We are thrilled to share fabulous news about one of our Toronto alumnae: Heritage Toronto is honoured to name Arlene Chan (neé Lumb, Canada Alpha 1970) as the recipient of the 2017 Special Achievement Award. Presented by the Heritage Toronto Board of Directors, the Special Achievement Award celebrates individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the preservation and education of Toronto’s heritage. A community advocate, librarian and author, Arlene Chan has spent her lifetime documenting and sharing the Chinese Canadian experience in Toronto.
Born in Toronto, Chan learned her most important lessons at the feet of her mother, Jean Lumb, CM, a restaurateur and social justice advocate. Lumb taught her daughter the importance and rewards of community work, especially with her successful “Save Chinatown” campaign in the 1970s that fought to protect the area from redevelopment. After earning a bachelor of arts and masters in library science at the University of Toronto, Chan chose to devote herself to projects that carry on her mother’s legacy.
Among her many accomplishments, Chan is the author of seven books on the history and culture of Chinese Canadians; she is currently working on a historic guide to Toronto’s Chinatowns. She is the President of the Jean Lumb Foundation and oversees the Jean Lumb Awards which provide scholarships to high school students of Chinese heritage. Chan has also collaborated with numerous organizations on interpretive projects, community programs, and walking tours, including her work with the Ontario Heritage Trust, Toronto Ward Museum, and Heritage Toronto.
Chan’s generous spirit is reflected in her many volunteer commitments. She is a Little Pear Garden Dance Company board member, a member of the Toronto Public Library’s Chinese Canadian Archive advisory group, and serves on the Heritage Interpretation Working Group for the New Toronto Courthouse.
“Arlene Chan’s knowledge and affection for Toronto and its Chinese community are well reflected in her work. Her literary efforts are treasure houses of information and celebration for all those who seek to learn, understand and enjoy.” David Crombie, former Mayor of Toronto
Huge congratulations to our Toronto Tri Delta sister Arlene on this honour!!!
The Special Achievement Award will be presented at the 43rd Heritage Toronto Awards on Monday, October 23, at The Carlu, a tour de force of Art Moderne design and a National Historic Site. At this premier event for the heritage sector, more than 500 attendees will enjoy the Mayor’s Reception, hosted by Mayor John Tory. Winners will be announced during the Awards Ceremony, hosted this year by Christopher Hume, the long-time architecture critic and urban issues columnist at The Toronto Star.
Tickets to the event are sold out. This event is Heritage Toronto’s major fundraiser of the year, raising monies in support of its public programming.
Heritage Toronto is a charity and agency of the City of Toronto that celebrates and commemorates the city’s rich heritage and the diverse stories of its people, places, and events.