I first became familiar with The Wong’s Association when I was profiled in a 2008 documentary (‘Brotherhoods, Clans & Secret Societies‘) documenting the history of family associations in Vancouver’s Chinatown. My late grandfather was heavily involved with the organization as a volunteer school principal for many years, but our language barrier made it difficult for me to understand his role or the organization’s cultural significance. It wasn’t till many years later, after I had the experience of working in Asia for 4+ years, that I became increasingly self-aware of my experiences and lens as a Chinese-Canadian.
When I returned to Vancouver, it became a personal mission to become involved with community. After connecting with the recently formed, small yet mighty “youth committee” at The Wong’s Association, we began plotting how to enhance intergenerational interactions within the organization, while cultivating relationships with the surrounding neighbourhood.
In the fall of 2017, we held a panel at the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Gardens and hosted special guest speakers from the W.O.W Project in New York. The evening brought together established and newer businesses to discuss collaborative opportunities in Vancouver.