Chinese Legacies exhibit begins national tour

The Revelstoke Railway Museum is pleased to announce that the first stop for the Chinese legacies travelling exhibit will be at Exporail, in Saint Constant, Quebec, from January 15 to May 29, 2011, Jennifer Dunkerson, the museum’s executive director, said in a statement released Thursday.

Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, has become the largest railway museum in Canada and one of the most significant ones in the world.

The story of the Chinese railway workers speaks to our national story and is suitable for a wide-ranging audience in communities all across the country.  Features of the exhibit include a railway workers’ campsite diorama, a slide presentation of historical photographs, original artifacts, some on loan from the Port Moody Station Museum, and text available in English, French, and Mandarin.

Expressions of interest from potential host venues include the Prince George Railway & Forestry Museum, Prince George, BC, the Port Moody Station Museum, and the Copperbelt Mining & Railway Museum, in the Yukon.  Additional resources and visual displays accompany the exhibit that will be available for travel until December 2014.

Chinese Legacies began as a collaborative exhibit project between the Revelstoke Railway Museum and the Revelstoke Museum & Archives.   These two institutions teamed up to create exhibits on a significant yet previously unexplored facet of the railway and community history of this region. The joint project that became the Chinese Legacies exhibit, was made possible thanks to generous grants from BC Hydro, the Vancouver Foundation, the Columbia Basin Trust, and the BC Museums Association.  Generous financial support was also given by the Province of British Columbia through BC150 Years, a Ministry of Tourism, Sports, and the Arts initiative.

The exhibit, Chinese Legacies: Building the Canadian Pacific Railway, featured at the Revelstoke Railway Museum since 2008, explores the fascinating story of the Chinese labourers who contributed to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway between Port Moody and Craigellachie. This presentation of their travel to British Columbia, their living and working conditions and the contribution they made to the construction of the railway has been visited by thousands over the past two and a half years and is now set to travel to other museum venues, beginning in 2011. Revelstoke Museum and Archives continues to host their exhibit Chinese Legacies: Revelstoke’s Chinese Community at its museum location in downtown Revelstoke. This companion to the Railway Museum exhibit explores the large Chinese community that prospered for many years in Revelstoke and features the Kwong family who played a prominent role in the early history of Revelstoke.