November 2015

Powell Street Festival – Celebrating Vancouver’s Japanese-Canadian Population

The Powell Street Festival is one of the most dynamic displays of Japanese culture and heritage in Japan, and perfects combines the fusion between Japanese, Canadian and Japanese-Canadian that I have been studying here on the blog. The festival takes place every summer, and next summer (summer of 2016) will be the 40th annual celebration. The festival is an important part of celebrating all aspects of Japanese-Canadian culture in Vancouver, from traditional cuisine and crafts to guest speakers, sumo wrestling, and dance performances. Anyone who wants to learn and immerse themselves in the arts and culture of Vancouver’s Japanese-Canadian heritage can do so, as all daytime events are free of charge.Although I have not attended the festival, the PSF Society’s event pages and websites speak for themselves:

The Powell Street Festival Society lists their mission statement on their Canada Helps page:

“The Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS) mission is to cultivate Japanese Canadian arts and culture to connect communities. Our main activity is producing the Powell Street Festival (PSF) in Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood. PSF is an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture. In addition to PSF, we engage in co-presentations with arts organizations and produce an annual season of cultural and artistic programming.”


Check out the event page for the festival to find out about the events lines of for the 2016 PSF and other information such as how to donate:

Until next time,


Japanese stories of Vancouver

Recently I was speaking with a friend about this blog, and I mentioned the fact that, because I’m not Japanese, and have only lived in BC for a short time, I sometimes feel as though I am not entitled to exploring the topic of Japanese culture in Vancouver. Although I try to be objective with my exploration on Japan’s influence on the city, it is also very important to me to share the experiences and perspectives of the people who are part of the culture that so heavily shapes Vancouver today. After all, as Tourism Vancouver has stated, Japan is a culture that has heavily shaped Vancouver, as “the aesthetic influence of Japanese culture is everywhere, from serene public gardens to the thousands of blooming cherry trees planted throughout the city’s green spaces” ( That is why I chose to interview several Japanese people studying in Canada last week, and also why for this week I would like to include links to two stories by Japanese people, one by a Japanese immigrant and one by a Japanese-Canadian, about what Vancouver’s Japanese culture means to them.