The oldest-known Chinese Freemasons' lantern in Victoria’s Chinatown, historic photographs and a compilation of video interviews with local Chinese-Canadian elders will tell the story of what life was like in Victoria’s Chinatown and how Chinese New Year was celebrated from 1930 to 1950. The lantern, dated between 1910 and 1930, is a tangible reminder of the important connection between the Asia Pacific region and British Columbia, as well as the important role of Victoria’s Chinatown in that history.
A video installation gives visitors the opportunity to watch interviews with prominent community elders, including Dr. David Lai, Canada’s "Mr. Chinatown," and four families who had businesses and lived in Victoria’s Chinatown.
The exhibition reveals an important part of local history and exemplifies the Royal BC Museum’s commitment to collaborate with and represent diverse communities, and to the preservation and representation of Victoria’s Chinatown history.
Tradition in Felicities is part of the Victoria Symphony Chinatown Celebration. For a complete list of Chinatown Celebration events honouring Victoria Chinatown's 155th anniversary visit the listings at the Victoria Symphony.
For educational materials based on this exhibition, click here.
This display is presented as part of “The Chinatown Celebration”, a collaboration with the Victoria Symphony, and is funded in part by a generous anonymous grant through the Victoria Foundation and by a special project grant from the BC Arts Council.
We are grateful for the generous support of Thomas E. Stark and Joyce K. Piercy, who made possible the acquisition of the Chinese Freemason’s Lantern; to London Drugs Foundation, who sponsored the conservation work on this lantern; and to the Victoria Chinese Public School for decorating the Chinatown exhibition in the History Gallery.
Special thanks to all in the Victoria Chinese communities who have made this exhibition possible through generous sharing, assistance and guidance. Our deepest respect to all pioneers who together made multicultural BC a reality in the past, present and future.