Gift to UVic Libraries will preserve local at-risk historical Chinese collection

February 6, 2011 (Victoria, BC) – Another significant grant was announced by the Victoria Foundation this evening at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association New Years Gala Dinner at the Golden City restaurant.  

The $26,000 gift will make it possible to share the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association's (CCBA) story with the community through the scanning and translation of its significant at-risk historical documents housed in the archives at the UVIC Libraries.

“We are delighted to be the recipients of this grant funding from the Victoria Foundation that allows UVic Libraries to preserve, translate and showcase this remarkable regional historical material,” says Marnie Swanson, University Librarian. “This grant will ensure this rich historical resource will be preserved, free and accessible to the general public as well as to students, faculty and researchers on campus.”

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the majority of Canada’s Chinese population was based in our city, Victoria became the centre of the immigrants’ struggle for human rights.

The documents included in this project reflect the many significant activities of which the CCBA took a leadership role, including: protesting against racial discrimination, mediating in the business community, facilitating the movement of Chinese people within Canada, making contributions to Chinese individuals and families in other parts of Canada, China and Cuba, and supporting the creation of Chinese hospitals in British Columbia.

“The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association is very pleased that the Victoria Foundation has given the University of Victoria funding for the digitization and translation of our archives,” says Joe Leung, President of the CCBA. “It is an auspicious start to the New Year. Many of the documents are written in traditional Chinese script, making them less accessible to students, academics and many of the younger generations of our community.”

“Having these historical documents online and translated to English will give prominence to the Chinese community and will help to preserve these important records which highlight our collective history of struggle and perseverance,” adds Leung.
In recognition of the Chinese New Year earlier this week a $75,000 gift was made to the Victoria Chinese community and its rich history in celebration of the Victoria Foundation’s 75th anniversary. The $75,000 gift will go towards four different projects, including;

  • $50,000 to the David Lam Centre at Simon Fraser University for the Chinese Canadian history project.
  • $15,000 to the Greater Victoria Public Library to add to its Chinese language collection.
  • $5,000 to the Victoria Chinatown Community Care Foundation to support areas of greatest need for the Care Centre, and
  • Another $5,000 to the City of Victoria to create a mural or install an art piece in Victoria’s Chinatown to feature and reflect on the rich history of the contributions of Chinese Canadians in Canada’s first Chinatown.

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This year the Victoria Foundation celebrates its 75th anniversary. Since 1936 the generosity and commitment of donors has enabled the Victoria Foundation to fulfill its vision of connecting people who care with causes that matter®. The connections that the Foundation has with the charitable sector make us the go to resource centre for community philanthropy and they allow us to respond to the needs in our community through leadership, stewardship and granting.

For more information, please contact:
Shannon Drew-Burrows
Director of Communications
The Victoria Foundation
Tel: 250.381.5532

Lara Wilson, MA, MAS
University Archivist
University of Victoria Archives
Tel: (250) 472-4480
Fax: (250) 721-8215