Jan 18, 2023

Vancouver, BC – Raised in Chinatown is a new exhibit exploring Chinese Canadian youth culture in Vancouver from the 1910s to 1960s. Langara College students in the Design Formation program have collaborated with the Chinatown Storytelling Centre (CSC) to present the exhibit, which is on display until June 2023.

"The CSC provided our students a wonderful opportunity to work with a real client and through an actual design problem that would be built and experienced by the public," said instructor Scot Geib. "It created a kind of ‘accountability’ the students don’t necessarily have in a typical design studio. Further, Raised in Chinatown enabled the students to work with multi-cultural stories and material that often gets missed in our daily discourse."

"We hope visitors to this exhibit will gain a deeper appreciation for the creative and courageous spirit of Chinese Canadian youth, especially given the difficult circumstances of widespread anti-Asian racism, exclusion, and other cultural barriers,” said April Liu, Manager of Public Programs and Education at the Chinatown Storytelling Centre. “Chinese Canadian youth played a key role in building a sense of belonging for the community; they were trailblazers who broke down barriers to assert their voices and presence in mainstream Canadian society." 

The CSC is the first permanent space of its kind in Canada with programming, exhibits, and interactive kiosks dedicated to sharing the indelible stories about the past, present, future, and living heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown. 

"We are particularly grateful to Langara College and the Design Formation students for bringing the exhibit to life. We are all so impressed by the students’ stunning design work,” said Carol Lee, chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, at the recent opening event. “They really brought to life the youthful spirit of Chinatown. We are particularly impressed by the beautiful title sign that lights up, referencing the historic neon lights in Chinatown!" 

Design Formation is a two-year, multidisciplinary foundation design program that prepares students for further specialized studies or entry-level jobs in fields ranging from visual merchandising to event, graphic, or interior design. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the design process and exposes students to various aspects of the field, allowing graduates to explore their own creative paths with a broad set of skills and experience. Students graduate with a diploma and a professional exit portfolio. 

About the Chinatown Storytelling Centre 
The Chinatown Storytelling Centre (CSC) documents and shares the cultural stories of the Chinese Canadian community as experienced and witnessed through its historic epicentre, Vancouver’s Chinatown. The Centre celebrates Chinatown’s contributions to the development of Vancouver and highlights the roles of Chinese Canadians in the building of Canada as a nation. The CSC celebrates the power of stories in building community and bridging understanding. The CSC is a place that honours previous generations’ courage to dream of a better future and a space to encourage intergenerational dialogue that will inspire resolve in current and future challenges. 

About snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College  
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 23,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm 'house of teachings', a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.    

Learn more. 
Mark Dawson 
Manager, Public Affairs 
Langara College 

April Liu 
Manager of Public Programs and Education 
Chinatown Storytelling Centre 
604 218 7997 


CREDIT: Chinatown Storytelling Centre