Calendar of Events

March 4, 2017

Voices in the Smoke: Chinese Wood-Block Prints by Carol Potter Peckham

Presented by the Canadian Society for Asian Arts and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Voices in the Smoke: Chinese Wood-Block Prints
by Carol Potter Peckham

Exhibition: March 4 – April 8, 2017
Opening Reception: Sat. March 4 from 1:30-3:30pm

Voices In The Smoke is an exhibition of Chinese woodblock prints that reveal a compelling three thousand year old story of the confidence and faith of the many people of China who believed in calling upon their ancestors and powerful and benign gods to improve their lives. Historically, people lived in hard and challenging times and the spiritual world acted as protectors from the threats of natural disaster, precarious physical conditions, and the difficulties of daily life. The wood block images printed for this exhibition are examples of the pantheon of gods and deities worshipped. The Chinese sent their prayers, pleas and petitions to the deities and loved ancestors in the spirit world to grant safety from harm and to bring good health and good fortune.

The wood blocks were found in an antique market in Beijing and painted by Ms. Potter Peckham. Some of the surviving blocks used to print this collection were finely carved by skilled craftsmen but the majority are quiet rustic and brought to market by peddlers and farmers from towns and villages. They survived many years of damage and destruction including the Cultural Revolution, used as firewood, and being re-carved for other purposes. Originally printed on small sheets of paper these requests to the spirit world were burned with incense and carried upwards in the smoke.

Art Exhibition Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Chinese Art Exhibit Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Start: March 4, 2017 9:00 am
End: April 8, 2017 4:30 pm

February 13, 2017

BC Family Day – Free for Seniors and kids 5 and under!

BC Family Day 

Round up the kids, grandma and grandpa and head over to the Garden!
To celebrate BC’s family day the Garden will be open free of admission for kids (age 5 and under) and seniors (age 65 and up).


BC Family Day at the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Start: February 13, 2017 10:00 am
End: February 13, 2017 4:00 pm

January 29, 2017

Year of the Rooster Temple Fair

Year of the Rooster Temple Fair

Sunday Jan. 29 | 10am – 4pm
By donation

Celebrate the Year of the Rooster Temple Fair at the Garden on Sunday January 29! Come enjoy arts and crafts, demonstrations of tai chi and traditional music and participate in age-old traditions such as scaring away evil spirits with a lively lion dance and receiving lucky red envelopes from elders.

This year visitors to the Garden’s Year of the Rooster Temple Fair will also have the chance to experience the Garden’s Coming Home: Traditions of Chinese New Year exhibition, an interactive full Garden exhibition celebrating the lively stories and colourful symbols of Chinese New Year.


Start: January 29, 2017 10:00 am
End: January 29, 2017 4:00 pm

January 17, 2017

Coming Home: Traditions of Chinese New Year Exhibition 萬家團圓:春節傳統展

Coming Home: Traditions of Chinese New Year

Jan. 17 – Feb. 24 | 10am – 4pm
Included with admission, free for Garden members

Family is at the core of Chinese New Year, and the rituals and customs of this traditional celebration are expressed through colourful symbols and lively stories that awaken the senses. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden presents its first full Garden exhibition, Coming Home: Traditions of Chinese New Year, to connect you with the practices of one of the oldest and grandest observances in Chinese culture, the lunar new year Spring Festival. With interactive and educational displays throughout the Garden, you will learn about the meanings behind important cultural practices and how they have endured from antiquity to today.

Be immersed in an experience centered on four major themes of Chinese New Year: decorating, eating, connecting and celebrating. Engage in a diverse array of installations such as the traditional New Year’s Eve family feast, Chinese papercut imagery designed by local artists for Coming Home, an altar table with symbolic foods that you can sample, educational panels, and installations for guests to share their cultural new year memories and more.

The Garden will also host its annual festival, this year we celebrate the Year of the Rooster Temple Fair on Sunday January 29. Come enjoy arts and crafts, demonstrations of tai chi and traditional music and participate in age-old traditions such as scaring away evil spirits with a lively lion dance and receiving lucky red envelopes from elders.

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden would like to thank May Y. Wong for her generosity and support in funding this exhibition and its related programming. 

May’s contribution furthers our endeavour to engage people in intercultural appreciation and allows the Garden to work directly with the local Chinatown community and Vancouver’s creative industry. 


Start: January 17, 2017 10:00 am
End: February 24, 2017 4:30 pm

December 1, 2016

Ancient Poetry, Today’s Life!

Ancient Poetry, Today’s Life! 
Calligraphy by Jia Tsu Thompson and a celebration of her lifetime of achievements

Exhibit: Dec. 1 – 28, 2016
Included with Garden Admission | Free for Garden Members

Opening Reception: Saturday Dec. 10, 2016 | 2-4:30pm
The opening reception will include a tea ceremony, Tai Chi sword master and violin performance. There will also be a guest speaker who will speak about Jia Tsu Thompson.
Included with Garden Admission | Free for Garden Members

A scientist, a social activist and an artist, Jia Tsu Thompson reveals modern recreations of classical poetry, Chinese calligraphy and paintings in an exhibition that also points to a lifetime of achievements.

Born in 1934 in the city of Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, in southeast China, Jia Tsu Thompson grew up in what she describes as a “traditional Chinese family where girls were not valued as much as boys,” upholding the old Confucian philosophy that “women without talent are virtuous.” Despite many social challenges, Thompson persevered.

Despite this challenge Thompson persevered, graduating from the National Taiwan University and continued her graduate studies in the United States where she obtained her Masters in Plant Genetics and PhD on Biochemical Genetics. Throughout her life in academia Thompson continued to face challenges, recalling being faced with much “sexism, workplace injustice and racism,” all while trying to raise a family in a country foreign to her. Still Thompson persisted finding inspiration from the loving words of her grandparents and her travels across the world, witnessing and realizing that women everywhere were treated with inequality in different forms. After many years of dedication to scientific research, Thompson committed her life to social activism, fighting all forms of injustice facing immigrant women and racial minorities. Decades later, in Thompson’s retirement she began to study and practice calligraphy. It is through calligraphy where Thompson was able to collide her worlds taking an ancient Chinese art form and fusing it with plant metaphors passing on a message of health, love, and learning.

Today Thompson’s achievements span from making waves in biochemical genetics research, to establishing the first immigrant women’s shelter in Toronto and holding an exhibition of her art to fundraise for Syrian refugees.

Ancient Poetry, Today’s Life! explores the experience and artistic work of Jia Tsu Thompson, a Chinese woman who refused to accept social inequality, and the resulting impact of her commitment to social activism. Her calligraphy and paintings display a powerful personal perspective and message important to share in today’s world.

Jia Tsu Thompson

Jia Tsu Thompson Calligraphy Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Start: December 1, 2016 10:00 am
End: December 29, 2016 4:30 pm

November 5, 2016

3rd Annual Vancouver Tea Festival

3rd Annual Vancouver Tea Festival
by the Vancouver Tea Society & Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Saturday Nov. 5, 2016  |  10 – 6pm

Ticket admission includes access to:
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – presentations, workshops, tea tastings, tea-leaf readings and tea plant experts
Chinese Cultural Centre Auditorium – tea exhibitors and vendors’ booths


PUBLIC EARLY BIRD Price: $15.95, plus tax (Available until Sept. 30)

REGULAR PUBLIC Price: $18.95, plus tax (Available: Oct. 1 – Nov. 4)

GARDEN MEMBERS Exclusive Price: $15.95, plus tax (Available: Sept. 6 – Nov. 4)

**Children ages 5 and under are free

Did you know that the history of tea dates back to ancient China, almost 5,000 years ago? According to legend, in 2737 B.C. Emperor Shennong discovered tea when leaves from a wild tea tree blew into his pot of boiling water. He was immediately interested in the pleasant scent of the resulting brew. He drank some and found it incredibly refreshing.

To learn more and taste some of the best teas all in one place, join thousands of guests to the Vancouver Tea Festival on Saturday, November 5th, 2016 at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver.

With a fascinating global history and being the most widely consumed beverage in the world – next to water – tea rivals coffee admiration in Vancouver and the West Coast.

The Vancouver Tea Society, in partnership with the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, brings this year a bigger, better, more inspiring and fun-filled one-day event full of tasting, learning and unique experiences. It is a chance to meet and experience local and international tea merchants, tea connoisseurs, tea plant specialists, and cultural experts and activities.


Start: November 5, 2016 10:00 am
End: November 5, 2016 6:00 pm

November 1, 2016

PANEL DISCUSSION: “All Our Father’s Relations: Stories of Shared Chinese and First Nations Heritage” as part of the Heart of the City Festival

PANEL DISCUSSION: “All Our Father’s Relations: Stories of Shared Chinese and First Nations Heritage” as part of the Heart of the City Festival 

Date: Tues. November 1, 2016 | 7:00pm-8:30pm | FREE

Come join us for an evening of storytelling about the intertwining heritage of First Nations and Chinese communities in BC, inspired by the exciting new documentary film All Our Father’s Relations from Producer Sarah Wai Yee Ling and Director Al Yoshizawa of Right Relations.

Meet and speak with key storytellers from the film, Larry Grant and Howard E. Grant, the filmmakers, see select clips, and hear from other notable local figures with stories of First Nations and Chinese joint history.
Presented by the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden as part of the Heart of the City Festival, and in partnership with the Vancouver Asian Film FestivalHapa-palooza Festival, and Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia.

About the film:
“All Our Father’s Relations (祖根父脈) tells the story of the Grant siblings who journey from Vancouver to China in an attempt to rediscover their father’s roots and better understand his fractured relationship with their Musqueam mother. Raised primarily in the traditions of the Musqueam people, the Grant family and their story reveals the shared struggles of migrants and Aboriginal peoples today and in the past.
This film helps to record and revitalize the interconnected histories of Chinese Canadian and First Nations relations along the Fraser River in British Columbia. Dating as far back as the 19th century, relations between Chinese and First Nations in Canada were often respectful and mutually beneficial; both peoples supported one another in the face of marginalization and racism.

The Chinese market gardening history in the Musqueam community is an important historical example of reciprocal relationships between Chinese and First Nations, and the respect many early Chinese migrants showed as guests on First Nations’ territories. The film features siblings Helen Callbreath, Gordon Grant, Larry Grant, and Howard E. Grant, who are elders from the Musqueam Nation with Chinese ancestry. The siblings reflect on their experiences growing up on the Chinese farms at Musqueam and in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and the impact of discriminatory government legislation on their lives. They also visit the ancestral village of their late father, in Guangdong, China, for the first time. The Grants’ father, Hong Tim Hing, left the village of Sei Moon in Guangdong, China in 1920 to Vancouver, BC – the unceded territory of the Musqueam hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking people. He worked on the Lin On Farm at Musqueam Indian Reserve 2, where he met his wife, Agnes Grant.”



Start: November 1, 2016 7:00 pm
End: November 1, 2016 8:30 pm

October 29, 2016

Penjing Winter Care Workshop & Demonstration

Penjing Winter Care Workshop & Demonstration

Date: Sat. October 29, 2016 | 2:00 – 4:00pm
Tickets: $18 General | $5 Garden Member 
RSVP required: or 604-662-3207 ext 205

Penjing have been cultivated in China for over 2000 years and have garnered the epithet “Silent Poems” for their beauty, lyricism and artistic process. Join a group of diverse individuals with the aim of nurturing continued interest in the art of penjing and bonsai, meeting seasonally to share with each other and learn from experts. This winter care workshop will focus on potting, repotting, and suggestions for overwintering your penjing.
Spaces are limited.

A small selection of plants and pots for sale; please feel free to bring your own.
Soil and tools provided.


Start: October 29, 2016 2:00 pm
End: October 29, 2016 4:00 pm

October 15, 2016

Book Launch of “Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton”

Book Launch of “Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton” 
Edited by Mary Chapman 

Date: October 15, 2016 | 2:00pm-4:00pm | FREE

Born to a Chinese mother and British father, Edith Eaton (1865-1914) is recognized as the mother of Asian North American literature for her early work published in 1912. Writing under the pseudonym “Sui Sin Far,” it was Eaton’s 1912 collection of short story fiction about Chinatowns in North America that gained the attention of the world as it stood as the first time stories of oppressed Chinese immigrants were written from a voice within the group itself.
Mary Chapman, a professor at the University of British Columbia, recently discovered nearly 200 additional works of fiction, journalism and travel written by Eaton prior to her 1912 collection that reveals Eaton as a much more complex and dynamic writer. Through Chapman’s discovery and work contextualizing her findings in Becoming Sui Sin Far, it is uncovered that Eaton was also a talented lobbyist for the Chinese community, an early Canadian woman journalist, and one of the first travel writers to describe crossing Canada by rail.Chapman launches her book, Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton, at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden with a short talk, slideshow, and book-signing.


Start: October 15, 2016 2:00 pm
End: October 15, 2016 4:00 pm

October 2, 2016

Poetry Recital: “Autumn Incantations”

“Autumn Incantations”—The Sixth Chinese and English Poetry Recital  
by the Chinese Canadian Writers’ Association

Date: Sunday, Oct. 2 | 2:00 – 4:00pm

Guest poets: Dr. Andrew Parkin, Dr. Ajay Garg, Losanne Yomolky, Joanne Arnott, Ariadne Sawyer, Thuong Riddick.

Poets: Luo Fu, William Chan, Chan Wahying, Chen Lifen, Cao Xiaoping, Han Mu, Huang Dongdong, Anna Lo, Luo Yunqin, Anita Lo, Qing Yang, Jenny Tse, Shen Jiazhuang, Yu Huiying

Translators: Jan Walls, Yvonne Walls, Tommy Tao, Jenny Tse, Laifong Leung,

Music performance: Diana Tong
Ancient Qin music


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

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