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B.C. gives Vancouver $1 million for proposed Chinese-Canadian museum

Cyclists ride past a neon Chinatown sign in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday August 18, 2016. .
Cyclists ride past a neon Chinatown sign in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday August 18, 2016. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The B.C. government is giving the City of Vancouver $1 million to help establish a Chinese-Canadian museum with the goal of creating hubs in other communities to share the history and experience of Chinese immigrants across the province.

The province says this so-called hub-and-spoke model is inspired by feedback from public meetings earlier this year.

Renewed effort to save Vancouver’s Chinatown
Renewed effort to save Vancouver’s Chinatown

George Chow, B.C.’s minister of state for trade, says people told him that stories need to be told throughout the province in order to highlight moments of significance in Chinese-Canadian history in the places where they happened.

The province says people also called for the museum to celebrate the importance of Chinese immigrants who helped build British Columbia, and to bridge history with contemporary culture.

READ MORE: Renewed effort to save Vancouver’s Chinatown

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Bill Yee, who was the first Chinese-Canadian elected to city council in 1982, says he hopes the museum and its hubs will unite the Chinese community, especially people who don’t live near Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.

A new office for the proposed museum featuring a small gallery of photos and stories opened at a Chinese cultural centre in the city Friday.

The museum is also part of a joint effort by the province and Vancouver to have the city’s Chinatown designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.