Asian Heritage Month 2023

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, made so officially as a result of the Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy’s motion in 2001 in the Canadian Senate. On Granville Island, we celebrate our Asian communities throughout the year, with festivals and events produced and performed by people of Asian descent. A few notable events include Lantern City, who have installed their lanterns in Ocean Artworks for the past two years, and Chinese Lion Dancers perform in and around the Public Market during Lunar New Year. The Indian Summer Festival will be back Island-wide for its third year in July.

Many of our businesses on Granville Island are run by Asian Canadians and newcomers to Canada. One such vendor, L. Rumi, located in the Maritime Market, is a boutique that specializes in clothing, accessories, and housewares that are made using traditional Turkish methods and styles with modern twists. You may have passed by their shop and admired the colourful Turkish lamps in their windows – if you find those dazzling, just wait until you step inside! We spoke to Raphael, co-owner and operator of the boutique, to learn more about their clothing and products. The cushions are made from hand-dyed silk using a technique known as ikat, that uses resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. The needle stitching and embroidery is done using a technique called suzani, which is silk on silk, or silk on cotton. Using flowers and fruit as subjects, the idea is to make the inside of your home an “eternal spring”. The clothing is designed by Galilio, the other co-owner and designer of the brand whose garments are meticulously crafted in collaboration with skilled artisans and perfected in their own atelier located in Istanbul. The clothing is then sent back to Canada to be sold in-store.

Raphael spoke to us about his experience as a vendor here, and he shared his heartfelt experience celebrating different cultures and the diverse interactions he’s had. In his encounters, he has observed that some individuals hold stereotypical opinions about Turkey and Asian Canadians, while others genuinely embrace and value the richness of their unique heritage, finding intrigue in the vibrant colors and diverse designs. He believes that, regardless of preconceived notions, the most effective way to bridge gaps and foster understanding is through genuine human conversation. By engaging in open dialogue, we can truly appreciate and celebrate our shared humanity, breaking down barriers and embracing the beauty of cultural diversity.”

Make sure to take a look in L. Rumi on Duranleau Street, for a conversation, a browse, or for the perfect addition to your home or closet.


Public Market open 7 days a week
from 9AM - 6PM
Beginning May 17, some businesses may be open later until 8pm
Net Loft open 7 days a week
from 10AM - 6PM
Covid safety plan →

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