Asian Heritage Month

To recognize the contributions of Canadians of Asian descent in the history of our country, the Government of Canada designated the month of May as Asian Heritage Month in 2002.

In honour of Asian Heritage Month, Parks Canada is highlighting three designations of national historic significance that reflect the diverse stories of Asian communities in Canada.

The prayer hall, the four entrance doors, the Sukh Aasan, (the room where the Guru Granth Sahib was kept) as well as the Granthi quarters
Abbotsford Sikh Temple, view of the canopied altar
© Parks Canada / Danielle Hamelin, 2002

Abbotsford Sikh Temple National Historic Site of Canada

Location: Abbotsford, British Columbia

In 1911, determined Sikh pioneers from India built this temple, or Gurdwara, with lumber carried from the nearby sawmill where many of them worked. Blending traditional Sikh and western frontier designs, the temple includes a prayer hall and a community kitchen.

Eleven men in uniforms for the baseball team Asahis, posing for a team photo
Asahis win the Burrard League Championship, 1940
© Japanese Canadian National Museum / NNM 1996-180-002

Asahi Baseball Team National Historic Event

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Between 1914 and 1941, as Japanese Canadians faced racism, Vancouver's Asahi Baseball Team thrilled fans by winning championships in senior amateur leagues. The Asahi became a symbol of the Japanese-Canadian struggle for equality and respect, and despite being disbanded during the Second World War internment, left a legacy of inspiration for future generations.

A man, Wong Foon Sien, holds a framed document. Four other men stand around him. They all smile.
Wong Foon Sien receiving a document, 1952
© William Cunningham photograph, Vancouver Public Library 60589

Sien, Wong Foon National Historic Person

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

This journalist, labour activist, and community leader was instrumental in the campaign to lift the remaining immigration restrictions following the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1947. His persistent lobbying enabled hundreds of families of Chinese origin to reunite in Canada.

The mandate of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada is to advise the Government of Canada, through the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, on the commemoration of nationally significant aspects of Canada's history.

Following an evaluation process and recommendation by the Board, the Minister has the authority to designate a site, event or person of national historic significance.

In addition to advising on designations of national historic significance, the Board provides advice on the following laws and programs:

National Historic Sites System Plan

We are pleased to share the Framework for History and Commemoration: National Historic Sites System Plan 2019. This framework provides strategic direction for Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) in their work to recognize and share our country’s rich history and engage Canadians in their past.

The Framework for History and Commemoration outlines a new, comprehensive, and engaging approach to sharing the stories of Canada’s history through diverse, wide-ranging, and sometimes complex perspectives, including the difficult periods of our past. In particular, it will ensure that the history and voices of Indigenous peoples are incorporated at Parks Canada’s heritage places.

For the work of the HSMBC, this plan identifies strategic priorities that will encourage new and diverse types of public nominations for persons, places, and events of national historic significance. It also outlines a process for the careful review of existing designations and acknowledges the need to adapt the policies and practices of the Board.