Submitted by Heritage Interpreter Lina K.
2018 is Canada-China Year of Tourism, which aims to make Canada’s ties to China stronger than ever and Steveston is a great place to visit if you want to learn about the Chinese people’s involvement in the canning industry.
The first place to visit is the village’s very own Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. We now have visitor site maps in traditional Chinese to guide your way in the museum and Chinese subtitles for the new film Ebb & Flow: Turning Points in the History of West Coast Fishing, in the Boiler House Theatre. If you get a chance to join the Canning Line tour, you will also learn of the Chinese people’s heavy involvement in B.C. canneries starting from the late 1800s.
To add more to your knowledge of history, you can visit Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. If you walk a bit east of the large Britannia Shipyards building, you will be able to spot the Chinese bunkhouse. The male Chinese cannery workers lived here together because they usually came to Canada alone, separated from their mothers, wives and daughters. The bunkhouse has been preserved to show the conditions of the Chinese men’s living quarters.
Both these locations are within walking distance of each other in Steveston; be sure to plan a visit to explore the early history of Chinese involvement in Canada.