Chinese Consolodated Benevolent Association of Victoria Award

Founded in 1884, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association was a crucial force in Victoria’s immigrant history. The oldest Association of its kind in North America, the CCBA was an active participant in Canadian life, struggling to build an inclusive society and to gain individual and group rights for people of Chinese origin.

The first of its kind in Canada, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) was formed in Victoria by 31 local groups in 1884 to protect the rights and safety of Chinese immigrants.

A number of discriminatory laws were passed in British Columbia in the 1870s and 1880s, leading up to the formation of the CCBA. Chinese and First Nations residents were disenfranchised at the provincial level and in Victoria in the 1870s, meaning that governments did not have to take their interests into account. The city and province also excluded Chinese workers from employment on public works projects. In February 1884, the provincial government passed legislation intending to stop Chinese immigration, tax Chinese residents yearly, and prevent them from purchasing land. In addition, acts of violence were carried out by white residents against Chinese residents, with little or no consequence.

Chinatown had a number of small clan and county associations concerned with social welfare but no overall organization that would protect the interests of Chinese residents. In the spring of 1884, merchants in Victoria’s Chinatown received approval from the Chinese consul-general of San Francisco to set up an umbrella organization that would act as a Chinese consulate in Canada. It was named Zhonghua Huiguan or the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.

The association first established an award at UVic in 1984.


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