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Jimmy Chan’s Moment of Honor: Receiving the National Assembly’s Recognition for Community Excellence

On June 18th, 2023, Jimmy experienced an unexpected honor, especially poignant on Father’s Day. He humbly and proudly received a Medal from MNA Brigitte Garceau, presented by the National Assembly of Quebec. This prestigious recognition took place during the Montreal Chinese community’s “Chan Association’s” celebration banquet for the Spring festival. The event also marked the inauguration of Montreal Chinatown’s very first “Montreal Chinatown Multicultural Festival” in celebration of Asian Heritage Month, bringing many communities together. Additionally, the celebration coincided with Father’s Day, shared with the community and their families and friends.

The community was deeply moved when Brigitte Garceau, on stage, shared the history of Jimmy’s life and his humanitarian mission, highlighting his 40 years of community work. This acknowledgment by Garceau, sharing his biography with community friends and family at the banquet, touched everyone profoundly, as such public recognition of Jimmy’s efforts was unprecedented.

Jimmy’s commitment to the community and Chinatown is not a solo journey; he is part of a strong community collectively working to preserve and enhance Chinatown. The community extends their gratitude to Brigitte Garceau for her recognition and for sharing Jimmy’s lifetime contributions with the National Assembly of Quebec. This medal, received on Father’s Day, symbolizes not only personal achievement but also the collective pride of the Chinese community. Jimmy was particularly pleased to share this honor with his wife, Susan Woo, and their seven children, affectionately referred to as “Our Lucky 7.”

The generosity of Jimmy’s family restaurant, Wok Cafe, was also highlighted by Garceau. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant prepared and donated 6000 hot meals to frontline workers across Montreal hospitals. Furthermore, Jimmy’s efforts to combat racism and promote unity were evident in his creation of the “Montreal Chinatown Multicultural Festival-drumming festival, Drum For Unity,” celebrating Asian Heritage Month on May 13, 2023.

Jimmy’s dedication to preserving Chinatown and combating racism led to the production of two documentary projects, “Saving Chinatown,” which received worldwide acclaim and numerous awards after premiering at the Canada China International Film Festival (CCIFF). These documentaries played a significant role in raising awareness and support for Chinatown, culminating in the National Assembly of Quebec and the City of Montreal granting Montreal Chinatown heritage status on January 24th, 2022.

An avid promoter of dragon boat racing, Jimmy has been instrumental in bringing the sport to mainstream attention in Quebec since 1995. As a pioneer, founder, team builder, and captain, he has inspired many to participate in dragon boat racing, fostering healthier lifestyles and community spirit.

As a director of the Montreal Chinese Hospital Foundation, Jimmy contributed significantly during the pandemic by donating thousands of face masks to the Chinese hospital. This medal serves as a testament to his hope that future generations will continue his humanitarian mission.

Jimmy also serves as president of two Chan Associations – the Gee How Oak Tin Association and the Chin Wing Chun Tong Association. He and the community honored the board of directors with certificates of excellence for their contributions, acknowledging the emotional and significant impact of these awards on the directors and their families.

The commitment to celebrating unity and diversity through the annual Montreal Chinatown Multicultural Festival will continue, promoting Asian Heritage Month and enhancing the vibrancy of Chinatown. The community, alongside Jimmy, remains dedicated to working together to ensure the continued prosperity and recognition of Chinatown.