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Chinatown Storytelling Centre

Did you know that there is a museum in Chinatown?

Seeing their cute wares online, I have been meaning to check out Foo Hung Curios for a while now, and today we had the time to swing by for a lookie-loo. Little did we know this was a gift shop adjacent to a permanent exhibit at the BMO Hall. A historical walk to see how Vancouver’s Chinatown community helped shape our city’s past present, and future.

Even though we weren’t expecting it, seeing as we were here, I decided on a whim to pay the $12.50 per person fee to see what the estimated 30 minute experience was like. It is a self guided tour where you walk along the path lined with showcases and factoids. I won’t be going into specifics, it is best to support this Time Capsule and visit yourself.


Although, as taken from their website:

Explore the vibrant history of Vancouver’s Chinatown through interactive exhibits filled with stories from the people who lived, worked and played there. Artifacts, photos, and recordings from the 1880s to present day create an immersive self-guided storytelling experience for the whole family.

The exhibit begins in the 19th century and highlights important milestones in the Chinese Canadian journey until today.
The Chinatown Storytelling Centre uses a variety of media to tell the remarkable stories of the early Chinese immigrants who shaped Canada’s social fabric. Be it a Head Tax Certificate or a silk map from World War II, historical artefacts on display in the gallery are complemented by interactive elements.

My favourite exhibits were the projected dinner table where you grab a seat and learn about the importance of sharing a meal and the significance of the dishes chosen. Listen to stories by the individuals who live them. Lift up the receiver from a pay phone and dial for your story. And remember your visit with a trip to the photo shop where you can take and email yourself or anyone, a souvenir e-post card and photo.

But hands down, the best part of the exhibit is definitely Foo Hung Curios. A great collection of Chinese Knick knacks and designs. From prints and cards with XO sauce, tiger balm and durian as the punchline. Drawings of dim sum or historical Chinatown buildings. Purchase dim sum candles kept in mini bamboo Steamers or egg tart and bubble tea plushies. There are tee shirts available in familiar prints and patterns and wrapping paper to parcel anything you are purchasing as a gift. We would walk away with a couple of enamel pins in soya sauce and soy milk.

In conclusion the Chinatown Storytelling Centre is a quick and easy way to get immersed in Chinese culture and shop for fun gifts all in one spot.

Chinatown Storytelling Centre
168 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3
(604) 225-0055

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