Asian Heritage Month

Remembering the journey to Canada of Vietnamese refugees (Transcript)

Download or order the Asian Heritage Month posters.


May is Asian Heritage Month, a time to acknowledge the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. It also provides an opportunity for Canadians across the country to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage to the growth and prosperity of Canada. Read a statement from Minister Kenney on Asian Heritage Month.

Canada’s cultural diversity strengthens the country socially, politically and economically in innumerable ways. Asian Heritage Month is an ideal occasion for all to celebrate the beauty and wisdom of various Asian cultures.

Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1979. Over the past decade, many Asians in Canada have begun to celebrate their heritage during the month of May. In December 2001, the Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.

Canadians are invited to take part in the events that honour the legacy of Canadians of Asian heritage. It is a time to participate in festivities across the country that celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage, who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation we know today.

Celebrating Asian Heritage

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has declared 2015 as the “Year of Sport” in Canada, during which Canadians will recognize the importance of sports in our everyday lives and in our identity as Canadians.

This year, Asian Heritage Month honours Asian-Canadian athletes, both past and present, for their contributions to sport on the national and international scenes. These athletes are featured on the 2015 Asian Heritage Month poster. These athletes include:

To learn more about the contributions of Asian-Canadians throughout Canada’s history, visit the photo gallery.

The Journey of Vietnamese Canadians

On April 30, 1975, the fall of the city of Saigon marked the end of the Vietnam War and the start of a refugee crisis. Millions of Vietnamese fled their homes seeking refuge and freedom, with many trying to escape across the South China Sea in small leaky boats. Canada played an important role in helping these refugees.

Remembering the Journey of Vietnamese Refugees

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