The Burnaby Village Museum’s summer opening on May 4 brings Across the Pacific, a new exhibit exploring the history and legacy of Chinese-Canadians in Burnaby since the late 1800s.
Curated by Burnaby Village Museum’s Lisa Codd and UBC doctoral student Denise Fong, the exhibit evolved from a Community Heritage Commission research project in commemoration of Burnaby’s 125th anniversary in 2017.
“Across the Pacific helps demonstrate how Chinese-Canadians have been an important part of Burnaby since its earliest days,” Codd said. “Many of these photos and objects have never been on display, which makes this a very special and meaningful exhibit to share with the community.”
In creating this exhibit, the museum collaborated with the descendants of some of Burnaby’s Chinese farm families, including those who continue to farm in the city’s Big Bend area.
“Some of the stories were being shared with the family for the first time through this research,” adds Fong. “It was an incredible privilege being able to witness that moment of discovery, but also to participate in a process that acknowledges the impact that Chinese-Canadians have had in shaping the landscape of Burnaby's past and present.”
The exhibit is presented in three written languages – English as well as traditional and simplified Chinese – and includes audio components featuring several Cantonese dialects, making the content accessible to the community’s diverse Chinese-language speakers.
Across the Pacificis on display at the Burnaby Village Museum’s Stride Studios Gallery during the museum’s summer schedule from May 4 to Sept 2. Admission is free.