Tag Archives: Asian Heritage Month


Thanks to my friend Justin Poy, I’m pleased to share information about an important exhibition that’s part of May’s Asian Heritage Month here in Canada. The ACCT Foundation (Action! Chinese Canadians Together) in partnership with the CCCGT (Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto) and The Justin Poy Agency, supported by ACENet (Asian Canadian Educators Network), are pleased to announce a new national touring exhibition titled, “Eating Bitterness: The Canadian Journey from Exclusion to Inclusion”.Eating Bitterness (吃苦 – chi ku) refers to the Chinese proverb indicating how the endurance of hardship can lead to strength. This exhibit examines the little-known history of anti-Chinese immigration legislation in Canada, which included the Chinese Exclusion Act (1923-1947) and segues to stories of resilience and triumph. Visitors will learn about the circumstances that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act and the legacy that it left behind.  Anti-Chinese legislation kept families apart, created so-called “bachelor societies” and led to mandated registration and documentation under the threat of fines, detainment, deportation and humiliation. This very special exhibit opens the dialogue for all Canadians to examine their own communities and to feel proud of the success that members of their communities have achieved despite a history of adversity. Below: Toronto Mayor, Olivia Chow at the exhibition openingBelow: Alan Lam, Chair of the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto.
Canada’s future depends on how we treat others and embrace inclusiveness – after the law was repealed in 1947, Canada saw the rise of many prominent Chinese Canadians, a hope that never would have been possible before. This project is part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. The exhibit features footage from The National Remembrance which took place on June 23, 2023 inside the Senate Chamber where the act was passed on July 1st, 1923 and features, “A Song for the Paper Children”, a poem written and performed by Christopher Tse. Visitors to the exhibit will be guided through this journey via a combination of images, stories, videos and an interactive component which will enable them to participate, relating to the experience of Chinese Canadians with their own stories. “Eating Bitterness” will be shown as well as the film, “No Canada Without Me”. This exhibit is funded by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. “Eating Bitterness: The Canadian Journey from Exclusion to Inclusion” opened this past Friday, May 17, 2024 at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto located at 5183 Sheppard Ave East, Scarborough, Ontario. The exhibition is part of the 2024 Asian Heritage Month series supported by The Ministry of Education in the Province of Ontario, and will be open to the public from May 17 to June 15, 2024 from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday at the Cultural Centre and entry is FREE of charge.  Please visit https://EatingBitterness.ca for more information and future touring dates.

And I have to give a grateful shout-out to Justin who, over the years, has invited me to so many interesting exhibitions that have educated me and exposed me to so many different cultural engagements. The Justin Poy Agency (JPA) is an award-winning Toronto-based full service advertising agency and production house founded in 1993. The Agency was created on the basis that all promotional campaigns in Canada should speak directly to the diverse audiences that make up this country. JPA produces award-winning advertising campaigns and videos in multiple languages and includes casting that represents Canada’s multicultural mosaic so that every project can REACH. EVERYONE.  Justin Poy (pictured below) during the opening ceremony. https://www.justinpoy.com/


I was honoured to be invited to “Silk Roads II – Mongolia”, a concert event celebrating Toronto’s Asian community and their contributions to our history, culture and the arts. It also marked the launch for the new Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage website [ http://bit.ly/1KszEQ7 ].

20150521_212554Canada’s leading flute virtuoso Ron Korb performed along with dancers and musicians, and the event was kicked off by a photographic travelogue of their recent trip to Mongolia, courtesy of Dr. Neville Poy and his charming wife, the Hon. Dr. Vivienne Poy (pictured below) following their son, Justin Poy, giving the opening address to the packed house at the Innis Town Hall Theatre, Toronto.

Neville & Vivienne PoydownloadHO5rHSV8FGRF3163TVtU2NpCFvSHBNLYRjzPVZCDqfwdownload (1)Our charming MC for the evening, Janet Lin (pictured below) then intro’d all the performers, starting with an awesome performance by Xuanyi Liu playing the rare Chinese harp, the Konghou (centre) who was accompanied for one song by beautiful dancers Alice and Natasha (bottom picture)Janet Lin Xuanyi Liu

dancersRon then took the stage to present several tunes from his latest CD, Asia Beauty, accompanied by JiaLiang Zhu on piano.

goEh9KOex-DDPDism-Td5lDljIuFXnLJKIosMLPm4n8Ron was followed by a contemporary dance piece featuring Mairead Filgate and Luke Garwood (below)

EowiMv-bI-GPQ3ftfUDXHuM0-lvJFE7vDI5BOGJTiCM…then Greek musician Yiannis Kapoulas played a series of tunes using instruments influenced by those originally brought to the Middle East via the silk road (below)

Ri9gyyqG8NxcyW5iT1xivc06H_HR_gBWhzkEwpoKpyQThe performances were capped of with a beautiful traditional Mongolian dance presentation by the Chi-Ping Dance Group and dancers from the Chinese Collective Arts Association (below)

ALvk4teIHsIlJP_wuKL4Ru0r8Gh0fgIFlgUaxY83cFgThere was a grand curtain call for all the performers and event organizers, volunteers and VIPs with Justin and his parents taking up drums and joining Ron to play the finale “jam” (below) as everyone took their curtain call.

4uzDkh99wqyd0LekUQeWMI_ErCpulAqg_ASRr1tVG7Q,eshIYxT0HoQjGkArDh2kGefm5g0ADtI54XCYy7golpA 5XjWwp9CYZMbHDDR6PVTAY2mFDfot4fpdUezVh82go0,7rLkX-6iiXjxh-CaOqY7-OrvdNIwtA2o12LUEhRgAocThe entire celebration of Asian Heritage was both entertaining and educational and my thanks to Gabriella Luchetta for photographing all the colour and excitement you see here.

4PFqIENwGDR4bgmmWuYh35UfwFytSMTFI4YO_6sys5ARon and Dr. Poy thank you for dropping by!