Vancouver Publisher acts to preserve historical legacy of South Asian and Sikh pioneers in Canada

  • larissa Cahute, Vancouver
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2014 18:35 IST

A Vancouver-based publisher is doing what he can to acknowledge and preserve the accomplishments of Canada's South Asian and Sikh pioneers.

Former publisher of Vancouver's Mehfil Magazine, Rana Vig, has spent the past eight months compiling stories of 100 pioneers into a coffee table magazine titled 100 Year Journey, which was officially launched on Saturday at Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel with around 500 guests.

"We wanted to make sure we captured these stories before they die," Vig told Vancouver Desi. "To show what life was like back then.

"Ordinary people that did extraordinary, unthinkable things when they came here and we wanted to preserve that."

100 Year Journey documents the lives of immigrants to Canada, from struggling parents to those who secured the right for immigrants to vote.

The magazine was Vig idea from his days publishing Mehfil Magazine from 1993 to 2010.

According to Vig, the last page of every issue would be dedicated to a South Asian pioneer and it was the publication's "most popular section."

So he collected about 50 of the stories published in Mehfil and hunted down another 50 for the coffee table edition.

"We want the mainstream to remember and acknowledge and understand what the South Asian pioneers have done for this country," said Vig.

He also timed the magazine launch with the Komagata Maru centennial this year.

"Most discussions around the Komagata Maru, I found, are looking at the past and looking at the very sad and horrible day in our province's, in our country's, history," said Vig.

And while the magazine has already gone to print, 100 Year Journey's mission is far from over, as Vig is continuing to accept pioneer stories to post online at

Hard copies of the magazine will be available in the coming weeks at South Asian stores across B.C. and Canada. Visit for the list of retailers.

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