Upcoming Events

September 1, 2016

Small is Beautiful Exhibit by Joanne Frewer

Small is Beautiful: 100 Miniature Shrines Exhibit
by Joanne Frewer

Exhibit: Sept. 1 – 29, 2016
Included with Garden Admission | Free for Garden Members

Opening Reception: Thursday Sept. 9, 2016 | 4-6pm
By invitation | Free for Garden Members

“SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL. Look closely and find stillness, grace, humor and so many little surprises.” – Joanne Frewer

The inspiration for a series of miniature dioramas was born when Joanne saw a scene in her home in a fresh way. The juxtaposition of a Buddha in front of a painting made it seem like he was sitting on the beach. Her imagination firing, she thought “What if the Buddha went to the beach? What if he was a part of daily life?” This led to her first series of 100 shrines and a project now ten years in the making.

She never really understood her passion for shrine-making until she met a Buddhist teacher who said, ‘when you make Buddhist art, you become it and it heals you.’ She then realized it was part of the healing process for the passing of her dear brother.

Ten years later, shrine-making has transformed into an artistic meditation. There is a serenity and rhythm to the process. “You can’t hurry with miniatures. It takes days to make each one and to place all the tiny pieces.  It taught me to slow down,” she says.

Creation starts by browsing her collection of thousands of miniatures sourced from all over the world.

Now on her third series of shrines, making 300 unique pieces and counting, she returns to exhibit in the appropriately named “Hall of 100 Rivers” at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

What people have said about Joanne’s work:
“Artist Joanne Frewer has constructed a collection of handmade shadow boxes containing miniature detailed scenes with Buddha, Kuan Yin and other deities. Each box draws you into a world where you might meet Buddha in Mexico or in his kitchen, or the God of Wealth in a forest. Created as a way to commemorate a beloved brother, each work is an expression of serenity and joy”. - Kathy Gibler, former Executive Director of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

“Joanne Frewer’s intricate handmade shadow boxes pull you into a detailed miniature world where deities roam…” - Georgia Straight, 2009


Start: September 1, 2016 9:30 am
End: September 29, 2016 6:00 pm

September 4, 2016

Kun Opera Workshop & Demonstration

Kun Opera Workshop & Demonstration

Date: Sunday Sept. 4, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Hall of One Hundred Rivers
Free with Garden Admission | Garden Members Free

Kun Opera, or Kunqu, is a sophisticated performance art that combines words, music and dance.  It developed in the Ming Dynasty, adopting the regional music of Kunshan (Jiangsu Province) and spread to Suzhou and the rest of China to become the most prestigious form of Chinese drama by the end of the sixteenth century, eventually influencing and giving way to other forms such as Peking Opera. Today, it continues to be one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera. Since 2001, UNESCO has recognized Kunqu as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Join us in the Garden for a lively workshop and demonstration featuring two international masters of the art, Mr. Xiaowu Huang and Ms. Weijian Wang, on a special visit to Vancouver. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the various components involved in Kunqu, from gestures and facial expressions to water sleeves and song notations. Our visiting first-class performers will demonstrate the importance of body and costume movements in combination with rhythmic passages and the language of Kunqu to create a Chinese musical and dramatic performance. All ages and levels welcome.


Mr. Xiaowu Huang specializes in all male roles and is considered one of the finest actors performing the elder male role type in China today. In 1992, he received the Ninth Plum Blossom Award, the highest Award for Chinese traditional theatre artists. Ten years later, he was granted by UNESCO and the PRC Ministry of Culture a Lifetime Achievement Award in Kunqu. In 2009, Mr. Huang was given the title of the National Master of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kunqu.

Ms. Weijian Wang is a famous Kunqu artist who is recognized as a First-Class Performer of the People’s Republic of China. She specializes in both elderly female (Lao Dan) and middle aged female (Zheng Dan) role types and is considered the best actress of the elderly female role of Kunqu theatre in China.

Both masters have performed internationally in Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Korea, Spain, Finland and the USA. They have also been invited to give lectures and workshops on Kunqu performances throughout Asia.





Start: September 4, 2016 2:00 pm
End: September 4, 2016 4:00 pm

September 16, 2016

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2016

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at the Garden

Date: Friday Sept. 16, 2016
Time: 5:30 – 10:00pm
Tickets: Adult $10 | Couple $15 | Family $20 (2 adults + 2 children) | Garden Members FREE

The change of the season brings our annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival!
Join us with the entire family for a unique opportunity to revel among musicians, magicians, artists, performers, tea masters, martial arts masters, and astronomers. Learn about Chinese traditions, have moon cakes and celebrate this age old tradition with local storytellers.  Our friends at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre will return  to host mountain-top moon-viewing, and you will soon be able to purchase online tickets for special storytelling tours into our Garden’s mountain cave (stay tuned for online ticket release!).  This is a rare opportunity when we permit guests to the top of the Garden’s mountain and into its cave.

We welcome all to help us celebrate one of our biggest signature annual festivals. Perfect for families, the young and the young at heart and lovers of culture, history, tradition and exploration.

Special Programming:
Martial Arts Demonstrations
Garden/H.R. MacMillan Space Centre telescope moon viewing (weather dependent) and lecture about the Moon

Yue Opera demonstration
Mid-Autumn Moon Projection light show
Lantern procession with the Vancouver Chinese Choir

All Night:

Mountaintop Tours and Moon-gazing (telescope and astronomers from H.R. MacMillan Space Centre from 7pm)
Wandering Magic by Rod Chow
Live Music in Scholar’s Music Pavilion
Yue Opera Makeup Demonstrations
Gongfu Cha Tea Ceremony
Lantern Riddles
Mooncake Sampling
Floating Lanterns & Moon Mementos Pop-up Shop
Community Art Project
Mah Jong Matches in collaboration with the Youth Collaborative for Chinatown
Calligraphy & Painting by the Richmond Chinese Calligraphy & Painting Club
Drinks & Refreshments

 *The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival will take place rain or shine; if it rains, the festival will take place indoors inside the Garden’s  halls, beautiful covered pavilions, and sheltered walkways.

Online sales end at 4pm on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016
Please be advised, tickets purchased online are tax-included but will be charged a processing fee.
**Guests will need to bring their printed digital ticket when they arrive**, this will help us speed up entrance!

Special thank you to:


Start: September 16, 2016 5:30 pm
End: September 16, 2016 10:00 pm

September 22, 2016

Book Launch of “Great Fortune Dream” by Dr. David Chuenyan Lai & Ding Guo

Book Launch of “Great Fortune Dream” by Dr. David Chuenyan Lai & Ding Guo

Date: Thursday Sept. 22, 2016 | 4 – 6pm
Admission is complimentary, enter through Carrall St. doors
(does not include access to Garden)

Great Fortune Dream illustrates the life of Chinese migrants in Canada from 1858-1966. A story of a displaced and discriminated population of Chinese migrants working to save their great fortune for a better life back in China evolving into a community of Chinese Canadians with roots firmly planted in the history and culture of Canada.

The book was first launched in China then translated to English and is now set to launch at the Garden. Authors Dr. David Chuenyan Lai and Ding Guo will give a short presentation of Great Fortune Dream which will be accompanied by photos from Dr. David Chueyan Lai’s personal collection. We will also be joined by Sophia Leung, former Member of Parliament who will introduce the authors and also speak briefly about the social environment in Canada during 1858-1966.
The presentation will close with a brief Q-and-A session and book signing.

Copies of Great Fortune Dream: The Struggles and Triumphs of Chinese Settlers in Canada, 1858–1966 will be available on-site and at the Garden’s Eight Treasures Shop.



Start: September 22, 2016 4:00 pm
End: September 22, 2016 6:00 pm

Upcoming Events

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