Over the past two centuries, individuals and families have immigrated to Halifax from East Asia, Southern Asian, Western and Southeast Asia. With them, these new Canadians brought a rich cultural heritage representing many languages, ethnicities and religious traditions.
In 2001, Senator Vivienne Poy, Canada's first Chinese-Canadian senator, proposed a motion to designate May as Asian Heritage Month. In May 2002, the Government of Canada officially declared May as Asian Heritage Month in a formal ceremony.
The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2020 is “Asian Canadians: United in Diversity,” reflecting the richness and diversity within the Asian communities as well as ways in which Asian Canadians have contributed to the building of our vibrant, inclusive and compassionate society.
Although festivities will look different this year, there are still plenty of ways to acknowledge Asian Heritage Month. The Government of Canada has created an Asian Heritage Month poster that you can download, print and colour at home.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Halifax Public Libraries and community members have created a virtual portal, featuring a collection of demonstrations and performances from local artists. Take some time to explore Asian Heritage Month 2020: A Virtual Celebration and learn more about the municipality's diverse Asian Canadian communities.