When we began the research for this project, one of the first places that we went was the City of Vancouver Archives. After we had learned that there were old blueprints of the Ko Sing opera house, the on-duty archivist hinted to us that there was an as of yet uncatalogued treasure trove that might interest us. Seeing our interest, he disappeared into the back offices and returned with a large box that he laid down before us. We opened the lid to discover hundreds of brightly coloured pamphlets with Chinese text and scrollwork adorning their covers.
As we pulled them out and separated them into piles, the archivist told us that they were Chinese opera pamphlets that seem to have acted as scripts and/or advertisements for the operas that were presented by one of the Chinese theatres. They had recently been found in a Chinatown building that was in the process of being either torn down or renovated. Someone had the sense to put them aside and donate them to the Archives. We are the lucky ones to be the first to reveal them, here in this project.
– Deanne Achong and Faith Moosang.