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Title: Chinese Theatre Performance, Part of the Oscar and Dorothy Burritt Records, Courtesy of the Royal British Columbia Museum.
Date: Unknown
Donor: Royal British Columbia Museum
Subject: Arts
Province: British Columbia
Holding Institution: Royal British Columbia Museum
Call Number: V198905/002.02 Item 1. AAAA1119

Royal British Columbia Museum

This 16 mm footage of a Cantonese opera performance is part of the Oscar C. Burritt fonds at the British Columbia Archives (Victoria, British Columbia). Oscar C. Burritt was a professional cinematographer and film enthusiast who, along with his wife Dorothy Burritt, was an active member of the Vancouver Branch of the National Film Society. The Burritt family donated this and other footage to the Provincial archives in December 1986.

This rare silent footage of a Cantonese opera performance in Vancouver, British Columbia was filmed from a seat in the audience. It provides a glimpse of the elaborate costumes, props and staging of Cantonese opera in Canada during the Second World War. Cantonese opera troupes from China were often sponsored by local Chinese Canadian merchant and voluntary organizations such as the Chinese Freemasons.