Burnaby Village Museum kicked off its summer season just in time for Asian Heritage Month in Canada, which takes place each May.
We got geared up in our traditional Chinese coats and visited a newly renovated exhibit that takes a look at how Chinese medicinal shops have evolved through time for local Asian communities.
The Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee & Co. Chinese Herbalist shop exhibit is the repository of the actual herbalist shop, which was based in Victoria from 1905 until 1967.
What stands out from this exhibit is the original dried wooden antique cupboard for medical drug storage, an evolution to the current day glass containers.
Chinese herbalist shops were crucial gathering places and were more than a place where one would find dried goods and herbal infusions.
Most Chinese herbalist shops in North America had a built-in consultation room where a Chinese medicinal practitioner could meet privately with clients to offer advice on their ailments.
These were establishments where Chinese immigrants could gather, play a game of mahjong, (a traditional tile-based developed in 19th century China) find help in translating letters and this one in particular, even contained an unofficial post office for Chinese immigrants in the back of the shop.
It stands as a place where one can feel the sense of community in a land far away from their original roots.
How to plan your visit
TIme spent at location
- FREE & open Tuesday through Sunday & stat holidays
- May 1st through September 6th
Advanced online reservations required.
Complimentary parkade on site
- Located near the entrance.
- Very stroller-friendly and offers pockets of green space with picnic tables for lunch.
- Social distancing orders in effect
Go back in time!
Explore Burnaby through the 1920’s through interactive replica buildings & historical exhibits operated by the Burnaby Village Museum staff.
- Experience the feeling of stepping back in time in the newly renovated Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee & Co. Herbalist shop which features a traditional wall of wooden boxes that housed different dried herbs.
- Download the Summer Scavenger huntand enjoy some self-guided fun through the village
- Enjoy some beverages & ice cream from their famous Ice Cream Parlour—Cotton Candy is a MUST TRY… their most popular!
- See a LIVE demonstration of the roles of blacksmiths at the Wagner’s Blacksmith Shop
- Carousel is currently closed, however their Interurban Tram of the 1920’s is open for viewing.
Burnaby Village Museum
6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby BC
Information source: https://search.heritageburnaby.ca
The author behind @buddycons, Connie writes about her detailed adventures with her kids around BC (& beyond), believer of 'presence over presents' in motherhood & literacy development in children. She shares tips on traveling with ease with kids, home organization & gentle minimalism with having less. She lives in the Metro Vancouver area with her husband & two kiddos. Before becoming a mom, she worked in the Financial Industry and is a two-time award winning People Leader. Follow her adventures & updates on Instagram @buddycons.