The Founders’ Reception celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, took place on May 6, 2011. The Sun Yat Sen Garden is the only Ming garden built in the last 400 years and the only full Ming garden built outside China.
As the MP for Vancouver Centre, I was instrumental in acquiring federal funding for the initial phase. I told celebrants at the event that my main problem was that no one knew what a Chinese Garden was, so government departments were relucant to fund it. I finally went to Suzhou in China to see for myself.
The Garden has achieved its goal of being a bridge between the Chinese-Canadian community and the mainstream community, although in Vancouver there is little difference! It is a true jewel.
With me are Parks Board employee James Yu, who has helped maintain the Garden and 96-year old docent Elizabeth Martin, who attending the opening ceremonies 25 years ago. James taught both Elizabeth and myself Tai Chii in the Garden during the early years.
Read the Vancouver Sun op-ed piece, Dr. Sun Yat-sen garden belongs to all by Li Yang and Drug Halverson (May 20, 2011).
The Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden’s website is http://www.vancouverchinesegarden.com/.