Celebrate Asian Heritage Month at the Library

May 18, 2018 | Danya Elsayed

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In 2002, the Canadian government declared May as Asian Heritage Month. During this month, Canadians are encouraged to learn about the history and accomplishments of Asian Canadians. From the likes of award-winning actress Sandra Oh, to world renowned environmentalist David Suzuki, to critically acclaimed author Shyam Selvadurai, Asian Canadians have played an integral role in shaping Canadian history.

Come celebrate Asian Heritage Month with the Toronto Public Library by checking out our programs happening all across the city.

Sit back and enjoy the Japanese Nagata Shachu band drumming presentation at Fairview or Maria A. Shchuka's Peking Opera performance that brings together riveting song and dance.

Peking Opera Nagata Shachu

This year, the Government of Canada’s theme for Asian Heritage Month is “Passing it forward: Culture through the generations.” The theme emphasizes the importance of maintaining the rich history of Asian Canadians, in particular the contributions made by women of Asian descent.

Following with this year's theme, I've come up with a list of materials from the library catalogue by and about Asian Canadian women.

Passage to promise land : voices of Chinese immigrant women to Canada by Vivienne Pay cover

As a Senator, Vivienne Poy was the catalyst that helped start Asian Heritage Month. She wrote Passage to Promise Land: Voices of Chinese Immigrant Women to Canada, detailing the history of Chinese women immigrating to Canada, and how immigration laws have shaped the Chinese Canadian community over the years.  

Ru by Kim Thuy Cover

Ru, by Kim Thùy is based on her real-life experience as a young girl escaping from Vietnam to Quebec with her family in the 1970s. 

Window Horses  by Anne Marie Fleming

Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming by Ann Marie Fleming is a graphic novel about a young Japanese-Iranian girl who travels to Iran for a poetry festival, only to learn that the story of her father's abandonment might not be true.

The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami

The Hero's Walk, also available as an ebook, follows Sripathi Rao who travels to Canada from South Asia with his orphaned granddaughter in search of a better life.


The boat people, by Sharon Bala

The Boat People by Sharon Bala tells the story of Mahindan, a Sri Lankan refugee boarding a boat destined for Canada with his young son; only to be accused of belonging to a terrorist group upon arrival and having to fight to clear his name.

Know any more interesting titles by Asian Canadians? Let us know in the comments!

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