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Fairchild TV
UTSC 2019; photo by Prof. Helen Wu.


45 – 60 minutes.


1. School Visits:

   Grades: JK-6. Mornings or afternoons; Class Size: 30 – 60 per session

2. Adult, Seniors, and Community Programs


Author Fees:  Contact me.



  • Overview of Chinese festivals, including Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and Dragon Boat Festival

  • Chinese New Year, including Chinese horoscope, legends, stories, festival foods, show-and-tell objects

  • Mid-Autumn Festival, including mythology of Chang O, the moon goddess, show-and-tell of festival objects, e.g., bat nuts, Chinese lanterns, festival foods, like pomelo, moon cakes

  • Dragon Boat Festival, including legends and stories, origin of festival, dragon boat racing, festival foods, e.g., rice dumplings, show-and-tell of festival objects, e.g., fragrant pouches. Children participate in simulated “dragon boat races” as a fun-filled and engaging activity.

  • History of Chinese in Canada with archival photographs.

  • Chinese workers and the Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) with archival photographs

  • History of Chinese in Toronto with personal stories and archival photographs

  • development of Chinese restaurants and cuisine in Toronto with personal stories and archival photographs

  • Jean Lumb, her life and accomplishments as first Chinese Canadian to receive the Order of Canada, for her outstanding achievements in changing immigration laws and in saving Chinatowns in Toronto and across Canada.


''Presenting to school-aged children is not an easy thing - they're easily distracted and aren't always that interested in hearing what the presenter has to say. Arlene Chan was amazing . She was able to take a large group of  11 year-olds (65 of them) and keep them engaged, interested, and enthusiastic for a full hour presentation [about the dragon boat festival]! The children were asking tons of questions and even after it was time for them to leave, they didn't want to go! Arlene was a fantastic presenter - the best author visit I've had.'' - Vivien K., Youth Services Librarian

"I think that you should have more author visits because students can learn more about writing and possibly be inspired. I learned a lot about the first Chinese immigrants in a very interesting way." - Audrey, Grade 5

"Arlene Chan's presentation taught me a lot. The photos were bright and colorful with great meaning. I learned that the first Chinatown was in Victoria and to this day, it is the oldest Chinatown. this presentation was fun and interesting." - Vivian, Grade 6

 "The opportunity for students and teachers alike to attend a live presentation by a historical author is second best to none. A very special occasion where the audience receives a knowledgeable account straight from the author's heart. Students asked the author what inspired her or what led her to write historical books about the Chinese immigrants. Arlene's response would in turn inspire, tweak curiosity and cause students to search and perhaps even desire to be a historian themselves one day." - School librarian

"Thank you so much for taking the time to come and speak to our students about such an important part of our history. We always learn so much from you!" - Grade 6 teacher

"All the teachers you presented too had GLOWING reviews. They all loved the presentation, said kids were super engaged and interested and were so thrilled for the culture you brought into our classrooms today." - Grade 1 teacher

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