The politics of banning shark fin in Vancouver

Mike Howell, Vancouver Courier, MAY 7, 2019

Remember that day long ago when then-city councillor Kerry Jang stood up in the council chamber with two packages of shark fin in his hands?

Maybe you don’t.

I do because I happened to be there. Something about working for a living. It was September 2012.

The packages belonged to Jang’s mother and were purchased more than 40 years ago. Their original price was $14 each. Apparently, the fin is now worth several hundred dollars. Read more…

The City of Vancouver is waiting to see whether a bill will be passed in Ottawa to ban shark fin before considering a Vancouver-only ban on the Asian delicacy. File photo Dan Toulgoet

Koi fish return to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

CBC News, May 09, 2019

Ornamental fish will return to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Thursday morning, after being removed last year when a river otter entered the garden pond and killed 11 of the fish.

The Vancouver Park Board says several younger koi have already been returned to the pond, as well as adult fish donated by the Nitobe Memorial Graden at the University of British Columbia and a private collector. Read more…

Koi swim in a tank at the Vancouver Aquarium in December 2018 after being removed from the pond. (Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden/Twitter)

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…

Chinese New Year parade gets new leader of dancing group

JOANNE LEE-YOUNG, February 15, 2018

There is a mini-brouhaha about who gets the coveted honour of leading the dancing group in the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown.

In recent years, the Hon Hsing Athletic Club, which was started on Pender Street in 1939, has been at the helm. This weekend, it’ll be a team from the Teo Chew Society of Vancouver, that was established in 1987 on Hastings Street.

There are definitely many gossipy views circulating. One is the diplomatic version with different teams taking turns. Others include a heated meeting, a secret ballot and the influence of backers. Read more…

Lion Dancers Michael Tan (right) and his master Peter Wong in Vancouver, BC, February 15, 2018. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG

Chinatown legend Bill Wong of Modernize Tailors dies at 95

John Mackie, April 19, 2017

Bill Wong obtained an engineering degree from the University of B.C. in 1948. But the institutional racism of the time meant no engineering firm would hire him. So he returned to his father’s tailor shop in Chinatown. Together with his brother Jack — another engineering grad denied the chance to practise — he kept Modernize Tailors going decades after other Chinatown tailors closed. Read more…

Bill Wong of Modernize Tailors in 2014. Wong died April 8 at age 95. MARK YUEN / VANCOUVER SUN

Bill Wong, legendary Vancouver Chinatown tailor, dead at 95

Matt Meuse, Gavin Fisher, Apr 16, 2017

Bill Wong, whose shop Modernize Tailors has been a fixture of Vancouver’s Chinatown for more than a century, has died at the age of 95.
Wong passed away in his sleep in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 8, his son Steven Wong told CBC News. Read more…

Bill Wong, who died age 95 on April 8, 2017, spent almost 70 years working at Modernize Tailors in Vancouver’s Chinatown. (JJ Lee)

Legendary Vancouver Chinatown tailor dies at age 95

Amy Judd, April 17, 2017

A well-known member of Vancouver’s Chinese community has died.
Bill Wong, 95, passed away in his sleep last weekend. He and his brother Jack inherited the family business, Modernize Tailors, from their father and worked for almost 70 years in the shop on West Pender Street. Their father opened the shop in 1913. Read more…