Foundation to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada

Commemoration Event - The Chinese Exclusion Act - 100 Years Later (July 1st 1923–2023)

On July 1, 2023, the Foundation to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada will host our annual commemorative event to pay homage to the Chinese pioneers who came to Canada in the 1880s to help build the railroad through the Canadian Rockies, thus uniting Canada from coast to coast, both politically and geographically. Of the 17,000 men who came from the Province of Guangdong, China, over 4,000 lost their lives due to unsafe working conditions, landslides, and premature blastings. After being recruited to build the first transcontinental railroad, the Chinese were banned from Canada through the Chinese Immigration Act (known as the Chinese Exclusion Act). This discriminatory law took effect on July 1, 1923, what most Canadians refer to as Canada Day, which the Chinese Community refers to as “Humiliation Day”. The Chinese Exclusion Act banned Chinese immigrants for 24 years until its repeal in 1947. During the exclusionary period, many wives and children in China were separated from the Chinese men in Canada. The impacts of the Chinese Exclusion Act reverberate through Chinese families and communities to this day. With the formal apology by the Government of Canada on June 22, 2006, for the unjust legislation of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Prime Minister Stephen Harper remarked that the Chinese Railroad Workers and the many generations of Chinese Canadians are great nation builders, uniting Canada politically, geographically, and economically.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. The July 1st, 2023 event will include:

  • Morning Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony
    • Wreath-Laying, Lion Dance, Musical Performances, and Speeches
  • Evening Commemorative Event
    • Formal Dinner, Ties That Bind Documentary, Entertainment, Commemorative Book & Plaque, and Speeches

The Foundation to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada will produce a documentary of the day’s event. We are seeking support for this historical and monumental event as follows:

  • Prime Minister and Premiers: Provide letters of acknowledgment with a print-ready photo of yourself
  • Mayors of Capital Cities: Proclaim July 1, 2023, Chinese People’s Railroad Day
  • MPs and MPPs: Promote educational awareness through social media and your constituency
  • Executive Support: Platinum ($10,000), Gold ($8,000), Silver support ($6,000), and Bronze ($4,000) with dedicated pages in the Commemorative Book
  • Community Support: Advertisements in the Commemorative Book ($500)
  • Individual Support: One Picture and the Family Name in the Commemorative Book ($200)
  • Individual Support: Individual or Family Name in the Commemorative Book ($100)
  • Chinese Head Taxpayer / Chinese Railroad Worker: One Picture and/or One Name of a Chinese Head Taxpayer and/or Chinese Railroad Worker in the Commemorative Book ($25)
  • Film Makers: YouTube videos about Chinese Railroad Workers and the Chinese Exclusion Act

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