New B.C. tour highlights Japanese-Canadian historic sites
Published Monday, August 10, 2020 1:28PM PDT
Vancouver's Japanese Hall.
VANCOUVER -- Tourism officials and Japanese-Canadian organizations are teaming up to promote some B.C. travel destinations that allows visitors to experience where history happened.
In the 1940s, about 22,000 Japanese-Canadians were sent to internment camps in B.C. Those sites are listed on a Destination BC route in the Interior that spans from Lillooet to Hope and beyond.
One of the stops on the tour is the Japanese Language Hall on Powell Street in Vancouver, which was once the heart of a Japanese community of 8,000 people.
"The history has, to some degree, been lost and hasn't always been told," Darius Maze, executive director of the language school and Japanese Hall, told CTV News Vancouver.
"So this is a really important opportunity for Japanese-Canadians to reconnect with their history and share it with others … there's never been a better time to get outside, to get into your community, to learn a little bit more about the hidden history that you might not have been aware of."
The hall offers walking tours twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays with physical distancing measures in place.
"This summer, with racial tensions rising all over the world, travel our backyard as an outdoor classroom to experience where this history happened and ways racism can so profoundly change the course of a community’s history," Destination BC's website says about the historic site guide.
"At the same time, be inspired by how, with amazing strength and resilience, the community rose above adversity to create a 'sense of home' for their children."