Mission & History
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.
The purposes of the Society are to maintain and enhance the bridge of understanding between the Chinese and Western cultures, to promote Chinese culture generally, and to be an integral part of the local community.
WHO WE ARE
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first of its kind outside of China, is an authentic representation of an age – old garden tradition which reached its peak in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Garden is characteristic of the private spaces within a Ming scholar’s residence. With its asymmetrical arrangement of rocks and plants, its winding paths and corridors, and the vistas that overlook its courtyards, the Garden emulates the rhythms of nature. Ming dynasty scholars, the elite of their time, lived and worked in their garden, sharing these enchanting spaces with friends and family of all ages. Like any home, a scholar’s garden was filled with energy, but also offered quiet moments for contemplation.
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society, incorporated in 1981, is a self-sustaining, not-for-profit organization with the mandate to maintain and enhance the bridge of understanding between Chinese and Western cultures, promote Chinese culture generally and be an integral part of the local community. Funding for the Garden came from all levels of Canadian government, private individuals, corporations and the Chinese government.
Vancouver’s Chinese Garden was built in 1985-1986 using the time honored principles and techniques of the original Ming dynasty garden. Fifty-two master craftsmen from Suzhou China, working with Canadian counterparts, completed this landscape masterpiece within a year. The intricate halls and walkways are constructed with precise joinery and without the use of nails, screws or glue. The Garden opened on April 24, 1986.Based on the principle of collaborative design, the Garden compliments the adjacent public park; enhancing the view in both places.
For the architect, the botanist, the student of history, the lover of beauty, the Garden provides insights into the subtle wonders to be found within the walls of this living treasure.
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MOMENTS FROM THE GARDEN’S HISTORY (click to enlarge)