Sien Lok Society of Calgary was first founded to preserve Calgary’s Chinatown from demolition and/or relocation. The name “Sien Lok” was taken from the proverb “wai sien gee lok” (to be charitable gives one of the greatest happiness). It was chosen to proudly display the core values of the Society’s members and served as a focus for a Society that embarked on an historic event for all Chinatown’s everywhere.

Under the guise of urban renewal, the City of Calgary originally intended on the construction of a roadway called the “East-West Penetrator” that would have guaranteed the elimination of the existing Chinatown. Sien Lok worked unceasingly to forge virtually all the family associations and political groups in Chinatown into one voice to save their way of life. However, Sien Lok quickly realized that the situation facing Calgary’s Chinese community was not unique as all over Canada, in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, Chinatown’s were being eliminated by the relentless forces of urban development.

Under the guise of urban renewal, the City of Calgary originally intended on the construction of a roadway called the “East-West Penetrator” that would have guaranteed the elimination of the existing Chinatown. Sien Lok worked unceasingly to forge virtually all the family associations and political groups in Chinatown into one voice to save their way of life. However, Sien Lok quickly realized that the situation facing Calgary’s Chinese community was not unique as all over Canada, in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, Chinatown’s were being eliminated by the relentless forces of urban development.