Community

Chinese influence celebrated

Mayor John Dooley (middle) signs the proclamation with Nelson Chinese-Canadian community representative Cameron Mah (right) and Chinatown week organizer Claus Lao Schunke. - submitted photo
Mayor John Dooley (middle) signs the proclamation with Nelson Chinese-Canadian community representative Cameron Mah (right) and Chinatown week organizer Claus Lao Schunke.
— image credit: submitted photo

Just before the beginning of the Chinese New Year, mayor John Dooley proclaimed the week of May 9 to 15 as Chinatown Week. May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, and Nelson is celebrating its first Chinatown Week, in recognition of the significant contribution made by its Chinese community to the city’s rapid growth in its early days.

The celebration will be Nelson-wide, with more than 30 cultural, educational, commercial organizations, stores and restaurants presenting their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of this part of Nelson’s history with special events, demonstrations, exhibits, food and merchandise offerings. What will clearly identify them all — outdoors and indoors — are 600 red Chinese paper lanterns. Nelson’s schools are being encouraged to discover how the Chinese community helped shape the city and express their discoveries creatively during Chinatown Week.

The highlight of Chinatown Week will be the May 15 dedication of a monument at the corner of Hall and Vernon Streets, an entrance to the former Chinatown. Funding has been made available by the City of Nelson and the Columbia Basin Trust.

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