JIA Foundation



The JIA Foundation fosters Chinatown’s cultural heritage through education, space activation and community-driven approaches to real estate.

The JIA Foundation is a non-profit organization in Québec with a mandate to protect and promote the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Montréal’s Chinatown.

JIA foundation aims to…

Activate

underutilized Chinatown spaces.

Guide

strategic policy, programs and initiatives to protect the history of Montreal’s Chinatown and foster equitable development and community ownership solutions.

Empower

the Asian diasporic and working-class community of Montreal’s Chinatown to develop expertise, capacity, and tools to map-out, secure and advocate for the neighbourhood’s future.

Engage

diverse groups, organizations and governments in ways that are inclusive, culturally relevant, art/storytelling-based and intergenerational.

JIA Foundation Summer Programming


CHINATOWN RECORDS (華埠錄音) LISTENING SESSION & BLOCK PARTY // SÉANCE D’ÉCOUTE et FÊTE DE QUARTIER // 聆聽工作坊 & 街坊聚會

Feat. YiuYiu 瑶瑶 (Chinatown Records 華埠錄音, NYC)

LIVING ROOM LISTENING & SHARING SESSION // SÉANCE D’ÉCOUTE ET DE PARTAGE // 客廳聆聽與分享工作坊

2024.06.07.  17h – 19h //  6月7日 (星期五)
112 Rue De la Gauchetière O
Free! Registration required.

BLOCK PARTY // FÊTE DE QUARTIER // 街坊聚會

2024.06.08. 16h – 20h // 6月8日 (星期六)
DJ Sets: YiuYiu 瑶瑶 // Rhythm & Hues
Place Sun Yat-Sen // 中山公園
Free! 

Manger Nos Racines is a choreographic co-creation inspired by the stories of Chinese Montrealers, Chinatown and the culture that developed there, all combined with the family stories of the artists involved. A first edition entitled Sit, Eat & Chew was produced in 2022-2023, and presented by Festival Accès Asie. This is the second version.

SHOW SCHEDULE

Beginning at Sun Yat-Sen Park, corner of De la Gauchetière and Clark:
Friday June 28, 4 p.m.
Friday June 28, 6 p.m.
Saturday June 29, 4 p.m.
Saturday June 29, 6 p.m.
(postponed to Sunday June 30, same hours, in case of rain on June 28 or 29)

Friday July 5, 4 p.m.
Friday July 5, 6 p.m.
(postponed to Saturday July 6, same hours, in case of rain on July 5)

For updates on the schedule in case of rain, check the Facebook page.

The JIA Foundation will be partnering with the Montreal Chinatown Round Table who are inaugurating a new annual celebration: Chinatown Day!
It’s a full day of programming that will showcase the rich diversity that makes up Chinatown’s identity.

Date: July 20, 2024, between 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Location: Several Chinatown venues
Cost: Free

PAIFANG: A QUEER CHINATOWN FESTIVAL

The term “páifāng” refers to the iconic gates that represent the entrance to Chinatown and serve as gateways between the neighbourhood and the outside world.

In the spirit of building bridges, this festival aims to bridge the queer community and friends with Chinatown and build intergenerational relationships with its residents.

During this free full-day event, participants can take part in workshops on tai chi, traditional Chinese medicine, and pleasure & consent led by local educators. For the closing celebration, meet us at Sun-Yat-Sen Park for mahjong, a community show of drag performances, live singing renditions of Chinese classics, and a lively DJ set.

The Paifang Festival is made possible in partnership with the Ville de Montréal, the borough of Ville-Marie, Fierté Montréal, Sticky Rice Magazine and the Jia Foundation.

Saturday July 27, 2024, 10am – 6pm

Locations:

– Parc Sun-Yat-Sen: accessible venue for people with reduced mobility
– Chinese Association of Montreal (112, rue de la Gauchetière Ouest, 3e étage): not accessible for peopl with reduced mobility

The complete schedule will be released soon!

MADE IN CHINATOWN

Jia is excited to launch Made in Chinatown, a summer community-driven initiative aiming to share the personal stories, memories and hopes surrounding our beloved Chinatown. We will take documentary-style portraits and collect written testimonials.
Selected portraits and testimonials will be printed on large posters and displayed at a community launch party in Chinatown for September 2024.

MORE INFO TO COME!

CHINATOWN HOUSE

is a new space in Montreal’s Chinatown that offers lectures and socio-cultural events in collaboration with our partners and allies, giving everyone the opportunity to participate in social innovation to foster and strengthen ties within our Chinatown.

CHINATOWN REIMAGINED FORUM II

MONTREAL, September 28-30, 2023

Chinatown Reimagined Montreal Forum Final Report

Today’s Chinatown movement intersects with broader social justice and environmental issues, moving the fight beyond saving the old to focusing more on saving a future that brings with it new possibilities. For us, this is a future framed by anti-colonial practices and anchored by fundamental Chinatown values that see Chinatown as a place of sanctuary and site of belonging for many marginalized groups.

The Forum, in many ways, was a snapshot of the movement that has been unfolding through community activism and mobilization in many of our Chinatowns. It was critical for us that the Forum be organized with strong values of community collaboration and a commitment to democratic participation. We wanted the Forum to be a welcoming and inclusive entry point for people to connect with Chinatown and the broader Chinatown Movement.

This report summarizes the activities and key learnings from the three-day event and hopes to capture the overwhelming community spirit we all felt by coming together around a space that holds such important memories and meaning for us all. The strength of Chinatowns is the People. This unique gathering of Chinatowns has built meaningful relationships with inclusive participation and nurtured genuine partnerships across North American Chinatowns that will continue far beyond the Forum’s three-day gathering.

We sincerely thank all the participants, collaborators, contributors, funders, and volunteers for making this event an unforgettable success and providing the JIA Foundation with much-needed knowledge in moving forward with our work in Montréal’s Chinatown.

IRIS Report Launched – “What development model for Montreal’s Chinatown?”

Photo credit: Richmond Lam

What is JIA?

Where is home? What makes a home? How many homes can one have?  Is home about the sense of belonging?  Or is home about putting down roots?  How can one put down new roots?  What happens to the old roots you had? When does one start or stop feeling at home?  Am I feeling at home now?   

Jia is a word in Mandarin that has layers of meaning: family and home. Jia-ren means “members of family” and hui-jia means “to return home”. Like chez-soi, home is more than housing, jia is more than a home. Jia offers the sense of refuge, security and belonging, and jia is where the roots are and where we return to.   

Why now?

Chinatown is a place that has offered generations of people a sense of home when they were excluded or marginalized by society at large.  Chinatown is a place filled with stories of struggle and resistance that are ingrained in its buildings and development patterns. Chinatown is a place that symbolizes connection, resilience and a sense of community. Essentially, Chinatown is Jia. That is why a group of us are setting up the Jia Foundation to protect and grow Montreal’s Chinatown’s cultural heritage with a focus on storytelling and placemaking.  We want to make sure the Chinatown that has witnessed our collective past, can help weave together our often untold and disjointed histories, and provide an opportunity to demonstrate what an inclusive, equitable and sustainable community can be.  

Who We Are

The following members with diverse backgrounds form the Jia Team and are working to establish Jia Foundation as a non-profit cultural and community development organization in Montreal’s Chinatown.

Jessica Chen

City Planning Professional

Karen Cho

Documentary Filmmaker

Murielle Chan-Chu

Translator, Writer, Teacher

Parker Mah

Multimedia Artist and Community Organizer

Monique Ling

Volunteer Coordinator

Sandy Yep

Educator

Michelle Tatebe-Laroque

Program Coordinator

Mei-Li Roy

Communications Coordinator

Chris Lau

Project Coordinator & Funding Development

Théo Pagé-Robert

Researcher (Planning and Design)

Lizzie Dresdner

Researcher (Planning and Design)

Melissa Lengies

Research (Heritage)

Our Official OCPM statement

The Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal launched a consultation in spring 2022 to seek input from citizens, organizations and stakeholders on the proposed bylaw modifications for Montreal’s Chinatown. Here is Jia Foundation’s Official Statement:

Contact Us