Architect: Stephen Lu Architects


Schematic rendering of the industrial building that stood here, according to the footprint indicated on the 1961 fire insurance maps.

with Ed Tam (President of the Calgary Chinese Cultural Society)

+ How long have you been involved in Calgary Chinatown?
My involvement in Calgary Chinatown started in 1998 when I joined the Hoy Sun Association of Calgary as member and director.

+ What’s your role with the Calgary Chinese Cultural Society and how long has the CCCS been in the Harmonious Centre building?
What are the goals of the association?

I am the president of the Calgary Chinese Cultural Society. The Society was established in 1975, which purchased the facility in 2002 with another non-profit organization as co-owner. The co-owner dissolved in 2014 and today, the Society is sole owner and occupies the facility. The objectives of the Society are to promote Chinese culture, to facilitate the exchange of Sino-Canadian culture and art, to assist immigrants in integrating into Canadian multicultural society, to organize charitable and benevolent events and to provide services for seniors.

+ How have you seen the Harmonious Centre building transform over the past decades?
Do you recall any major changes or renovations to the building? 

The building had a single owner prior to 2000. It is a 4-storey building and the top two floors were used as a cinema. The second and main floors were restaurants. The building was then sold to a developer, which formed a condominium corporation.

Since 2002, there have been three owner-operators of the building without changing hands. The top two floors are occupied by a church. The second floor is occupied by the Cultural Society and the main floor operates as a restaurant. There were renovations in the past, but the usage has remained the same since 2002.

+ Is there any interesting building history to share about the Harmonious Centre?

There is a long history and many stories related to the owners, especially the Cultural Society. However, the building by itself is less focused after the cinema and the second-level dim sum restaurant closed down.

Architectural drawings

Constructed in the early 1980s, this building hosted one of Calgary Chinatown’s several cinemas. Although the space is now repurposed by a new tenant, converted into a church, the Commercial Cinema Complex has remained a memorable community site for Hong Kong films and a concession that sold Asian snacks.