Vancouver’s Chinatown has served as a symbol of how Chinese-Canadians and other minorities overcame hardships and discrimination together, and in the process, helped make the city a more just society. Today, it's an important part of Vancouver’s cultural identity.
For a long time, Chinatown’s revitalization has focused on the buildings and public spaces.
In this renewed effort, there is recognition of the need to strengthen Chinatown’s intangible heritage and to view tangible and intangible cultural heritage as synergetic and equally important.
What is living heritage?
Living heritage, also known as intangible heritage, includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed to our descendants. It can include language, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, and specific knowledge, practices, and skills.
Explore the Chinatown Neighbourhood Assets Map, an inventory of cultural heritage assets.
Legacy Stewardship Group (LSG)
In 2017, City Council directed staff to establish a Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group (LSG) comprised of community representatives and stakeholders to oversee and report back on the implementation of work related to revitalizing Chinatown.
Appointed by Council in April 2019, the 35 members of the LSG are tasked with bringing forward a broad range of community perspectives and interests to guide community actions and provide advice to staff on the development of a Cultural Heritage Asset Management Plan (CHAMP) for Chinatown.
The duties and responsibilities of the LSG include:
Acting as champions of the Chinatown Transformation work
Identifying community priority actions and form partnerships to implement these actions
Building common understanding on key neighbourhood issues that contribute to Chinatown’s long-term future
Providing advice and guidance to staff on the Chinatown Transformation work, including input to CHAMP and recommendations on the feasibility of a UNESCO World Heritage Site application for Chinatown
Enhancing and support public engagement and information sharing
Promote and foster relationship building, both within Chinatown and with neighbouring communities
The Chinatown Transformation Team (CTT)
The CTT was a dedicated staff team from September 2018 to September 2022, formed to work with the community and key partners on Chinatown-related work and the development of a cultural heritage asset management plan.
CTT, in collaboration with the community, developed a long-term Cultural Heritage Asset Management Plan (CHAMP) which proposed priority projects, actions, partners, and resources to foster a vibrant Chinatown. CHAMP is a key component of the overall process towards a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site application for Chinatown.
The diverse community stakeholders that CTT served included residents, community and social service organizations, business owners, property owners, family associations and benevolent societies, people who care about Chinatown, as well as partners in the non-profit, public, private, and academic sectors.
April 12, 2019 - The Chinatown Transformation Team, together with staff from various City groups including Cultural Services and Public Art, the Engineering Department, and corporate communications, hosted an event to discuss the role of public art in Chinatown.
Over 70 people gathered at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden to explore questions around the relationship between public art and heritage, and how public art can reflect the values of Chinatown.
The input gathered from the event will help us in developing future public art projects in Chinatown.
Meet and greet
October 27, 2018 - The Chinatown Transformation Team held a meet and greet with the community at our new site office at Chinatown House, 188 East Pender St.
We heard from over 170 people about their thoughts on the future of Chinatown and how they want to be involved.