This week, on May 12, the province of BC approved $2.2 million in funding towards the revitalization of Vancouver’s Chinatown.
The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation will receive the funding for storefront restoration, preservation of historic neon signs, lighting improvements for businesses, and infrastructure upgrades at the Chinese Cultural Centre.
Lana Popham, Minister of Art, Culture and Tourism expressed that “The contributions of British Columbians of Chinese descent and the Chinese Canadian community are an essential part of our province’s success. This funding will ensure Vancouver Chinatown remains a vibrant and thriving community for the people who live here, local business owners and for tourists from all over the world.”
We wholeheartedly embrace this news, recognizing the increasingly precarious state of BC’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage Sector.
Last week, Vancouver City Council also approved grants totaling $387,000 to revitalize Chinatown. According to the full Council Report, the grants included: Chinatown BIA – Graffiti Removal Pilot Project ($150,000), Safewalk program ($50,000), Chinese Community Policing Centre – Volunteer Graffiti Removal Project ($10,000), and EMBERS Eastside Works – Chinatown Community Stewards Program ($177,000). Other efforts involve $2/hour parking meters starting June 1 and a new City Hall Office at Chinatown Plaza.
We eagerly hope that this funding will breathe new energy into the preservation and revitalization of Vancouver’s Chinatown, which is so much more than just a neighbourhood–it symbolizes the city’s resilience, perseverance, and pride.