In 1969 a group of citizens brought to reality some ideas that had been discussed for many years. From a rich, colourful, and exciting cultural background, the Chinese could unquestionably contribute to the mosaic that represents Canadian culture. In another long outstanding desire could be achieved: to create a common ground for people in the community to mix socially – free from political and religious differences. Thus, the Canadian Chinese Cultural Society of Montreal was born.
It was decided to attract Canadians both of Chinese and non-Chinese origin: members who would derive pleasure from programs fulfilling these objectives. The founding members were Rev. and Mrs. Paul Chan, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Chow, Dr. and Mrs. Roland Lee, Mr. James Chun and Dr. and Mrs. David T.W. Lin.
The Society has grown from a scattered few to over 400 members, without the aid of any special drive for membership. To achieve our objectives, more members are required, to work with the same dedication as the founding members do. The Canadian Chinese Cultural Society has attracted members from a cross-section of society, from all age groups, from different trades and professions, and from different religious and political beliefs.
In its several years of existence, The Canadian Chinese Cultural Society has held, and participated in, many varied and interesting events. Heading these were the Inauguration Dinner, the Folkloric Festival sponsored by the Government of Quebec, in which many of the members of the Society took part.
There were talks given on Chinese calligraphy, architecture, embroidery and the Chinese dictionary. Demonstrations on how to cook Peking Duck, how to play Chinese musical instruments, physical cultural demonstrations, a panel on Chinese acupuncture all captured the interest of young and old.
Held with great interest were talent contests, movies, art exhibitions and are appreciation lectures, acrobatic shows, businessmen’s creativity talks, musical mosaic programmes and also adult get-togethers as well as youth mixers. Classes in Chinese painting and in Mandarin are being held, and the numbers to be dependent on how many members are interested.
Planned activities for the current year consist of some of the more popular and successful programmes of previous years, with the addition of new ones, as suggested by our membership.
A natural follow-up to our mounting membership is, of course, the increasing urgency for the physical establishment of a cultural centre. This centre will in addition to offering administrative facilities, supply a place for the holding of meetings and some events. There should also be facilities for library, museum, workrooms, etc. It might also conceivably provide facilities for possible old folks’ home. In any cases, it would be a focal point for the community at large.
In effect, the aims of the Canadian Chinese Cultural Society are being achieved – promoting Chinese culture, holding cultural exchanges with various other ethnic groups and entering into the activities of the community as a whole. Notwithstanding its rich and varied program, our Society remains non-political, non-sectarian, and non-partisan.
The primary purpose of the CCCSM is to preserve, promote and propagate our Chinese heritage and culture. Diverse ethnic identities and customs are unique to our multi-cultural Canadian society. This aspect of Canadian life is highly valued and actively protected by our three levels of governments. Our Society was founded to bridge this cultural gap and to foster mutual understanding and cultural exchange amongst our Canadian friends.