Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

aiya Collective: Practicing Better Futures with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Reclaiming Health in Community

Saturday, May 27, 2023, 1 – 3 PM PDT

Centre A (Zoom Webinar)


Register HERE


Learn ways to support your health and well-being with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), one of the oldest wellness systems in the world. TCM Practitioner, Brenda Le and aiya auntie Wai Ling will guide us into an exploration of how TCM can be a way to cultivate balance and harmony. With a focus on holistic remedies for people who are doing anti-oppression work, we will learn how to build strength and resilience, tap into our inner resources, and nourish our body, mind and spirit with TCM herbology, acupressure, and philosophy. For the diaspora, TCM can be a way to reconnect and honour ancestral traditions. We will look back on the history of how TCM offered glimpses of community care in China in the 20th century and the early formations of Chinatowns. With these two historical references, we explore how TCM can offer ideas to make better futures collectively.


aiya creates spaces to remember the emotional and geographic loss of amiskwaciwâskahikan/edmonton’s chinatown. We are an intergenerational group of artists and Chinatown community members who are seeking to form openings for better futures.

Brenda Le is a Registered Acupuncturist and Dietitian based in Edmonton, Alberta, who runs a practice called Vitamin Qi. She has a passion for helping people restore their health, and her practice is heavily influenced by the traditional knowledge of East Asian Medicine.

Born and raised in Canada, Brenda feels fortunate to have strong ties to her Chinese heritage. She speaks three dialects: Mandarin, Cantonese, and Teochew, which has allowed her to connect more deeply with her cultural background. Growing up, Brenda attended Chinese bilingual schools and frequently visited Chinatown for food, groceries, grandparent visits, classes, and summer camps.

The vibrant Chinatown community has played a significant role in shaping Brenda’s life and career, and she is grateful for the nourishment she receives from returning to her roots. Her keen interest in learning about the history, philosophy, culture, and medicine of East Asia has led her to incorporate traditional practices into her work as an acupuncturist and dietitian.

Wai Ling Lennon is one of aiya’s aunties, a teacher, lifelong active community member, and grandma. For over four years she was the president and a volunteer teacher for Student Volunteers Campus Community (SVCC) at the University of Alberta. Now retired from twenty five years of teaching, she is an Intercultural consultant with Edmonton Public Schools. Some notable projects include: leading an oral history project with the Edmonton Chinese Library Foundation; and with aiya: a key contributor to the “Wishes to the Chinatown Harbin Gate” project and led the “Still in Chinatown” community event. Wai Ling is a sharer of stories, language, and cultural practices. 

Photos of Brenda Le and Wai Ling Lennon, courtesy of respective speakers.

Accessibility: The gallery is wheelchair and walker accessible. If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact us at (604) 683-8326 or [email protected]. As the workshop will take place in the format of a Zoom Webinar, audio transcripts will be available upon request.

Centre A is situated on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We honour, respect, and give thanks to our hosts.