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One Day @ UBC

Take a journey through some of the most interesting, unique, weird, and significant moments in Canadian history. From a rebellion on the prairies to coureurs de bois serving on the Nile River, learn about some of the people, moments, and events that changed the course of the nation, the continent, and the world, proving that Canadian history is both important and entertaining.


DAVID BORYS, PhD, is a writer and lecturer who currently teaches history at UBC and Langara College. He specializes in Canadian history and the study of war and society. David has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and has a list of publications in various edited collections and scholarly journals. He is also the writer and host of the podcast, Cool Canadian History, showcasing all the weird, wacky, wild and wonderful things to do with Canadian history. Find him on Twitter @docborys

Course Format

The format of this course is in-class.

Code: UP927F16A

Offered: Saturday Nov 26, 2016 9:30am-4:00pm

Location: Irving K Barber Learning Centre Room 191

Instructor: David Borys

Click here to register for this session and for more information about UBC Continuing Studies.

UBC Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies warmly invites you to a panel discussion and Q & A on documentary filmmaking with writer/director Cheuk Kwan and cinematographer Kwoi Gin. Selections from their award-winning documentary series Chinese Restaurants will be screened. All members of the UBC community and the general public are welcome.

These films trace the lives of the Chinese Diaspora through a popular icon – the family-run Chinese restaurant. Follow Cheuk Kwan and Kwoi Gin as they take us around the world, visiting families in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, India, Israel, Madagascar, Mauritius, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkey. These families share stories of struggles, migration, displacement, and belonging, giving us diverse perspectives on what it means to be “Chinese” today.

Cheuk Kwan, Director

cheukkwanCheuk Kwan was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. After earning his Master’s degree in Systems Engineering in the U.S., he immigrated to Canada in 1976 where he embarked upon a successful career in Information Technology.

Kwan’s international and diasporic upbringing gave him an early start in world travel and opportunities to meet people from numerous countries – he speaks English, Japanese, French and several Chinese dialects. His engineering career later brought him to Europe, Saudi Arabia, and back to Japan and Hong Kong.

In 1978, the community activist co-founded The Asianadian, a progressive and influential magazine dedicated to the promotion of Asian Canadian arts, culture and politics. It dealt with, among other issues, stereotypical representations of Asians in film and mass media.

The following year, Kwan helped lead the Anti-W5 Campaign to fight against the racist portrayal of Chinese Canadians in the media. The nation-wide movement resulted in the founding of the Chinese Canadian National Council in 1980.

Kwan studied film production at New York University before establishing his own company, Tissa Films, in 1998. His five films from the Chinese Restaurants series – Song of the Exile, On the Islands, Three Continents, Latin Passions and Beyond Frontiers – bring together his personal experiences, love of food and travel, and appreciation of the Chinese diaspora culture worldwide.

Kwan is based in Toronto and is currently executive director of the Harmony Movement, one of Ontario’s leading providers of diversity training, and equity, and inclusive education.

Kwoi Gin, Cinematographer

KWOI is “Made in Hong Kong” & culturally disoriented in the Americas. This “model diaspora” has lost close friends, survived poverty, attended art school, read some books, ran the streets and lensed the world. His fortune cookie predicaments include making peace with the notion of living on the margins without borders, staking claims to a “paradise” with decent Chinese kwoi-270x270food, retiring as a gentleman of leisure with a mahjong parlor somewhere in the South Pacific and devoting himself to the art of meditative probability after celluloid art becomes obsolete.

“Shchedryk” was nominated for best experimental film at last year’s “Female Eye” due to his non-gender specific name. He is currently “listenin to rawk ‘n rol” in collaboration with Paul Hoffert of 70’s Canadian rock band Lighthouse on “1921 – The War Against Music”. Story is rolling & music is divine. Two of his other collaborations will be premiering this coming October: “The Apology” in Busan & “The Year I Did Acid” in Dusseldorf.

In the meantime, he is a free agent, living in his converted church/studio in Korean town with his chocolate lab, Bailey, and looking to go steady with anyone out there with a kickass script to shoot while looking forward to finishing post on Capital (金迷都), a no budget gay feature he shot in PRC, based on true events reflecting China’s coverups & hypocrisies.

This event took place on September 28th at UBC St. John’s College.

Select Articles and Books Available at UBC Library

Feng, L. (2015). Cities in the age of global migration : integration of mainland Chinese in Vancouver, Canada (T). Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+. University of British Columbia. Retrieved November 4, 2016 [Link]

Tator, C., Hier, S., & Greenberg, J. (01/01/2016). Discourses of domination : Racial bias in the canadian english-language press: News discourse and the problematization of chinese migration to canada University of Toronto Press. doi:10.3138/9781442673946-010 [Link]


UBC Library Research Guides

Asian Canadian Studies

Film Studies


The Rare Books and Special Collections has sponsored a series of talks in honour of Remembrance Day. The talks will all be held in the Lillooet Room (301) of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Tragic Bravery: Canada and the Battle of Hong Kong

When: November 4, 2016 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Speaker: Cameron Cathcart, President of the Royal United Services Institute – Vancouver Society (RUSI) and director of Vancouver’s Remembrance Day ceremonies at Victory Square

(World War I 1914-1918 British Press photograph collection, BC_1763_0955)

(World War I 1914-1918 British Press photograph collection, BC_1763_0955)

When asked if he thought the British Colony of Hong Kong could be defended against an invasion by the Japanese in 1941, Winston Churchill replied, “not the slightest chance”. This prediction forms the background to the fatal decision by Ottawa 75 years ago to send Canadian troops into the maelstrom that became known as the Battle of Hong Kong. As the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong approaches, Cameron Cathcart will provide an overview of the battle, its aftermath, and delve into the personal lives of the brave Canadians whose lives were changed forever.


Canada’s Secret Sailors: Asian Crewmen and Canadian Vessels in the Indo-Pacific Theatre

When: November 8, 2016 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Speaker: Clifford J. Pereira, FRGS, Independent researcher, curator, and museum consultant

Based on research gathered over the last two years from national, provincial, and naval archives in Canada, Australia, and the U.K, Clifford J. Pereira will tell the forgotten story of hundreds of non-resident Asian seamen on vessels of the Canadian Pacific Railway deployed by the British Admiralty in the Pacific and Indian Oceans during the First World War.


(Chung Collection, CC_PH_02426)

(Chung Collection, CC_PH_02426)

Remembering the Great War with Canadian Writers and Artists

When: November 10, 2016 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Speaker: Sherrill Grace, OC, FRSC, Professor Emerita of English and University Killam Professor

While Canada has been surprisingly low key about commemorating the Great War since 2014, we do have a wealth of artistic material that does important work in reconstructing and remembering the war. Dr. Sherrill Grace will consider how Canada remembers the war, and why it is important to do so, focusing on works by Canadians writing about the war from a late-20th century perspective.

In conjunction with the talks, a special display, Empires and Empresses at War, will be featured in RBSC’s Chung Collection exhibition room from November 4-November 30, 2016. The display, curated by Clifford J. Pereira, with curatorial assistance from Katie Sloan, showcases the importance of Canadian shipping vessels and the role of Asians and Asian-Canadians serving on Canadian vessels during World War I.

For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521 or

The talks are free and open to the public.

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