May is Asian Heritage Month

The History of Asian Heritage Month

For over 200 years, Canada has welcomed many immigrants of Asian descent ranging from East, Southern, Centreal, and Southeast Asia. At the same time, Chinese immigrants came to Canada to build the Pacific Railway. Asian-Canadians have not only physically helped build Canada, but also have made an impact on the diversity of our surrounding citizens.

The Recognition of Asian Heritage Month

Although we have recognized Asian Heritage Month since the 1990s, Canada did not officially recognize Asian Heritage Month until 2002 — all thanks to the work of Vivienne Poy. Vivienne Poy — an alumni from the Univeristy of Toronto — was the Senate of Canada in 2001. Coming from Asian descent, Poy was a spokesperson for Asian-Canadians as she proposed the motion to grant a specific month as Asian Heritage Month.

Celebrating Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage month. The month to celebrate and support Asian Canadians! Here are a few ways you can celebrate:

  • Support Asian-ran companies
  • Indulge in Asian cuisine
  • Watch Asian-directed films
  • Discover Asian-made artworks
  • Bring awareness to Asian injustice
  • Learn about the history of Asian-Canadians
  • Be an ally
  • ExplorASIAN festival in British Columbia
  • Annual Asian Heritage Month Festival in Toronto
  • FasinAsian film festival in Winnepeg
  • The Asian Heritage Society in Manitoba


Asian discrimination is a problem here in Canada now than ever.


May is the month to celebrate Asian Heritage — whether you are of Asian descent or a supporter. This month, it is important to bring awareness to the unjustly Asian discrimination around the world, and to showcase Asian-Canadian talent. Asian-Canadians have been mistreated for as long as we have known — and still are today. As the kind Canadian’s we are, it is important to show our fellow Asian-Canadians the respect and awareness they deserve — not just in the month of May, but all year-round!



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