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Community leader and Chinatown heritage advocate receives Civic Merit Award

February 26 2013

Chinatown gates

Fred Mah, a community leader who has championed the conservation of Chinatown heritage buildings and helped build a strong sister-city relationship between Guangzhou and Vancouver, was presented with the Civic Merit Award today by Mayor Gregor Robertson at a ceremony at City Hall.

The award recognizes Mr. Mah’s extensive volunteer work and contributions to the community as well as his professional leadership.

As a founding member of the Chinatown Society Heritage Buildings Association, his work assisted with the rehabilitation of historic buildings in the neighbourhood and led to the designation of Chinatown as a national heritage site.

He served on the Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee, which developed the Chinatown Vision that laid out a blueprint for the area’s future. As part of the Chinese Benevolent Association, Mr. Mah played a key role in the installation of Shanghai Alley and the memorial statue at Keefer Plaza.

In his role as president of the Vancouver-Guangzhou Friendship Society and as a founding member of the Society and the BC Guangdong Business Council, Mr Mah has been instrumental in establishing successful business, cultural and educational relationships with Guangzhou, Vancouver’s sister city in China.

His organizational and leadership skills led him to help start well-known local organizations such as the Chinese Cultural Centre, Vancouver International Dragon Boat Festival Society, Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC, and Friends of False Creek.

Mr. Mah’s local volunteer work also includes organizing the Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival parades and the Hai Fung Association’s athletic activities. He has also served on the Vancouver Centennial Commission and the Board of Directors of the Fraser River Port Authority.

The Civic Merit Award recognizes individuals for outstanding achievement in a particular field or in recognition of a specific service within the city and province. Recipients of the Civic Merit Award are unanimously approved by City Council and honoured through a resolution, medallion and inscription in the Civic Merit Book. The City of Vancouver has presented the award since 1942. 

Get to know the Chinatown Revitilization Plan

Chinatown Millennium Gate at Pender and Carrall

Chinatown revitalization

The Chinatown revitalization plan will preserve Chinatown's unique heritage while bringing new life to the community.

Find out more about the City's Civic Merit Award

Civic Merit Award attendees 2013

Civic Merit Award

Vancouver's Mayor and Council recognize individuals for outstanding achievement in a particular field of endeavour. View the list of those whose names have been inscribed in the Civic Merit Book.