Anthony B. Chan (1944-2018)

The faculty, staff and students of the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Anthony (Tony) B. Chan on June 3, 2018. Dr. Chan was a pioneering figure in Asian Canadian Studies, a widely-respected academic leader and filmmaker, and community activist. A third-generation Chinese Canadian born in Victoria, he attended the University of Victoria and York University, where he received his PhD in History. After a career as a broadcast journalist in Canada and Hong Kong, he returned to academia and taught for many years at the University of Washington, where he directed the Canadian Studies Centre, and more recently at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, where he was Professor and Associate Dean of Communication in the Faculty of Education.

Dr. Chan was a leading activist in the 1979 fight against CTV’s W5 broadcast “Campus Giveaway,” a watershed event in Asian Canadian activism, and later played a key role in the founding of the Chinese Canadian National Council. He was also a co-founder of The Asianadian: An Asian Canadian Magazine. Around this time, he published his landmark book Gold Mountain: The Chinese in the New World (1983), which has inspired generations of readers. His other publications include Li Ka-Shing: Hong Kong’s Elusive Billionaire (1996). Perpetually Cool: The Many of Lives of Anna May Wong, 1905-1961 (2003), and numerous essays and articles. A prolific filmmaker, he chronicled Asian Canadian experiences in works such as “Chinese Cafes in Rural Saskatchewan” (1985). More information about his accomplishments can be found here.

Dr. Chan was a tireless supporter of Asian Canadian Studies across and outside Canada, including at UBC, and his legacies will be felt for many years to come. ACAM would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends. He is deeply missed.