Department of History
1297 - 1873 University of British Columbia                                Vancouver BC  V6T 1Z1  Canada                                                                     mailto:instrcc@interchange.ubc.cashapeimage_2_link_0
A key component of the INSTRCC program is to put the latest in digital video technology in the hands of students so that they can do research and tell accessible stories that reach far beyond the borders of UBC’s Point Grey campus. Analytical rigour and imaginative research can find a wide audience, and our student film projects are excellent examples of how to use new forms to present important arguments.
by Alejandro Yoshizawa and Jennifer Yip
The stories of Chinatown's buildings chronicle the evolution of this important Vancouver community. The film follows Chinatown's history from its humble beginnings as a place and community for labouring Chinese men and their wooden shacks to its heyday where Chinese Canadian like Yip Sang, H.Y. Louie, Bick Lee, Mary Lee Chan, groups like the Chinese Student Soccer Team and associations like the Yue Shan Society strengthened the community and helped to extend it beyond Chinatown. However, today's Chinatown is losings its former vitality and is becoming more and more neglected. For a place that is so important to the history of Vancouver and Canada, if this decline is allowed to continue, what does the future hold in store for Vancouver's Chinatown?
This film was created for the Chinatown Gala Dinner held on May 14, 2009, by UBC History 483 students Alejandro Yoshizawa and Jennifer Yip. Funding was generously provided by the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), INSTRCC UBC, and UBC Library.
Eating Global Vancouver
One of the unique and most interesting themes that INSTRCC students have engaged with again and again is the subject of food. Food provides a revealing window into how global migrations have transformed Vancouver and the Pacific region. Food is a concrete manifestation of our intercultural interactions in Vancouver. For each of us as individuals, sharing food creates powerful personal memories through which we understand ourselves and our connections to our families and communities. In all of these ways, food has been one of the most exciting ways for our students to learn about themselves and their place in Global Vancouver.
The Eating Global Vancouver series grew out of one of our most popular classroom projects, in which students form groups and choose to research one of the myriad of restaurants that make Vancouver such a wonderful city for eating. Creating websites that feature interviews with the families (almost invariably global migrants to Vancouver) who run the restaurant, as well as in depth explorations of the restaurants themselves as sites of community interaction, our students combine ethnography with historical research in the Vancouver archives to create a rich portrait of each restaurant as a microcosm of Global Vancouver. Revealing the history of the restaurant's location through Vancouver history and the changing demographics of its neighborhood, these research projects lead us to see in a new light the restaurants at which we eat.
This film is the first in a series of short films created about "Eating Global Vancouver" and was initially shown at the Asian Library at UBC as part of Asian Heritage Month in May 2006. Using restaurants as the focus for exploring the complex interactions of Vancouver and its migrant populations, this series uses food to examine how we come together as a global city. Green Lettuce, a restaurant run by an ethnic Chinese family from India, serves Chinese food in Vancouver as Chinese restaurants would in Bombay or Calcutta, attracting a loyal following of Indian immigrant customers who find a unique reminder of home.
The second of the Eating Global Vancouver student film series, this film concentrates on the Moon family and their Korean restaurant chain, Jang Mo Jib. Through interviews with the father and daughter, we see different generations of a family-run business, and get rare behind the scenes interviews at the factory where kimchi, BBQ beef, and bone soup is prepared for the restaurants. Featuring a blend of authentic Korean dishes appealing to a variety of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and non-Asian customers, Jang Mo Jib reveals the challenge of family restaurants in Vancouver.
by Sarah Jimenez
A short film introducing INSTRCC, UBC, and the importance of student initiative in telling the stories of Asian Canadians. Vancouver is changing, and we are making history.
Oral Histories

Oral histories serve as an invaluable historical record of this important period of Chinese migration and settlement in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada. Students are encouraged to record family histories, capturing the stories of parents and grandparents who came before them. who have made Canada. Often, valuable memories are heard for the first time, and gulfs of understanding created by the very different experiences of older generations are bridged.
by Alejandro Yoshizawa
Originally intended as a short film for History 485, From Issei to Sansei: The History of My Grandfather’s Life became over an hour long intimate portrayal retracing the life of filmaker Alejandro Yoshizawa’s grandfather, Hiroshi (Jim) Yoshizawa (1916-1998). The film seeks to better understand what life was like as a Japanese Canadian; from immigration to Canada, life before World War II, during the War, and beyond. The film moves chronologically through the life of Hiroshi Yoshizawa, while also providing an important historical context, as told through images and interviews with family members today.
by Sonia Samra and Jamesh Dosanjh
The film explores the history of the first Sikhs that migrated to Victoria in the early 20th century. It's told through the grandchildren of Bachan Singh Bains, who was one of the first Sikhs that arrived in Victoria in 1904. It's especially poignant as it also provides insight on the type of work that was available to Sikhs during that time, and also how his children and grandchildren grew up in a more racially-heightened society.
by Hyun Jin Chun
This film centers on the senior Korean Pastor, Cho Yung Tak, and his journey from North Korea to South Korea and finally to Vancouver. It explores not only the conditions which have brought him to Vancouver to practice, but it also provides insight on the social conditions of how early second generation Koreans grew up in Vancouver. It also touches upon the increasing numbers of Korean immigrants within the past 20 years, and the repercussions this have had on the Korean culture in Canada.
by Sarah Jimenez
Sarah Jimenez has always known that she is as Filipino. During her film project "I AM" Sarah finds out that the Philippines, like Canada is a multicultural society with a complicated history. She also discovers that her family might have a complex background of Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and that she is just as complicated as the multicultural mix of the Philippines and Canada. She explores how national and ethnic identities are made and unmade, lost and found and how performances such as cultural dances become a mode of expression for identities. In this film, she realizes how identity is related to history, and comes to know what she is: a “Canadian.”

by Leanne Riding
A poignant film made by student Leanne Riding, this short film demonstrates the power of film in documenting family history and how documenting family history is an important part of the larger histories, like the internment of the Japanese in Canada during World War II. Following Andy as he flips through a family photo album, we are told the touching story of his father’s internment during the war years at Lemon Creek in the Kootenays of British Columbia.
by Jessica Cheung, Sarah Davis, Michelle Luk, Jacqueline Mack

One of the first films made by INSTRCC students, this short consists of oral histories of three women who came at different times to Canada from Hong Kong. Made by Jessica Cheung, Michelle Luk, and Jackie Mack, this film shows the power of new technologies that have brought the power of filmmaking into the hands of ordinary people. With little more than a vision, a digital video camera, and a computer, everyone can be a filmmaker.