Great Fortune Dream

The Struggles and Triumphs of Chinese Settlers in Canada, 1858-1966

In 1858, gold was discovered in the Fraser River. News of this discovery travelled to the Pearl River Delta, where, in the aftermath of the Opium Wars, many Chinese sought to escape the poverty, overcrowding, political unrest and even slavery-invaders from western Asia captured and shipped many Chinese to South America as "piglets." This tumultuous period marked the beginning of Chinese migration to Canada.

GREAT FORTUNE DREAM describes Chinese migration and life in Canada according to the four periods of Canada's policies on Chinese immigration, ranging from Free Entry to Exclusion. In 1967, the Canadian government adopted a universal immigration policy, ending these discriminatory laws and advocating multiculturalism. GREAT FORTUNE DREAM is also the story of the changing relationship with China, both for Chinese migrants and for other Canadians. What began as a population of displaced Chinese migrants working to save their great fortune for a better life back in China evolved into a community of Chinese Canadians, one with roots firmly planted in the history and culture of Canada.

David Chuenyan Lai

Dr. David Chuenyan Lai taught in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria for thirty-five years and retired in 2003 as Professor Emeritus. He has received forty-one awards in recognition of his scholarship and community services and is a member of the Order of Canada.

Ding Guo

Ding Guo has been a journalist since 1990, contributing to publications around the world. He has been a commentator for political programs on Shanghai Eastern Radio and CBC Radio, and has received several awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Jack Webster Award for journalism.

Marketing & Publicity
  • Review mail-out to regional and national media.
  • Promote through Canadian and Asian history scholar networks.
  • Social media campaign to highlight photographic content.
  • Launches in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto.