Arlene Chan

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Arlene Chan



Published books

TitleExtended titleYear of Publication
The Spirit of the DragonThe Spirit of the Dragon-the Story of Jean Lumb, a proud Chinese Canadian1997
The Moon FestivalThe Moon Festival-a Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival1999
Awakening the DragonAwakening the Dragon-the Dragon Boat Festival2004
The Chinese in Toronto from 1878The Chinese in Toronto from 1878-From Outside to Inside the Circle2011
The Chinese Community in Toronto: Then and NowThe Chinese Community in Toronto: Then and Now2013
Righting Canada's WrongsRighting Canada's Wrongs: The Chinese Head Tax and Anti-Chinese Immigration Policies in the Twentieth Century2014

Arlene Chan (Chinese: 陳林瑞玲; born in Toronto, Ontario; third generation Chinese Canadian) is a writer and retired librarian. Chan has published non-fiction works for children, young adults, and adults on Chinese festivals, dragon boat racing, and the Chinese in Canada. Her seventh book, which is about the head tax and Chinese Exclusion Act, was published in 2014.

An avid dragon boater and gold-medalist member of the Canadian National Women’s Dragon Boat Team, she lives, writes, and paddles in Toronto. She is the daughter of Jean Lumb, the first Chinese Canadian woman to receive the Order of Canada.

Chan is the president of the Jean Lumb Foundation that supports a scholarship program for high school students of Chinese heritage, director of Little Pear Garden Collective, and member of the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers Advisory Council. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2013.


"Against All Odds: The Chinese Laundry" in The Ward, edited by John Lorinc et al. Toronto: Coach House, 2015.

Awakening the Dragon: The Dragon Boat Festival. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2004.

The Chinese Community in Toronto: Then and Now. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2013.

The Chinese in Toronto from 1878: From Outside to Inside the Circle. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2011. Nominated for the 2012 Heritage Toronto Award and 2013 Ontario Speaker’s Award.

The Moon Festival: A Chinese Mid-autumn Celebration. Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1999. Nominated for the Ontario Silver Birch Award.

Paddles Up! Dragon Boat Racing in Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2009.

“The Photography of Elaine Ling.” Ricepaper 13, No. 2 (2008), p. 44.

Righting Canada's Wrongs: The Chinese Head Tax and Anti-Chinese Immigration Policies in the Twentieth Century. Toronto: James Lorimer & Co., 2014.

The Spirit of the Dragon: The Story of Jean Lumb, A Proud Chinese Canadian. Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1997. Selected as a Choice Book by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.