How the Chinese Created Canada provides an in-depth look at the triumphs and struggles of one of Canada's most vibrant communities.
It's possible that Chinese sailors landed on the shores of the country that was to become Canada long before Captain George Vancouver set foot on the west coast, if research proves to be true. But even if the impact the Chinese had on this land was not felt until they came in larger numbers to mine for gold or to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, their influence is seen in every city from Victoria to Halifax. Chinese culture has permeated the fabric of Canadian society with bold, exciting cuisine, art, music and alternative approaches to medicine and healing. Talented and creative individuals have made these concepts an integral aspect of everyday Canadian culture.
Regardless of the hardships they endured--hazardous work conditions on the railway line, the government-sanctioned racism of the head tax, the lack of suffrage in a country where they were supposedly citizens--the Chinese persevered and forged a new chapter in our collective legacy. And some of Canada's most influential and interesting people have emerged from the families of Chinese immigrants--Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General; Norman Kwong, lieutenant-governor of Alberta; Alfred Sung, fashion designer; Stephen Yan, chef and TV host of Wok with Yan; Patrick Chan, Canadian figure skating champion and so many more.