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Black Creek Pioneer Village Opens New Exhibit on the Working Lives of Chinese Canadian Women


Exhibit explores the history of Chinese Canadian women from 1923-1967

Yesterday, Black Creek Pioneer Village opened its new exhibit 'They gave up themselves for the next generation': The Working Lives of Chinese Canadian Women, 1923-1967 at its Gallery located in the Visitor Centre. This exhibit is an adaptation of an earlier project created by the Multicultural History Society of Ontario (MHSO), and through photographs and interviews, explores the experiences of Chinese Canadian women as workers in the years 1923-1967 - a period of restricted immigration to Canada. The exhibit will be on display until the end of 2013.

"Black Creek Pioneer Village is proud to share the history of the working lives of Chinese Canadian women with our visitors, lives that are filled with stories of sacrifice and success," said Jennifer Harrington, Curator, Black Creek Pioneer Village. "This project is part of the Village's commitment, through its new five-year Strategic Plan, to work with communities to broaden the history it tells to include experiences that reflect the diversity that is present-day Toronto."

Focusing on the period of 1923 to 1967, the exhibit highlights the importance of education, family businesses, and home-based and community work in the day-to-day lives of Chinese Canadian women and their families. Visitors will learn about the diverse roles of women as homemakers, restaurateurs, doctors, business owners, and more, as well as the sacrifices they made to ensure their families' well-being. Profiles of successful women are also featured, including: Jean Lumb, the first Chinese Canadian to receive the Order of Canada for her community work and role in changing Canada's immigration laws; Dr. Madeline Chung, Obstetrician; Ruth Lor Mallor, Photojournalist and Susan Chew, Fashion Designer.

"We at the MHSO believe that every cultural tradition brought to Ontario becomes part of our common heritage," said Jean Forde, President, Multicultural History Society of Ontario. "We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Black Creek Pioneer Village to bring the stories of these remarkable Chinese Canadian women to a broader audience, and demonstrate how the experiences of these women constitute an important element of our local, regional and national history."

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About Black Creek Pioneer Village
Black Creek Pioneer Village is Toronto's premier outdoor living history museum, located at 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, Toronto. Visitors can explore heritage homes and buildings restored to re-create an 1860s Ontario village. Historic interpreters in period dress demonstrate how villagers lived, worked and played. The Village hosts learning programs and special events that highlight local heritage and culture. The tranquil setting, rural landscapes, heritage gardens and period farm animal breeds make Black Creek Pioneer Village the perfect place to break out of the modern world and journey into the past. Located in north Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). Black Creek Pioneer Village acknowledges support from the City of Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture, The Living City Foundation and the public. For more information please visit




Media contact:

Rowena Calpito
Public Relations, Black Creek Pioneer Village
416-661-6600 ext 5632