Minister Joly Launches Asian Heritage Month Celebrations and Activities

Celebrating our diversity and the contributions of Asian Canadians

OTTAWA, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, celebrated Asian Heritage Month. This month provides an opportunity for all Canadians to come together to recognize and learn more about the rich cultures and long-standing history of Canadians of Asian descent.

From the arts and sciences to sport, business and government, Asian Canadians have made significant contributions to all aspects of life in Canada, and continue to support our country's growth and prosperity.

As we celebrate Canada 150, Asian Heritage Month is a time to showcase the rich heritage and cultural diversity that strengthens and enriches our national fabric.

The theme of this year's Asian Heritage Month is "Celebrating the Contributions of Asian Canadians." Events will take place throughout the month of May across Canada. We invite all Canadians to join in sharing stories and highlighting the contributions of Asian Canadians in communities across the country.


"Throughout 2017, Canadians will celebrate the rich heritage and cultural diversity that make Canada such a great place to live. Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity to highlight the immense contributions of Canadians of Asian descent who have done so much to shape our shared cultural landscape. I encourage all Canadians to learn more about these individuals and communities, and to participate in the many events taking place throughout the month."

— The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick Facts

Asian Heritage Month increases awareness and celebrates the vast array of cultures and traditions found throughout the Asian continent, which have helped make Canada the diverse and inclusive country we know today. Asian Heritage Month also provides the opportunity to celebrate the important contributions Asian Canadians have made to the settlement, growth and development of Canada over the course of its history.

The 2017 campaign includes activities and products such as a formal launch event in Ottawa; a promotional poster available online and distributed to schools, libraries, and museums; updates to the Asian Heritage Month webpage; and a month-long campaign on Canadian Heritage's social media platforms.

In December 2001, the Senate of Canada 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.

The Government of Canada is committed to recognizing the experiences and struggles of Asian Canadians. Asian Heritage Month helps raise awareness of the diverse cultural backgrounds found in Asian communities across Canada, and helps combat racism and discrimination through education.

According to the 2011 National Housing Survey, Asian Canadians make up the largest visible minority group in Canada and people with an Asian language as their mother tongue comprise over half of the immigrant-language population in Canada.

Under the Government of Canada's Inter-Action: Multiculturalism Funding Program, organizations may apply for funding for community events or projects that contribute to building an integrated, socially cohesive society. This includes supporting Asian Heritage Month activities in communities across Canada.

A number of other month-long observances are officially recognized and celebrated in Canada, including Black History Month in February.

Associated Link

Asian Heritage Month


SOURCE Canadian Heritage

For further information: (media only), please contact: Pierre-Olivier Herbert, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155,


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890