Vancouver, BC hosts one of the largest Asian communities in the Western world. Nearly half of their population have Asian heritage, the highest percentage among major cities foreign to the Asiatic continent. They represent the third longest historical demographic in British Columbia.


Chinese Influx

European explorers employed Chinese workers on their expeditions in the late 1850s, but it was not until the 1850s gold rush that major immigration began. Labor opportunities offered better wages than those available from the varied countries the immigrants hailed from. Near the end of the gold rushes, businesses owned by Asians formed the beginning of what would become successful Chinatown districts in Vancouver and Victoria.

Canadian government hoped to stem the influx of otherworldly cultures with the passage of the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act. These new regulations eventually coincided with the Great Depression and rural immigrants moved back to urban environments in order to be supported by like individuals. The act was repealed in 1947 and all anti-Chinese laws were removed from the legal system in British Columbia circa 1951.


Asian Influence Today

Gardens are a very visible cultural influence on British Columbia. Agricultural expansion in the USA meant the decline of economic possibilities for immigrants in this arena, but the continued propagation of beauty is big tourism business in BC. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver remains a popular destination.

English is the primary language in BC, but over one quarter of the population communicates in other primary languages. Cantonese and Mandarin are the main two among those individuals, with French, Punjabi, Korean, Tagalog, and other languages spoken as well. Integration of these multiple communicative styles into the British Columbia market aids in provincial business worldwide.

A person need not travel halfway around the world to gain a comprehensive understanding of Asiatic cultures. Food, art, entertainment, and daily life rituals all take place just across the border from the United States. Southwestern British Columbia, especially Victoria and Vancouver, offer wonderful opportunities to experience the Asian way of life!