forgotten histories of peoples who have long been ignored in Canadian history.

Below, you can see the oral history film series. You can see more videos on the YouTube channel here.


Where Are We in the World?

“Where Are We in the World?” is a series of films that feature sites around the Lower Mainland shaped by often ignored or hidden histories of struggle and agency. The focus of this new initiative is to provide a strong foundation experientially to answer the question of “where” we are in terms of UBC and Vancouver as places on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories.

This series is a partnership between St. John’s College and Aboriginal Initiatives – Centre for Teaching Learning and Technology (CTLT) and is funded by the 2014-15 UBC Equity Enhancement Fund.