In December 2001, Senator Vivienne Poy, Ph.D. introduced a motion at the Senate of Canada to proclaim the month of May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada and the motion was passed. In 2002, the Government of Canada officially proclaimed the month of May as Asian Heritage Month.
The Chinese Canadian National Council (Ottawa Chapter) embarked on the Asian Heritage Month celebration in Ottawa in 2002 by presenting three short films about Chinese Canadians. In 2003, Monica Wu became the chief organizer of the Asian Heritage Month events for the Chinese Canadian National Council (Ottawa Chapter). She also developed and designed its website. In 2003 the Asian Heritage Month celebrations grew from one to 10 events, including a Gala Concert in which seven Asian Canadian communities participated. In 2004, there were 13 events.
In July 2004, the Ottawa Asian Heritage Month Society was founded by Monica Wu, Sjarif Ismail and Alek Choo to collaborate fully with pan-Asian Canadian communities and to coordinate events for the Asian Heritage Month celebrations in the National Capital Region. Since 2005, the number of events has been increased to approximately 30 per year, throughout the month of May.
The Ottawa Asian Heritage Month Society is a non-profit, non-political and non-religious organization and is a pan-Asian group. The following cultural groups have participated in our events: Bangladeshi, Cambodian, Chinese, East Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Indonesian, Iranian, Jordanian, Kazakhstani, Korean, Nepalese, Malaysian, Mongolian, Pakistani, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.