16 Canadian celebrities reflect on Asian Heritage Month

This month, we reflect on and celebrate the many wonderful contributions that Asian Canadians have made and continue to make in Canada. This year marks 20 years since the Government of Canada signed an official proclamation designating May as Asian Heritage Month.

Today, we are honored to welcome 16 outstanding Asian Canadians with exceptional talent across a range of media to share what this month means to them.

Jin yoon

After years of Trump looting racial slurs and blaming China for COVID, the always covert, muffled, and violent anti-Asian racism has erupted into indiscriminate attacks on citizens. We’ve all felt it, and we’ve all had to advise our elderly parents to stay home today, for a week or two, just to be safe. It’s a terrible feeling. In the country you call home.

“Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity then to boldly represent ourselves, our culture, and our pride in the arts, achievements, and important civic contributions that Asians make here in North America. Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Malay, Tibetan – wherever we come from – we are here. And during Asian Heritage Month, no one dared claim that we “Very well represented.”

Angela Lee

Angela Lee from Treehouse Productions

“Asian Heritage Month is a reminder of who we are and where we come from. It is a celebration of our culture, our people and the wonderful things we have accomplished.

“I am extremely proud of who I am, as a Korean-American and Chinese-Singaporean Canadian woman. I feel that my nationalities and nationalities allow me to transcend stereotypes and break down barriers. I hope my story and background will help inspire my daughter along with the next generation of ambitious and strong young girls and boys !”

Hayden Seto

Hayden Szeto by Storm Santos

“This is the time when I think about the foundation upon which my identity is built. My father, a famous artist and art teacher in Hong Kong, used to wake me up at six in the morning when his day started painting, until one day he stopped. I asked him why, and he replied, “If If you had a goal, you wouldn’t need me to wake you up.” During these trying times, I also believe we must not forget our goal: Our goal is to thrive on the path our parents and ancestors built not only for ourselves but for the next generation.”

I don’t know

Mani Jasal by Amrita Singh

“I think it’s amazing to have a month dedicated to appreciating the Asian community. However, I don’t think we should count on a month to recognize talent within our community, it should continue throughout the year.”

Owen Kwong

Asian Heritage Month celebrates our accomplishments as Asian Canadians and our complex history that should be seen as equal in Canada.

“As an actor, I strongly believe in representing and portraying Asians in a positive way, rather than perpetuating negative stereotypes and coming across as a joke behind. I am proud of my heritage and believe we have a lot of beautiful stories to tell to highlight our diverse Canadian culture.”

Olivia Cheng

Olivia Cheng by Noah Asanias

“I have always been obsessed with the history of Asia in North America because as an actress it nourishes my craft and helps me understand the social realities that resonate with me in the present. For me, Asian Heritage Month means a time for reflection and inspiration, because I am always learning about the contribution of an unknown ancestor, and how they broke a mold Or lead a movement and it reminds me that I am standing on the shoulders of giants today. Knowing your past can help you shape your future, and I think that’s great.”

Vivek Shraya

“First of all, I think of my parents. They came to this country as immigrants. The longer I lived here and understood what racism felt like, the more insight I got into my parents’ lives. When I think more deeply about Asian Heritage Month, I am curious about what What organizations do to support Asians How do they treat them not only this month, but all year round?

“One of my favorite experiences is looking at my bookshelf, making a spreadsheet of authors, and seeing how many white writers are. Sometimes I feel that Asian artists are invisible in Canada. This month it makes me ask others: What media do you consume? Who do you hire? And what do you do to support Asians?”

Hiro Kanagawa

Hiro Kanagawa by Noah Asanias

“Although Asian cultures now occupy positions of respect and fame around the world, many of us in the Asian diaspora still live invisible, assimilated lives, blazing under various degrees of ‘honorary whiteness.’ Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity for us to examine who we are. truly and celebrating our heritage and our way forward as proud members of a global, multicultural community.”

Yvonne Chapman

Yvonne Chapman Laura Baldwinson

Asian Heritage Month highlights the importance of links between cultures and the continuation of our traditions. Whether it’s food, events, customs or celebrations – creating opportunities to present and reveal them to our friends and communities is a special thing to me. Because when we embrace each other’s heritage with an open heart and an open mind, we broaden and enrich our view of the world.

“This has the potential to clear misconceptions about our differences, hoping to reduce harmful generalizations, stereotypes, and misunderstandings. For me, it is about creating unity in our shared human experience through celebration and respect for our beautiful and unique history.”

Jackie Lay

“Asian Heritage Month is a time to commemorate those who came before us, a time to honor the culture and traditions that make us what we are and to celebrate the beauty and promise of tomorrow. We owe so much to the sacrifice and courage of our ancestors, to bring with us a plethora of ideas and ingredients that the future generation can use to collaborate and innovate.”

Ruby Kor

“Asian Heritage Month is a time to celebrate Asian voices. Although I believe the effort to celebrate these things should be throughout the year and not be broken down into a month, it is good to see the representation taking place during this dedicated time. Asians have contributed to They are widely held in Canada and therefore deserve to be celebrated for their contributions.

“I think it’s also important to remember that there are billions of Asians in this world. These are hundreds of ethnic groups and hundreds of languages. This means diversifying even the diversity we choose to represent. It can’t just be two Asian faces that represent us all, but an endless, ever-growing group. .

“I am very proud to be a Punjabi Sikh woman. I am so happy when I learn about people’s history and their meaningless stories Asia. “

Dr. Teresa Tam

Dr. Teresa Tam by Michelle Fahlberg

“Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn about the significant achievements and contributions of people of Asian descent in Canada. It is time to share the diversity of our experiences and successes in science, arts, culture and business. As we celebrate our accomplishments, we must acknowledge the stigma and racism that many in the Asian-Canadian community continue to suffer from.”

“I was inspired by the words of Dr. Vivin Bowie, the first Asian Senator of Canada, on the reasons for starting Asian Heritage Month: ‘My motivation was to educate, to learn from each other, because once you learn, you respect. “By celebrating our diversity, we help break down barriers between us, and contribute to a richer and healthier society.”

Maitri Ramakrishnan

“4.7 billion Asians have 31 days to celebrate ourselves because we don’t see ourselves adequately represented in the media, entertainment or public offices in our North American backyards. Some Asians are more in the shadows than others. For me, this is a month to reflect on why it is important to be We have this time to focus on AAPI, to decipher the diversity in that definition, and to look forward to creating a world where we celebrate representation all year long. Someday there’s no need for a legacy for months because we’ve seen.”

Jill Kim

“I live in the US now and have been here for 18 years, but I grew up in Toronto which is known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. I didn’t know when I was younger to embrace the uniqueness of my ethnicity, but now that’s what makes me special, and I Proud of it Moving to America was one of the things that made me appreciate my home country and being a Korean Canadian.

“I think of all the things my mum and dad taught me growing up – traits they inherited – and I wouldn’t be the strong person I am today without them. I am now a forty-five year old woman, and I feel very confident in the woman I have become. I love being different, I would love to represent the Korean community in Canada and America.”

Shin Lim

by Shin Lim

My parents are from Singapore, a small country in Southeast Asia, and my grandparents are originally from Xiamen. And though I’m currently in Vegas, for me, Asian Heritage Month is all about remembering where we came from; Where did our ancestors come from, what they did, and what they accomplished. It is our duty to do right by them, prepare for our future, and carry on their legacy.”

Kaya Kanashiro

Kaya Kanashiro by Keri Anderson

This means recognizing and celebrating the many wonderful contributions that Asians have made to Canada as well as spreading awareness and learning about Asian culture. It is crucial to learn about Asian culture to help overcome discrimination towards Asians in Canada. Asian culture is great! I really enjoy listening to K-Pop Indie artists, eating ramen, and drinking bubble tea the most! “