MEDIA

Calgarian Larry Kwong, first Chinese-Canadian player in NHL, dies at age 94

ZACH LAING, March 19, 2018

A trail-blazing athlete known as “King Kwong” to his followers, Larry Kwong broke barriers as the first person of Chinese heritage to play in the National Hockey League.

Kwong died in his Calgary home last Thursday, according to his family. He was 94.

He played his first and only NHL game with the New York Rangers on March 13, 1948, against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum — although Kwong wasn’t given much more than a minute on the ice. Read more…

Larry Kwong, who played in one NHL game for the New York Rangers in 1948, died at his Calgary home on March 15, 2018. He was 94 years old. SUPPLIED

Chinatown business group cancels 2018 Night Market to protest ‘neglect’ by city

CHERISE SEUCHARAN, StarMetro, April 29, 2018

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association (VCMA) has cancelled this year’s Night Market to protest what it calls the city’s “neglect of Chinatown’s merchants.”

The group alleges that the city is pandering to “anti-development” social housing activists who dont’ have a real stake in the historic neighbourhood.

In news conference held with the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Area Society (VCBIA), the merchants’ group said it was concerned about Vancouver’s development policy update for the area, calling the plan “detrimental” to the success of the neighbourhood. Read more…

The Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association has announced they will be cancelling this summer’s Chinatown Night Market. The annual event, pictured here in 2013, attracts thousands of visitors to the neighbourhood. ( HELEN ANDERS)

‘Last second’ email on planning shocks, dismays Chinatown advocates

JOHN MACKIE, Vancouver Sun, April 26, 2018

On Sunday, Mayor Gregor Robertson delivered a formal apology to Vancouver’s Chinese residents for the city’s historical discrimination.

But even as Robertson spoke, a new controversy was erupting in Chinatown over the redevelopment of the historic neighbourhood.

Late Friday afternoon, the city sent out an email that recommended several changes to a Chinatown Planning Update that the city had released in March. Read more…

Historic buildings in the 100 block East Pender in Vancouver’s Chinatown. GERRY KAHRMANN / PNG

Vancouver council to apologize for historical discrimination against Chinese

Mike Howell, Vancouver Courier, MARCH 22, 2018

City council will hold a special meeting April 22 in Chinatown to make a formal apology to Chinese people for the legislated discrimination enacted decades ago by previous city councils.

The event at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver comes after the 11-member council agreed unanimously in November 2017 to hold a ceremony to condemn the racist policies of city leaders in power between 1886 and 1947.

Banning voting rights, not allowing Chinese people to run for public office and lobbying for a head tax were among such policies. Read more…

Vancouver city council has set April 22 as the date it will formally apologize to the Chinese community for previous councils’ legislated discrimination against Chinese people. Photo City of Vancouver Archives Bu N158.2

City of Vancouver formally apologizes to Chinese community for past discrimination

Chad Pawson, CBC News, Apr 22, 2018

The City of Vancouver formally apologized to Chinese Canadians on Sunday for past legislation, regulations and policies that discriminated against them.
“This is an important day for council and all Vancouverites to come together and recognize historical wrongdoings committed against Chinese people and to build a better future together,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a written statement.
An audience of 500 people witnessed the ceremony at the Chinese Cultural Centre, which was also broadcast on a screen along Keefer Street in the city’s Chinatown. Read more…

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson along with city councillors pose with the official apology offered to redress historical discrimination against Chinese residents. (City of Vancouver/Twitter)

Facing displacement by condos, should Vancouver artists ‘bite the hand that feeds?’

Tessa Vikander, Metro, Mar 11 2018

In an increasingly unaffordable city, where low-wage earners are struggling to find housing and artists are struggling to find affordable studio space, some members of Vancouver’s artistic community are calling on artists to get involved in anti-gentrification and housing rights advocacy.

The call to action came last Wednesday, during a community forum at the 221A arts space in Chinatown, where artists with varying political views debated the ethics of accepting developer money. After the event, Vincent Tao, a librarian at 221A who helped organize the event, told Metro that artists, who have to pay rent for their homes and studio or practice space, are in a tricky situation. Read more…

Vincent Tao wants artists to join groups fighting for rent freezes, a living wage and an end to “renovictions.”

Reconciling the damage done by ‘urban renewal’

Allen Garr / Vancouver Courier, FEBRUARY 6, 2018 12:41 PM

In the mid-1950s, Vancouver city bureaucrats steered a malleable and willing council down the road to “urban renewal.” It was a course pretty well every major city in the western world was taking as they tried to shake off the economic lethargy following the Second World War.

Here and pretty well everywhere else it was a strategy that had two major pieces: slum clearance and freeway construction. It was the time when the car was king and the middle class was moving to the suburbs.

Inevitably in most cities in North America that meant bulldozing homes and businesses populated predominantly by either blacks or Chinese. In Vancouver it meant both. Read more…

A view of Hogan’s Alley in 1958. Photo City of Vancouver Archives P508.53

Vancouver: Chinatown condo opponents take their fight to developer’s front door

MATT ROBINSON, February 25, 2018

Opponents of a controversial condo project at 105 Keefer St. in Vancouver’s Chinatown are vowing not to let up the fight even after the city’s board of variance refused to hear an appeal from the developer.

Nat Lowe and other members of the Chinatown Action Group plan to hold a rally outside the Beedie Group’s downtown office Monday. Last week the same group delivered a stern message to the builder in an open letter: “Your name may be on the deed, but 105 Keefer belongs to us.”

The city’s development permit board rejected Beedie Living’s proposal for a nine-storey condo building at 105 Keefer in November.

The developer was scheduled to appeal the decision at the board of variance on March 2, but a lawyer for the board told Beedie Holdings in a letter dated Feb. 23 that it would not hear the appeal because it lacked jurisdiction in the matter. Read more…

Nat Lowe of Chinatown Action Group stands outside the Beedie Group’s office at 1111 West Georgia in Vancouver on Sunday. Lowe and other opponents of Beedie’s 105 Keefer St. condo project plan to rally there Monday to push for social housing on the Chinatown site. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG

New arts center helps reclaim a piece of Chinatown

Adrian Walker GLOBE COLUMNIST MAY 14, 2017

Glance out a window of the newly opened Pao Arts Center in Chinatown, and the view is dominated by concrete — specifically, an expressway entrance ramp that nearly six decades ago ripped a hole in the neighborhood’s soul.

The just-opened arts center is conceived as part gallery, part classroom, and part meeting space. It occupies space in a mixed-use development called One Greenway, a lovely but generic-looking high-rise that hardly feels like part of an ethnic neighborhood.

That’s because it is in an area that was snatched away from Chinatown under the banner of urban renewal. The homes of an estimated 200 to 300 Asian families, which once stood on the site, were demolished during the early 1960s. Read more…

Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy performed at the grand opening of the Pao Arts Center in Chinatown earlier this month.

Strathcona Saved!

The Vancouver Historical Society had a full house of more than 120 when Shirley Chan spoke to the audience about her late mother, Mary Lee Chan, who was in the forefront of one of the most important movements in Vancouver’s history, the fight to save the Strathcona neighborhood.

That struggle would change forever the way Vancouver city hall dealt with its citizens.

It began in 1959 with the announcement that great swaths of Strathcona houses (described as a “blight” on the cityscape) would be demolished to make way for new apartment buildings and a freeway connector. The residents of those houses—the majority of them Chinese—would be able to move to a new development near Boundary Road and the Lougheed Highway. Read more…