Peering into the Past : Celebrating Canada’s Oldest Chinatown

Canada’s oldest Chinatown, located in Victoria, played a key role in shaping Canadian history. This pop-up exhibit offers a glimpse into local history.

The mini-exhibit features items from the Royal BC Museum, including a fire insurance map from 1891, when Victoria’s Chinatown served as a major hub for Chinese pioneers around the province.

Also featured is an in-depth look at a Chinese Freemasons’ lantern, handmade in Victoria’s Chinatown by a master craftsman and displayed at the Chinese Freemasons’ headquarters in Victoria and likely at local Lantern Festivals in the 1930s and 1940s.

The exhibit also features a striking historical black and white photograph from the BC Archives, depicting children in Victoria’s Chinatown celebrating Chinese New Year in 1900.

The exhibit is open from July 2020 until March 2022.

The exhibit is the result of a partnership between the Royal BC Museum, the Victoria Chinatown Museum Society and the Salient Group. It was made possible through the generous support of the following organizations:

  • Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
  • Chinese Freemasons
  • Dart Coon Club Headquarters
  • Hook Sin Tong Charity Association
  • Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association
  • Jade Phoenix Club
  • Joe Wo Joint Spousal Trust
  • Shon Yee Benevolent Association
  • Victoria Chinatown Lioness Club

Peering into the Past: travelling exhibition schedule:

This exhibition is not currently on display