Man smiling and holding a document
Wong Foon Sien receiving a document, 1952
© William Cunningham photograph/Vancouver Public Library/60589

Wong Foon Sien was designated as a national historic person in 2008.

Historical importance: Ardent activist for the recognition of the rights of the Chinese-Canadian community and other minorities.

Commemorative plaque: 108 East Pender Street, Vancouver, British ColumbiaFootnote 1

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. Though at times a controversial figure, he acted as a conciliatory force within Vancouver's Chinese-Canadian community, helping to strengthen it. By devoting his time and effort to a range of civil and human rights organizations, Wong Foon Sien helped advance the development of a more tolerant society.

 

People presenting a commemorative plaque
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada trilingual commemorative plaque unveiling ceremony, Vancouver, 2017

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process