May 2021 Asian Heritage Month : Making Art Amidst Anti-Asian Hate

Vancouver, B.C. – The Anti-Asian hate crime capital of North America

The Carnegie Community Centre is proudly celebrating the Asian Heritage Month in Canada with community-based arts, meals, history, documentaries, and learning opportunities.

(All Photos by The Carnegie Community Centre)

Mildred German

Unceded Territories – The world-renowned Vancouver Downtown East Side (DTES) is not only home to many artists, legends, vibrant scenes, and militant social changers, but it is also home to Canada’s largest Chinatown in the country.

Vancouver’s Chinatown is the second largest in North America (next to San Francisco), and stands as one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. It was established in 1885 as a neighbourhood and bustling community started by Chinese immigrant labourers.

Vancouver is also being dubbed as ‘the most Asian city, outside of Asia’. But despite all the festivities, landmarks, and tourist-filled events, Vancouver is renowned  for it’s anti-Asian hate crime recording  the highest rate in the continent according to reports.

Many  learning opportunities are some of the events and activities are organized for the whole month of May by the Carnegie Community Centre in celebrating this year’s Asian Heritage Month in Canada in the DTES neighbourhood.


 Filipino-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, Mildred Grace German facilitated the banner-making workshop that resulted in the art piece banner hanging on the entrance on the Carnegie Community Centre (East Hastings St. and Main St.) in Vancouver, BC. Photo by The Carnegie Community Centre]

The Carnegie Community Centre is located in 401 Main Street, in the heart of the Vancouver’s DTES and Chinatown, on the unceded homelands of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations of the Coast Salish Territory.

Outside, by the entrance of the Carnegie Community Centre hangs a newly created banner.  Measuring  86” and a length of 48” with two paper lanterns, and the theme “May Is Asian Heritage Month”, it can be seen prominently  in the southwest corner of the East Hastings and Main St. entrance.

This freshly-made Asian Heritage Month banner is the finished art piece that was created during the Banner-Making workshop, facilitated by Filipino-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, Mildred Grace German.

German provided the support for community members in animating the space around the printed “May Is Asian Heritage Month” text, with the goal to not only teach banner making skills and art, but also to create a visually appealing and reflective view of the neighbourhood and community members. The Artist and participants decided on the designs and encouraged community participation in whatever they saw fit.

Alongside the banner-making workshop is the Art and Crafts group activities, facilitated by Kokoro Dance Theatre Society’s Tuan Luu. The two handmade paper lanterns seen tied to each side of the banner  are this group’s products.
With support from the Carnegie Community Centre, the City of Vancouver, VINES Art Festival, the Vancouver Public Library, and the DTES Small Arts Grant Program, the banner is ideally to be re-used in display during May, on Asian Heritage Month, for the next 3 years.


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