The Association was officially started and incorporated in October 1999. However, informal gatherings and events were organized by the community for years before that. Most members of the CK Asian Cultural Association are from Sub Himalayan (South Asian) countries with an increasing number from the Middle East.
The first major arrival of immigrants from the community arrived in Chatham-Kent in the 1980s, attracted by the many manufacturing jobs available in the region. Immigrants at that time were mainly skilled workers. By the 1990s, professionals including engineers and doctors, started to move to Chatham-Kent and setting up clinics or working at the hospitals, as well as those who continued looking for jobs in the local manufacturing sector. There are also a number of people who have started businesses in the region and increasingly international students are coming to attend St. Clair College.
The main settlement location is in Chatham but members of the community also live in Ridgetown, Tilbury and Wallaceburg. The current population of the community is about 350 with an active participation in the CK Asian Cultural Association of about 250 members.
Each year, the Annual Diwali Function is hosted by the Chatham-Kent Asian Cultural Association. Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and in some parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh. The event in Chatham-Kent features dance and musical acts from members of the community, performances from professional artists, and dinner featuring different Asian cuisines. Other events are hosted throughout the year, including an annual summer picnic and participation in the Chatham-Kent Diverse City Party hosted by the Chatham-Kent Local Immigration Partnership. Many of these events are advertised and open to the public to attend.
Members of the CK Asian Cultural Association also started the Chatham-Kent Cricket Club, with the help of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. Everyone is invited to join the cricket club which currently has players from the Caribbean and South Africa as well as from the CK Asian Cultural Association.
Chatham-Kent Asian Cultural Association
Contact Person: Rafi Veettil
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Address: 420 Grand Ave E, Chatham, ON, N7L 1X2