In 2018, multidisciplinary artist and activist Paul Wong had the pioneering vision to introduce even more colour and inclusivity to one of Vancouver’s most vibrant and historical neighbourhoods. Pride in Chinatown, an “out, loud and proud” celebration, was the collaborative efforts of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, On Main Gallery, and Vancouver Art and Leisure. To this day, Pride in Chinatown continues to empower members of the LGBTQ+ community and its supporters to honor and acknowledge freedom and diversity.
“It has taken 50 years for a pride event to actually be taking place and claiming space here in Chinatown, which is considered to be kind of radical”, said Paul Wong, commenting on why Pride in Chinatown was so important for this historical neighbourhood.
After the tremendous success of the 2018 debut, and the one-night-only twilight 2019 event at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 2020 was much anticipated and filled with endless possibilities. Always looking for ways to reinvent and transform the event, the Pride in Chinatown team has planned an even larger and more eclectic celebration that encourages visitors to explore a multitude of artworks and installations activated by pan-Asian artists and performers while strolling around the colourful and ever-changing neighbourhood that surrounds Chinatown from August 8th, 2020, through till September 7th, 2020.
The theme for the 2020 Pride in Chinatown is the examination of the historical absence of LGBTQ2+ narratives in Chinatown communities with a specific focus on those who identify as queer Asian. Throughout the month-long street exhibition, visitors can look forward to a multitude of artworks on display such as a site-specific installation by queer, feminist media artist David Ng, intersectional non-binary feminist drag performance artist Maiden China’s “Quarantine Series” of self-portraits, an illustrative series of minimalist vinyl artwork by multiracial artist and writer Candie Tanaka, a digital collage by Filipino-Canadian pop artist Jay Cabalu, as well as exciting new works by artist and printmaker Diyan Achjadi, multimedia artist Ho Tam, and drag performer Kara Juku working with photographer and videographer Christian Jones.
With shared core values such as inclusivity, community and cultural sharing, the Garden has been a strong supporter of Pride in Chinatown since its inception, and this year patrons will be able to see Diyan Achjadi’s work reinvigorating Keefer Street, now used as the main point of entry/exit for our visitors. Other local participating businesses and organizations showcasing art are the Valu Coop/Lim Sai Hor Kow Mock Association building, Propaganda Coffee, Fortune Soundclub, Access Gallery and Or Gallery. As part of Pride in Chinatown’s 2020 expansion these artworks can be visited and enjoyed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the whole length of the exhibition.
For a more immersive experience, check out the Pride in Chinatown’s new website that will be launching on August 7th, 2020, which will include a custom walking map of Chinatown. Partnering businesses and organizations will be easily identifiable by a Pride in Chinatown ‘welcome’ sticker visible in the windows/doors when exploring the neighbourhood on foot.
The Garden also invites you to visit our current exhibit, Luminous Garden, on display in our Gallery space until October 23rd, 2020, stay updated on our future events by checking out our event listing, and subscribe to our monthly mailing list.
Pride in Chinatown takes place on the unceded lands of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil- Waututh) Nations.