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Chinatown Walking Tour Unveiling Ceremony

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The Village of Cumberland, Cumberland Museum and Archives, and Coal Creek Historic Park Advisory Committee are excited to announce the completion of a new and improved interpretive walking tour at the Chinatown Historic Site in Cumberland’s Coal Creek Historic Park. An unveiling ceremony will be take place on Sunday May 7th 2017 at 1:00pm in the park. All are invited to attend.

The walking tour consists of 17 interpretive signposts throughout the historic site. Stops along the tour share information ranging from community entrepreneurs and their families to work in the mines to the day-to-life of Chinatown residents. The self-guided tour takes approximately one hour to complete and involves about one kilometer of walking.

“The Chinese community played a pivotal role in the development of Cumberland and this walking tour will help us better share the Chinatown story with residents and visitors alike”, said Village of Cumberland Mayor, Leslie Baird. “We are excited by the opportunity to partner with the Cumberland Museum and Archives, and grateful for the support of the Coal Creek Historic Park Advisory Committee and other community volunteers, in this project.”

This sentiment is shared by May Gee, Chair of the Village’s Coal Creek Historic Park Advisory Committee, and whose grandparents were Cumberland Chinatown residents.

“We are pleased that visitors will have a chance to step back in time to revisit and learn about some of the unique cultural history of the former Cumberland Chinatown” said Gee.

For the Cumberland Museum and Archives, the project provided an opportunity to further examine and share their extensive collection of items from Cumberland Chinatown. “Photographs, images of artifacts, and scans of archival materials were incorporated into the new signage. Being able to direct visitors to the site to further enhance their experience of heritage in Cumberland is very exciting,” says Executive Director, Michelle Willard.

Former Cumberland resident John Leung initiated the project in 2009 as a way to remember the once bustling and vibrant community, with new and improved interpretive signs installed in early 2017.

The unveiling ceremony will include a guided walking tour by Dawn Copeman and snacks and refreshments. Residents, historians, and all those interested in the park and our local history are invited to meet at the Chinatown Picnic Shelter in Coal Creek Historic Park on the afternoon of May 7th. The ceremony and tour is expected to take about 1.5 hours.

The project is a collaboration between the Village of Cumberland, Cumberland Museum and Archives, and Coal Creek Historic Park Advisory Committee. Special thanks also go to Connie Graham from Vancouver Island University for conducting important research, and to community volunteers Ralph Thompson and Dennis Phaneuf for their help installing the signage.

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