MEDIA

‘The Keefer Yard’ Prepares to Tee Off in Chinatown

By Andrew Morrison, Jul 28, 2020, Scout Vancouver

You know that narrow but deep vacant lot beside The Keefer Bar in Chinatown? It’s currently being transformed into The Keefer Yard, an al fresco space dedicated to outdoor games and good times.

The idea for The Keefer Yard is simple: run long rows of bench-style seats against both walls and front them with a 9-hole putting green. Putters and balls are available to rent for a small fee that will be donated to local charitable organisations, starting with the Hogan’s Alley Society. There will be other games to play, too (eg. horseshoes), and GM Keenan Hood tells me he’s also planning for a food truck to be present. read more…

‘What Is Chinatown?’ Artist Jiawei Zhao Looks At Chinatown Under Lockdown

by Nadja Sayej, Apr 21 2020, Forbes

Jiawei Zhao is a Chinese artist based in New York City. As the country is under lockdown, Zhao uses familiar Chinese symbolism in his artwork to create a feeling of familiarity and comfort in this time of crisis.

The Brooklyn-based artist looks to Manhattan’s Chinatown, and the various Chinatowns across the country, as a point of inspiration for his artworks, be it his series that looks at the closed Chinese-language movie theatres, to his Wallpaper series, which reexamines historic public monuments and their relevancy in our current pandemic—looking back to see a clearer future, so to speak. read more…

Wallpaper #2 (ongoing) JIAWEI ZHAO

Guo Ding: Chinese Canadian Museum will counter flawed narratives about B.C. and Canadian history

by Guo Ding, August 2nd, 2020, The Georgia Straight

Last month, the B.C. government announced $10 million in funding for the Chinese Canadian Museum project.

This marks the first time that a North American government has supported such a project. And $10 million is only the beginning.

This shows that Premier John Hogan is a leader who fulfils his campaign promises.

I still remember when I wrote an article in Sing Tao Daily on May 1, 2017, suggesting that B.C. should build a Chinese Canadian history museum to identify the contributions of the Chinese community since 1860. The next day, I received a phone call from NDP headquarters, telling me that the party leader, Horgan, endorsed my idea. read more…

He’s probably been in more movies than any actor in history

By Trisha Gopal, Dominique Turner and David Yim, August 2, 2020, CNN

Hear more of James Hong’s Hollywood tales in the latest episode of Great Big Story, a new podcast by CNN about the delightful, surprising stories all around us.

James Hong is everywhere.

He spoke Mandarin with Keanu Reeves in “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” He backflipped his way out of a fight in “Wayne’s World 2.” He was the supportive, noodle-loving Mr. Ping in “Kung Fu Panda.” On television, he was the maître d’ in the episode of “Seinfeld” titled “The Chinese Restaurant.”
Without exaggeration, Hong might be the most prolific actor in Hollywood history. With more than 600 credits to his name, he may lay claim to the most credits of any actor, living or dead. …read more

With more than 600 acting credits, James Hong might be one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood history.

‘Intolerable’ hate incidents continue to rise in Vancouver: police

By Amy Smart, Jul 17, 2020, Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Reported “hate incidents” have more than doubled this year in Vancouver and police say offenders are targeting the city’s Asian community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Insp. Dale Weidman, incident commander for the Vancouver Police Department’s new hate crime project team, said the department has identified 155 hate-associated reports this year, up from 69 over the same time in 2019.

The city’s Asian community is seeing more than nine times the number of incidents at 66 compared with seven last year, he said.

“It’s an alarming increase and I want to assure you that the department takes these things very seriously,” Weidman said. …read more

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past the boarded up shops along Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, Monday, May 4, 2020. Reported “hate incidents” have more than doubled this year in Vancouver and police say offenders are targeting the city’s Asian community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Keeping Chinatown’s 1,000-Seat ‘Floata’ Afloat in the Pandemic

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson 15 Jul 2020, TheTyee.ca

You can’t have Chinatown without Chinese food. In Vancouver’s historic neighbourhood, there’s the tourist, looking for a bite of culture. There are politicians like Justin Trudeau, looking for a place to campaign. There’s the immigrant senior, looking for familiar food. There’s the resident from the Downtown Eastside, looking for something hot, affordable and a place to sit. But in a pandemic, how are Chinatown’s eateries faring? After our visit to Gain Wah, our series continues with Floata.

“Last year, Justin Trudeau came here for Chinese New Year! And now, we’re losing money whether we close or we open,” said Andre Ruan with a sigh. “These are very difficult times.”

There were always massive crowds at Floata, Canada’s largest Chinese restaurant: fundraisers, weddings, tour groups and parties by various Chinatown societies all brought people to Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. …read more

‘This is the biggest venue in Chinatown,’ said Andre Ruan, a general manager of the neighbourhood’s 1,000-seat Floata Seafood Restaurant. Photo by Joshua Berson.

Michael S. Tan: Pandemic pushes Vancouver’s Chinatown to the brink

BY MICHAEL S. TAN, JUL 13, 2020, The Province

In the next few weeks, there will be an announcement establishing the B.C. Chinese Canadian Museum and its new board of directors. This is the next step following the commitment of $1 million in November from the B.C. government towards the creation of a museum.

The museum aims to commemorate the living cultural heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown and the significant role Chinese Canadians had in building Canada and would be a vital cornerstone in an application towards a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, the community we know and love as Chinatown has been harder hit than many areas. So much so that if a lifeline is not forthcoming to support the historic area’s businesses, workers, and arts organizations, they will not be building a museum; in fact, they will be building a mausoleum — a tomb to showcase what once was. …read more

The B.C. Chinese Canadian Museum aims to commemorate the living cultural heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown and the significant…
Jason Payne / PNG

In the Pandemic, ‘Gain Wah’ Keeps Dishing Out Chinatown Classics

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson, 13 Jul 2020, TheTyee.ca

You can’t have Chinatown without Chinese food. In Vancouver’s historic neighbourhood, there’s the tourist, looking for a bite of culture. There are politicians like Justin Trudeau, looking for a place to campaign. There’s the immigrant senior, looking for familiar food. There’s the resident from the Downtown Eastside, looking for something hot, affordable and a place to sit. But in a pandemic, how are Chinatown’s eateries faring? In this series, we’ll bring you inside the doors of three longtime favourites.

“Son, you know what? You need some skills.”

“What skills?”

“If you know how to cook, you’ll get a job. There are restaurants all over the world.”

The advice from his father would eventually lead Andrew Leung to run Gain Wah in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and for a lot longer than he thought he would. When Leung bought the restaurant from a friend in 1989, he told his wife he’d try it for eight, maybe 10 years. …read more

After running Gain Wah for 31 years, Andrew Leung is still dishing out all the familiar favourites in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Photo by Joshua Berson.

Blame, bullying and disrespect: Chinese Canadians reveal their experiences with racism during COVID-19

Angus Reid Institute, June 22, 2020

It has been referred to as the “shadow pandemic” in Canada. As COVID-19 indiscriminately touches people in large communities and small households, it has brought another kind of virus – one that does discriminate – to the doorsteps of only some Canadians.

That virus is racism. Across the country, assaults, verbal threats, graffiti and worse – all directed at people of Chinese (and other East Asian) descent – have been reported since the pandemic was declared.

Now, in the first study of its kind since the pandemic was declared, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute in partnership with the University of Alberta reveals the experiences and emotions of those directly affected.

Results from this survey of more than 500 Canadians of Chinese ethnicity underscore the extent and depth to which they have been exposed to discriminatory behaviours, and the effect on their own sense of self and belonging in this country. Read more…

The Top Doctor Who Aced the Coronavirus Test

Catherine Porter, The New York Times, Updated June 12, 2020

That Tuesday in March was the day Bonnie Henry had been preparing for her whole life.

Overnight, 83 people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and three more had died. The pandemic had officially broken out in British Columbia.

Standing inside the provincial legislature’s press gallery, the preternaturally calm top doctor of Canada’s westernmost province declared a public health emergency. Under her orders and recommendations, schools closed, bars shuttered and social distancing measures were put in place. Read more…

A Costco in Burnaby used wood pallets to help shoppers observe social distancing in April. By Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press