VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, with support from the U.S. Mission to Canada along with federal and local partners, is hosting the U.S.-Canadian Chinatown Cultural Preservation & Revitalization conference. Titled “Chinatown Solidarity'', the conference will run from May 23-24. This inaugural conference will provide a platform for U.S. and Canadian Chinatown communities, cultural and economic development leaders, and public safety experts to exchange ideas on how to best revitalize Chinatowns and build economic and knowledge networks among U.S. and Canadian counterparts.
Chinatowns stand as important living monuments to the sacrifices and successes Chinese Canadians and Chinese Americans have made in the formation of both nations. While Chinatowns have experienced several booms and declines since the 1860s, they are communities that have experienced significant economic and social challenges immediately before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will serve as a platform to discuss best practices and future partnerships between American and Canadian Chinatown organizations.
Fifty representatives from 18 Chinatowns across the United States and Canada will attend, alongside Canadian and U.S. dignitaries, including U.S. Ambassador to Canada David L. Cohen, U.S. Consul General in Vancouver D. Brent Hardt, Canada’s Minister for International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng and Mayor of Vancouver Ken Sim.
The conference will produce a toolkit to help guide revitalization efforts applicable to American and Canadian Chinatowns and promote greater collaboration and connections between businesses, organizations and cultural leaders. Ambassador Cohen, Minister Ng, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai (virtually), and Mayor Sim will deliver opening remarks at the event.
“The United States and Canada share much more than just a border or a close trading relationship. We share stories—of resilience, hope, and strength. This is what defines our Asian and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities on both sides of our border,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said during her opening remarks. “From Edmonton in the north to out west in Victoria—each of you are making a difference, and I thank you. Washington, DC, and Vancouver are 2,000 miles apart, but there is no gap in our vision to push and pull for one another, to fight for justice and equity, and to build a freer and fairer Canada and America,” she continued.
“From generation to generation, Chinatowns have long been pillars of our communities, embodying the spirit, resilience, and contributions of Chinese Canadians. They have been the centre of Chinese-Canadian commerce, community and culture,” said Minister Ng. “The revitalization of Chinatowns is something that's close to my heart. It is not only about preserving physical spaces; it is about honouring our shared heritage, promoting inclusivity, and creating opportunities for economic growth.”
“This is a critical moment for Chinatowns across North America. Chinatowns face similar obstacles, and up to today, leaders and organizations supporting preservation and revitalization efforts have not had an opportunity to connect, share knowledge and support each other,” said Carol Lee, Chair of Vancouver Chinatown Foundation. “The conversations and learnings from the conference will have a direct impact on the future well-being of these important historic neighbourhoods.”
Vancouver's Chinatown stands as one of Canada's oldest and North America's third-largest Chinatown. Chinese Canadians make up almost 20% of Vancouver’s metropolitan area's total population, according to the 2021 Canadian census, and have shaped the cultural identity of Vancouver.
For more information about the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, please visit www.chinatownfoundation.org
About Vancouver Chinatown Foundation
The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is a registered charity committed to the revitalization of Chinatown, one of Canada’s most iconic neighbourhoods in the historic heart of Vancouver. The Foundation builds more resilient and inclusive communities by promoting the well-being of those in need, while preserving Chinatown’s irreplaceable cultural heritage. Learn more at chinatownfoundation.org