Chinese canopies in Vancouver’s Chinatown parade

mid-20th century
photographic print

These two Chinese canopies were used in the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) Parade hosted in the 1950s by the Chinese Benevolent Association headquartered in Vancouver.

The Chinese New Year Parade in major Chinatowns was, and continues to be, a significant cultural event and an integral part of Canadian lives. The Vancouver Chinatown’s Spring Festival Parade has been the largest in the province ever since the middle of the twentieth century. Judging by their style, we estimate that these two canopies were made in the 1930s. They were preserved by Lam Fong (Lam Sai Ping), who was an active leader for various Chinatown organizations, and owned Ho Sun Hing Printing Ltd., the oldest Chinese printing shop in Canada. The two canopies testify to the vibrancy of Chinatown festivities and the central role that Vancouver’s Chinatown has played in the city’s intercultural lives.