UBC Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop have collaborated to present an exhibition that captures the continual impact of iconic Asian Canadian Jim Wong-Chu.

The exhibit runs October 10 to November 15 on Level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, located on the UBC Vancouver campus.

Jim Wong-Chu (1945- July-11-2017) was a well-known Asian-Canadian historian, editor, author, and poet. Born in Hong Kong, Wong-Chu came to Canada in 1953. He attended the Vancouver School of Art (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) from 1975-1981, majoring in photography and design. From 1976-1981, Wong-Chu was involved with the Vancouver Co-op Radio Program on culture and assimilation, Pender Guy Radio Program while working at the Vancouver School of Art.

Considered one of the first Asian-Canadian authors who gave voice to the Asian Communities in the times when the support for the Asian arts was difficult to obtain. Jim Wong-Chu dedicated much of his time to compile a literary anthology, “Many Mouthed Birds” to showcase the richness of Asian-Canadian literature. During 1995 and 1996 Jim Wong-Chu co-founded the Asian Canadian Performing Arts Resource (ACPAR) and became one of the founders of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) where he helped many young Asian-Canadian writers to succeed by editing and finding publishers for their works. Jim Wong-Chu along with Mishtu Banerjee, Mo-Ling Chui, Grace Eiko Thomson, and Winston Xin​ formed the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, as an organization that endeavoured to explore the diversity of Asian Canadian life and culture and promote the discussion of relevant issues and concerns within and beyond the Asian Canadian communities.

UBC Library has partnered with local non-profit 2 Paycheques Away to bring an exceptional and striking photography exhibit to two library locations.

Roberto. Photographed by Mihailo Subotic

This summer, students may see some unfamiliar faces on campus, and deliberately so. UBC Library has partnered with local non-profit 2 Paycheques Away.. to bring an exceptional and striking photography exhibit to two library locations. The exhibit aims to bring the campus and Vancouver communities a little closer together and facilitates portrayals of spirited and resilient individuals from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), by displaying their portraits and stories as shared during their visit to the barber.

2 Paycheques Away.. is the brainchild of Vancouver-based barber and musician Alysha Osborne. In her early teens, Osborne learned that her stepmother had run away from home and ended up in Vancouver in her early twenties, addicted to heroin and working as a prostitute in Vancouver’s DTES. Osborne struggled to reconcile how someone she admired so much and who was a beloved family member, mentor, and parent had lived that life. “I came to realize that my stepmother and I were not that different, and that I, with just a little worse luck, could have landed in the same spot,” she explains.

Giving back to the community

Osborne was working in Gastown and had been wanting to give back to the DTES community for some time, but was unsure how she could contribute in a meaningful way. “The idea for 2 Paycheques Away.. came to me during a trip to the North American Hair Awards. I was watching all these pictures going up on the screen and I put two and two together and had an epiphany/meltdown. I turned to my husband and said: ‘I know exactly what I want to do’.”

When Osborne returned to Vancouver, she reached out to portrait photographer Mihailo Subotic, whom she met working in the same building, about the idea. “I explained to Mihailo that I wanted the pictures to be real with no special lighting or crazy editing so you could just really see the people. He showed me the work of a couple of photographers he knew that used a similar style and understood exactly what I was looking for.”

Rebuilding bridges and relationships

The two began capturing community members during their trips to the barber and learning more about their individual stories — stories of people like Roberto who lost his sense of smell when a grenade detonated near him during his home country of El Salvador’s civil war and moved to Vancouver in 1983 or Angie, from Six Nations, Ontario who moved to Vancouver to join two of her brothers and try something new.

The project was eventually developed into a book where it caught the attention of a friend of Subotic, Melany Lund, who also happened to be a circulation assistant at UBC Library. “My friend’s ears perked up when I told her about this project,” he says, “She came to the book launch and suggested we get in touch with Rare Books and Special Collections because it was so unique.”

Mihailo Subotic and Alysha Osborne

Bringing 2 Paycheques Away.. to campus

The library acquired a copy of the book for the university’s rare books collection, but saw an opportunity to do more. Inspired by the UBC Learning Exchange’s two-way learning model that ensures knowledge also flows from the community back into the university, Katherine Kalsbeek, Head of Rare Books and Special Collections and Aleteia Greenwood, Head of the Woodward Library proposed an exhibition of photographs and stories in UBC Library spaces. Their backgrounds and experiences informed their interest in using UBC spaces as a platform to open minds and shift perspectives. “Hosting this exhibition on campus allows these stories to reach a broader audience and reach people who might not see them otherwise,” says Greenwood, “The Library is committed to meaningful engagement and knowledge exchange with the community.”

Osborne and Subotic are just as thrilled to bring their work to UBC, “Young minds change the world and we want them to see these photos and know these people,” says Osborne.

Osborne and Subotic are grateful for the awareness that working on the project has brought them and hope that the exhibit helps to broaden that awareness. “We’ve learned so much about the issues and problems that the DTES community and neighbourhood is facing,” says Osborne, “We hope this exhibit will help raise that kind of awareness on campus.”

 

The exhibit will run in the Woodward Library and Ike’s Café in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre until the end of 2019 and will move downtown to the UBC Learning Exchange in early 2020.

View the 2 Paycheques Away.. book in the library’s collection.
Copies of the book are also available for purchase at the UBC Bookstore.

For those of you in rural or northern communities, or wherever you are for that matter, please note this ongoing series of podcasts.

http://ruralroutespodcasts.com/?cat=206 *

Many of these could be the starting point for community conversations held at or facilitated by local libraries.

Here are summaries of three recent episodes:

  1. Rural Media:

“Media industry is in trouble. For a long time now it has been shedding jobs and converging into ever larger corporate entities where profits outweigh any residual sense of responsibility to small communities for whom a local paper is often a necessity. Are there solutions? In this episode we will bring you interviews with journalists working a community owned paper . . .” **

  1. Islands and their universities:

“Islands are often perceived as being at a disadvantage compared to their mainland counterparts. And sure, there are some tough issues that are at least somewhat unique to islands. However, there is also plenty of evidence of the potential for unique successes, partially because island geographies necessitate doing things a little differently. Universities located on islands tend to have a different relationship with their communities, often working together to find new, appropriate ways of approaching those old island challenges. . .” **

  1. Community First Tourism Development

“Developing rural tourism is a complicated process fraught with pitfalls, but, when done right, it provides economic and social benefits to rural communities. In this episode we talk to researchers and practitioners about tourism development in Newfoundland and Labrador, Scotland, Denmark, Alberta, and BC. . .”**

*Rural Routes is a Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development and Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation initiative.

This show is supported through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection grant.

** Source: Rural Routes Podcasts © 2016

The 2018/19  Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) call for community submissions is now open.

The deadline is Friday, February 23, 2018.

 

Early and different this year

We are seeking more “organic” community-focused requests, without imposing a pre-determined list of available workshops.


Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) is a collaborative approach to building on the capacities of rural, remote and Northern British Columbian communities. LIRN BC is listed as a project of the BC Rural Network, established in 2004.

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is proud to partner through LIRN BC with government and non-government organizations to provide and facilitate workshops to promote community learning and collaboration in rural and northern communities.

LIRN BC can bring trainers and facilitators to your community to deliver a learning event for residents.

The annual call for “Expressions of Interest” (EOI) occurs each year.  In 2018 the timing and structure of asking for applications has changed.

 

In responding to the call for EOIs, applicants are asked to tell us about your community and its challenges, and identify workshop topics that will help your community move forward. If your agency is selected, you will be contacted by a LIRN BC partner who will work with you to design and deliver a learning event that meets the needs of your community. Successful applicants would be expected to provide publicity support, venue and refreshments.

Click here to download the 2018 Expressions of Interest document.

The current LIRN BC partners are:

  • Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC (ANHBC)
  • BC Healthy Communities (PlanH Program)
  • UBC Library, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Society of BC
  • PeerNetBC
  • Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC)
  • Vantage Point
  • Volunteer BC
  • YouthCo

For further information please contact Sarah Huebert  (shuebert@sparc.bc.ca) at the Social Planning and Research Council of BC.

 

The 2018/19  Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) call for community submissions is now open.

The deadline is Friday, February 23, 2018.

 

Early and different this year

We are seeking more “organic” community-focused requests, without imposing a pre-determined list of available workshops.


Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) is a collaborative approach to building on the capacities of rural, remote and Northern British Columbian communities. LIRN BC is listed as a project of the BC Rural Network, established in 2004.

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is proud to partner through LIRN BC with government and non-government organizations to provide and facilitate workshops to promote community learning and collaboration in rural and northern communities.

LIRN BC can bring trainers and facilitators to your community to deliver a learning event for residents.

The annual call for “Expressions of Interest” (EOI) occurs each year.  In 2018 the timing and structure of asking for applications has changed.

 

In responding to the call for EOIs, applicants are asked to tell us about your community and its challenges, and identify workshop topics that will help your community move forward. If your agency is selected, you will be contacted by a LIRN BC partner who will work with you to design and deliver a learning event that meets the needs of your community. Successful applicants would be expected to provide publicity support, venue and refreshments.

Click here to download the 2018 Expressions of Interest document.

The current LIRN BC partners are:

  • Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC (ANHBC)
  • BC Healthy Communities (PlanH Program)
  • UBC Library, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Society of BC
  • PeerNetBC
  • Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC)
  • Vantage Point
  • Volunteer BC
  • YouthCo

For further information please contact Sarah Huebert  (shuebert@sparc.bc.ca) at the Social Planning and Research Council of BC.

 

Register now to join one of our four book clubs, set to run in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now in its fifteenth consecutive year at UBC, the Food For Fines campaign waives $2 in Library fines for every food item donated, to a maximum of $30. The program began as a joint initiative to support disadvantaged members of the community, and has become an integral source of the AMS Food Bank’s food reserves to support UBC students in need.

Non-perishable food items were collected at circulation desks and then distributed to the AMS Food Bank.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s campaign!

Please note members of the community are welcome to donate goods year-round at the AMS Food Bank and Greater Vancouver Food Bank. For more information visit the AMS Food Bank website.

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