Track 5: CANADA 150 – INDIGENOUS HERITAGE, DIVERSITY, and NEW DIRECTIONS / Volet 5: Canada 150 – Patrimoine autochtone, diversité et nouvelles orientations

Vancouver Chinatown Under Threat: Observations on Heritage from a New Generation

Saturday, October 14
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

In the recent battle over a contentious rezoning development application located in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, disparate groups of people- advocates for the low income community, seniors, architects, planners, youth groups, citizens concerned with loss of character areas, and so forth- played a pivotal role in its rejection by city council. Rezonings had rarely, if ever, been rejected prior. The lengthy and high-profile public hearing and ultimate rejection of the rezoning raised important heritage issues:

1) Without heritage groups making any concerted effort to engage youth, they mobilized themselves to fight a project in Chinatown that they viewed as a threat to their cultural heritage. Heritage organizations have for many years been grappling with how to engage youth in heritage issues. What attracted youth to this fight?
2) As well, what attracted other interest groups to this particular struggle?
3) How does heritage intersect the interests of all these groups and what is the opportunity for heritage to assist in the conservation of areas by acting as a common thread by which other community preservation interests may find assistance
4) What is instructive to the heritage community based on the organizing of youth groups and other opposition groups against the rezoning

Learning Objectives:

Doris Chow

Doris Chow has been a community development practitioner since 2008. Witnessing the rapid pace of change and the growing social issues faced by Chinese seniors in Chinatown, Doris co-founded the Youth Collaborative for Chinatown in 2015 to develop intergenerational cultural programming as a means for creating a community of care for seniors. With her familial roots in the Hoy Ping Benevolent Association, one of Chinatown's Chinese Clan Societies, in 2012 she joined the Board of Directors together with her sister. Doris studied Sociology and Community Economic Development at Simon Fraser University and is passionate about seniors and social enterprise.


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Senior Associate, Architect
EVOQ Architecture Inc.

Dima Cook has extensive experience in heritage conservation, construction and project management. She is recognized for her ability to manage large, complex projects from early design to contract administration. As a Senior Associate of EVOQ Architecture (FGMDA), Dima is responsible for directing the firm’s Toronto office. A graduate of the McGill School of Architecture, she is LEED AP accredited and serves as the firm’s sustainability advisor. She has served as the co-chair of the APT Sustainable Preservation Sub-Committee on Climate Change. In 2014, Dima was appointed to the City of Toronto Design Review Panel as its Heritage Representative.


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Vancouver Chinatown Under Threat: Observations on Heritage from a New Generation

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