Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

February 26, 2010 10:33 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding for Two Projects on The Komagata Maru Incident

BRAMPTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2010) - The Government of Canada is providing funding for two projects designed to educate Canadians on the Komagata Maru incident of 1914 announced today Devinder Shory, Member of Parliament for Calgary Northeast, in Brampton, on behalf of Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

"The Komagata Maru incident is an unfortunate event in our history," said MP Shory. "It reminds all Canadians that our country has not always lived up to the ideals we most cherish."

In 1914, the Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver Harbour carrying approximately 376 East Indian passengers of various cultural and religious backgrounds. Most of the passengers were refused entry to Canada because the ship did not make a continuous journey to Canada, as prescribed by Canadian immigration regulations at the time. After a two-month standoff in the harbour, the ship returned to India where, upon arrival, an altercation between the passengers and British soldiers left 20 passengers dead.

In August 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an apology to Indo-Canadians on behalf of the Government of Canada for the Komagata Maru incident, recognizing that this incident was recognizing that it was a sad moment in our nation's history.

With the funding announced today, Peripheral Visions of Toronto will produce a high-quality hard cover book that will serve as a comprehensive account of the Komagata Maru incident. Grayhound Information Services of Metcalfe, ON, will produce a documentary film that will reflect on the effects of both the 'Continuous Journey' provision of the Immigration Act of 1908 and the Chinese Head Tax on Asian immigrant workers in the now-vanished community of Tod Inlet, British Columbia. For more details on these projects, please see the attached backgrounder.

The funding, totaling $243,625, is provided through the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP). The CHRP was announced in June 2006 as part of the Government of Canada's comprehensive historical recognition program. This program funds community-based commemorative and educational projects that recognize the experiences of communities affected by historical wartime measures and/or immigration restrictions applied in Canada; and that promote the contributions of these communities to building this country.

"The projects funded today will increase understanding of the impact of this event on the Indo-Canadian community, both within the community and among all Canadians," said MP Shory. "Through the Community Historical Recognition Program, we confront past misdeeds, reject the underlying notions that informed them and move forward as a united people."

Eligible projects can include monuments, commemorative plaques, educational material and exhibits.

On January 20, 2010, the Community Historical Recognition Program issued a new call for proposals. If your organization is interested in submitting a proposal for CHRP funding, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at to access the guidelines and application form.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Alykhan Velshi
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch
    Media Relations Unit