Asian Heritage Month-CFACI | Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMACCH)

Anthony B. Chan

Anthony B. Chan

Education, East Asian, Film, Literature

An accomplished scholar, teacher, academic leader, filmmaker, journalist and writer, Anthony B. Chan is Professor and Associate Dean of Communication in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario.

Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., Professor Chan returned to Canada after serving as the Chair of the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree programs in Canadian Studies and Director of the Canadian Studies Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and as Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1990, Tony Chan was Associate Professor of Mass Communication at California State University, Hayward. His family has been in Canada since 1887 when his paternal grandfather immigrated to Victoria.

Complementing his administrative duties at the University of Washington, Tony was the Head of Broadcast Journalism in the School of Communications at UW, and the Assistant Coordinator of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-funded China Project Office at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dr. Chan’s scholarly film work includes Perpetually Cool: The Many Lives of Anna May Wong, 1905–1961 (2003, 2007), which chronicled the amazing life and hard times of the legendary Chinese American actor, Anna May Wong. He has agreed to a film option with Silver Dream Production in Pasadena for a biopic of Anna May Wong, produced by Shanghai film producer, Luo Yan.

His first historical biography analyzed the magical life and relentless business pursuits of Li Ka-shing, the most famous Hong Kong deal maker who sold Star TV to Rupert Murdoch. Li is also well known for his purchase of Husky Energy and the Expo lands as well as a stake in Facebook. Li Ka-shing: Hong Kong Elusive Billionaire was published by Oxford University Press (1996). In March 2007, Alpha Books in Hanoi, People’s Republic of Vietnam, translated this biography into Vietnamese.

Professor Chan’s other scholarly works include Arming the Chinese: The Western Armaments Trade in Warlord China, 1920–1928 (1982) and Gold Mountain: The Chinese in the New World (1983). The latter examined Chinese immigration and settlement in Canada from 1850 to 1979. In 1997, he co-edited People to People: An Introduction to Communications. Tony is currently writing a book length manuscript on immigrant nationalism in Chinese Canada where he is especially examining the impact of such social network systems as Facebook on family bonds and the pervasiveness of cyber crime on this ethnic nation in Canada.

His articles can be found in Asian Affairs, Cinemaya, Gazette, Journal of European Economic History, Journal of Ethnic Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Adult Education, Asian Profile, and Army Journal and Defence Quarterly. He has written for Snoecks (Ghent, Belgium) and the Globe and Mail. Tony Chan was the founding editor of New Scholars-New Visions in Canadian Studies, Seattle and co-founded The Asianadian: An Asian Canadian Magazine, Toronto.

In addition to his traditional undergraduate and graduate teaching in digital media and journalism, documentary filmmaking, cinema studies, Asian Canadian media, and intercultural, international, and mass communication, Professor Chan’s teaching expertise includes mentoring many doctoral students online. Since 1992, he has been an adjunct supervisor of doctoral and EdD students in Education and doctoral students in Applied Management and Decision Sciences at Walden University. He has also mentored doctoral students in Business at Capella University.

As a filmmaker, Tony Chan’s independent films include a four part series on Asian Americans and Vietnam: ‘Lily Goes Home’ (2007), ‘The Insanity of it All’ (2002), ‘Sweet Heat’ (1998), and ‘American Nurse’ (1992).

The latter was shown at film festivals in Hiroshima, New York and Olympia, and aired on PBS, KCTS-TV in Seattle. This film showcase was reviewed in Northwest Asian Weekly.

Chan has also produced films focusing on work, culture and survival in North America. They were ‘The Panama’ (1996), ‘Another Day in America’ (1989) profiling Japanese American women artists and jazz musicians and the original ‘Chinese Cafes in Rural Saskatchewan’ (1985).

Before entering academic life, Chan was a Senior Producer and a television journalist at Television Broadcasts Ltd., Hong Kong, where he managed a television production unit and anchored ‘Focus’, a 30-minute English language public affairs show on the Pearl channel. He produced more than 30 documentaries and anchored about 100. He also worked as a supper hour television reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Calgary. At CBC Regina, he hosted and narrated several episodes of ‘The Canadians’.

He was as one of the principal actors in setting up Ginger Post, an online magazine for and about Chinese Canadians, Chinese Overseas in other parts of the world, and to a lesser extent Asian Canadians. The editors and writers at Ginger Post have long recognized that virtually all media reports on events and issues that might be of interest of the Chinese Canadians are presented in Chinese.

Dr. Chan’s degrees include a PhD in Modern Chinese History from York University, Diploma in Chinese from the Beijing Language Institute, Master of Arts degrees from Bowling Green State University and the University of Arizona, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria.

Some say that Tony is noted for his delicious recipes of poached chicken and honey garlic spareribs.

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The Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMAACH) was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy.