Online Museum Offers View Into Chinatown

A new online resource offering visual insight into the lives of Chinese Canadians in Victoria and on the west coast launched April 4 at the University of Victoria Libraries. More than 50 people, including a dozen leaders of local Chinese organizations, attended the launch ceremony.

“Victoria’s Chinatown: Gateway to the Past and Present of Chinese Canadians” ( provides visitors with access to hundreds of digital images illustrating Chinese experiences in Victoria and Pacific Canada. It includes historic photos and documents relating to Chinatown’s landscape changes, heritage buildings, community associations, numerous historic figures, the Chinatown Newsletter since 1993, and paintings of Chinatown by Victoria artist Robert Amos.

The digital collection is complemented with recorded interviews with a number of residents and contemporary community leaders.

“The website of Victoria’s Chinatown is a gateway to both Chinese Canadian experience and Canadian multiculturalism because it’s just our first step toward online preservation and presentation of diverse experiences of different Asian Canadian communities,” says UVic history professor Zhongping Chen, who spearheaded the effort with colleague John Price, also a history professor.

The digital resource is a joint project of UVic’s Asian Canadian Working Group and the UVic Libraries, in partnership with the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, and the Chinese Public School.

Funding for the project came from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.