Author: Tina Chen
In preparation for the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural Centre’s celebration of Canada 150, The Hon. Philip Lee remarked on the difference between the celebration of Canada’s 100th birthday in 1967 and the Canada 150 in 2017. He felt that in 1967 that ethnocultural communities were silent groups because their participation in Canada’s centennial was not encouraged or recognized. The reason for this is that the new policies on Canada’s relationship with linguistic and cultural groups across the country had not yet been established.
在准备加拿大150周年温城中华文化中心庆典的过程中，前省督李绍麟先生（Hon. Philip Lee）谈到了1967年加拿大诞辰100周年和加拿大150年的庆祝活动之间的差异。他认为在1967年，种族文化社区是一个十分沉默的群体，他们对加拿大一百周年纪念活动的参与并没有被鼓励或承认。这其中的原因在于加拿大与全国语言文化群体关系的新政策尚未建立。
In 1963 the Government of Canada established a Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. The objective was to develop greater equality between English and French communities in Canada. The Commission was also tasked with looking at the contributions of other cultural communities. Many ethnocultural communities used this as an opportunity to make claims for the importance of supporting a variety of cultural heritage groups across Canada, and to promote anti-racism work. This brought about a variety of changes — for example, the celebration of Manitoba’s 100th birthday in 1970 included what was to be a one-time Folklorama celebration that included Manitoba’s various ethnocultural groups. The success of the event meant that is is now an annual event.
The official policy Canadian Multiculturalism Policy was announced in 1971. Multiculturalism has a number of aims, primarily to preserve the cultural freedom of all individuals in Canada and to recognize the cultural contributions of ethnic groups to Canadian society. There has been debate about the extent to which the Canadian government put adequate resources toward these aims, and if focusing primarily on culture is an adequate way to address racism and build cultural diversity. Nonetheless, the policy did open up opportunities for communities across the country, including the Chinese community in Manitoba.
For those like the Honourable Philip Lee, he vividly sees the difference in 2017 in the way that the Government of Canada has promoted and encouraged ethnocultural groups across the country to come together and to organize their own celebrations of Canada Day. He believes Canada 150 is an exciting example of how multiculturalism has developed in Canada, and that for this reason encourages us to proudly celebrate Canada as members of the Chinese community, and showcase Chinese culture as part of Canada’s history.