Canada’s first Chinese Canadian museum expected to open next year

The historic Wing Sang Building, the oldest building in Vancouver's Chinatown, will be the permanent site of the Chinese Canadian Museum. || B.C. government photo
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The historic Wing Sang Building, the oldest building in Vancouver’s Chinatown, will be the permanent site of the Chinese Canadian Museum.

“This is a historic moment for Chinese Canadians across the province,” said Grace Wong, chair, Chinese Canadian Museum Society of B.C. “This is the first such museum in Canada and will widely share the history, contributions and heritage of Chinese Canadians and their lived experiences.”

The provincial government will provide $27.5 million to the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of B.C. to purchase of the historic Wing Sang Building at 51 East Pender St and support the society’s operations, according to a media release from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

“For years, the Chinese Canadian communities in B.C. have been calling on government to share the rich history of Chinese Canadians – both the challenges and contributions,” said Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport. “This new museum is a light in Vancouver Chinatown and a response to a call to action from our fellow British Columbians who have historically endured poor treatment. It is an important legacy for British Columbians for generations to come.”

The Wing Sang Building will feature space for permanent and temporary exhibits, multi-purpose programs and events, and learning spaces for students.

Bob Rennie, the building’s previous owner, said the Rennie Foundation plans to make a gift of $7.5 million to the society in the near future.

The museum is expected to open in 2023.

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