The Suzhou Alley Women’s Mural is a community-driven commemorative mural and storytelling project that celebrates the contributions and legacies of the women who have helped shape Vancouver’s Chinatown and the history of the Chinese Canadian community.
Led by Elisa Yon and Janet Wang, the creative team is made up of local artists who live or work in Chinatown and its extended communities: Alger Ji-Liang, Catrina Megumi Longmuir, Daniel Chen, Laurie Landry, Mengya Zhao, and Stella Zheng.
Suzhou Alley is located on the traditional, unceded and occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, between Shanghai Alley and Carrall St., just south of West Pender St. in Vancouver’s Chinatown
The mural will adorn the south exterior wall of the Lim Sai Hor Association Building at 525 Carrall St. facing Suzhou Alley. The building was constructed in 1903 by the Chinese Empire Reform Association (CERA) of Canada as their headquarters, including the Chinese Empire Ladies Reform Association.
The site is of historic significance to early Chinese settlers who first arrived in Vancouver in the late 1800s.
Vancouver’s Chinatown is one of the oldest Chinese settlements in Canada. Its buildings, streets and monuments bear witness to the struggles of early Chinese Canadians. However, women’s voices and stories are largely absent from the local landscape. By bringing together artists and community members across generations to share personal stories and explore local history, the Suzhou Alley Women’s Mural is an effort to uncover and celebrate the stories and triumphs of the women who made Chinatown their home.
The project will include 3 parts:
- A mural
- A series of digital stories
- An interactive website and educational toolkit
Learn more about the community engagement activities and get the latest project updates by visiting http://suzhoualleymural.ca/
This project would not be possible without the generous support of the community.
We are deeply grateful to members of the Suzhou Alley Women’s Mural Advisory Committee: Helen Lee, Imogene Lim, Jackie Ing, Jessica Quan, June Chow, Kelsey Lee, Lily Lee, Sarah Ling and Winnie Cheung. They have been immensely generous in sharing their time and knowledge with us.
We are thankful to our community partners: Lim Sai Hor Kow Mock Benevolent Association, Chinatown Transformation Team, Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group, UBC Quan Lee Excellence Fund for Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies, United Aunties Arts Association, and Vancouver Heritage Foundation. Their ongoing support and steadfast belief in this project has been invaluable.
This project is made possible with generous financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council.