As you may or may not know, May is official Asian Heritage Month here in Canada. According to the official page on the matter, Asian Heritage Month is mean to acknowledge “the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. It also provides an opportunity for Canadians across the country to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Asian Canadians to the growth and prosperity of Canada.”

One of the reasons why I love Vancouver is that it’s a very multicultural city. Within just a few blocks of my house, I can enjoy markets and restaurants with a wide range of ethnic food, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino. They all add to the multicultural mosaic of this city and of this country.

To celebrate Asian Heritage Month, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to five current famous Asian Canadians. May also happens to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States, so I’ll probably follow up with a post featuring famous Asian Americans as well.

Famous Asian Canadians

The five famous Asian Canadians featured above are (from left to right):

David Suzuki: Al Gore may be pretty famous for what he does in the States, but Canadians have been turning to environmental activist David Suzuki for years, long before An Inconvenient Truth was even conceived. I still remember watching The Nature of Things with David Suzuki when I was younger.

Tommy Chong: This guy isn’t really about going green, but he does have a certain knack for something green. Part of the original Cheech & Chong duo with Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong is of mixed Chinese and Ukrainian descent.

Paul Kariya: Not too many Asians have made it big in American professional sports, but I think that we’d all agree that Paul Kariya has had a reasonably successful professional hockey career. And he’s from right here in Vancouver too!

Russell Peters: Somebody gonna getta hurt real bad! When most people hear the term “Asian”, they think of people from China, Korea, or similar countries. Let’s not forget about our Indo-Canadian brothers! Russell Peters is easily one of the funniest stand-up comics on the planet today. Be a man. Do the right thing.

Alfred Sung: This renowned fashion designer does everything from apparel to fragrances. I’ve even seen Alfred Sung home furnishings! He was born in Shanghai, raised in Hong Kong, and moved to Canada at the age of 24. Sung is brother to the late Hong Kong actress Lydia Shum (who most in the Chinese community know as “Fei Fei”).

Each Canadian city will likely have at least a few cultural events to celebrate Asian Heritage Month. Check with your local newspaper and other organizations for more information.