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Powell Street Festival Society • パウエル祭協会 | Celebrating Japanese Canadian arts and culture since 1977
KT performing at the 2014 Powell Street Festival • photo by Jeanie Ow

Message from Mark Takeshi McGregor, outgoing Artistic Director

Well, the Weekend has come and gone — and what an amazing weekend it was! Powell Street Festival, our country’s largest expression of Japanese Canadian arts and culture, rang in its 40th year on July 30 & 31, making us the longest running community event in Vancouver. We celebrated with an expanded site, more food booths, more children’s activities, and two solid days of live performances that, thinking back, still bring a smile to my face. We were beyond thrilled to host the PSF debuts of Diyet, whose powerful voice and stirring songs brought our Diamond Stage audience to its feet; koto sensation Miyama McQueen-Tokita, who wowed audiences at the Firehall Arts Centre with a performance that deftly juggled tranquility with crackling virtuosity; and Chordophone, whose unique brand of electronica entranced capacity crowds on our new Alexander Street Stage. And of course, Powell Street Festival is nothing without thundering taiko, historic and contemporary dance performances, myriad crafts, beautiful and thought-provoking displays, and of course tonnes of delicious food. To all our performers, artists, vendors, organizers, and of course our inspirational volunteers: THANK YOU!

That all said, I guess it’s understandable that I have a lot of mixed feelings as I announce my departure from the position of Artistic Director of the Powell Street Festival Society. I'm entirely thankful for the experience: over the course of two seasons I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the complex history of my Japanese Canadian heritage; I engaged with artists and communities I would never have had the opportunity to otherwise; and I learned how important it is for an artistic director to be surrounded by good, patient, informed, and inspired people. I'm happy and humbled to pass the bachi to the incredible Leanne Dunic, whose background in the literary, visual, and musical arts will energize and inspire the Society as it moves into its fourth decade. And of course, I look forward to remaining involved in the Society’s activities, so I expect to see many of you at future PSF events!

Mark Takeshi McGregor

Introducing Leanne Dunic, incoming Artistic Director

Leanne Dunic is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. Being of mixed race, much of Leanne’s work possesses hybrid-identity themes. In 2014, she was the literary curator for the Powell Street Festival and has contributed to the society's fundraising and 40th Anniversary planning committees. In her previous lives, Leanne owned clothing boutiques, modelled, and worked in the music industry. She is the author of To Love the Coming End (BookThug 2017), and is the singer/guitarist of the band The Deep Cove.

Image credit Ronnie Lee Hill


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The 11th Annual Asahi Tribute Game!


Sat, Aug 27th from 10 am to 4 pm

It’s that time of year again. Come out to play or cheer on the annual Asahi Tribute baseball game hosted by Powell Street Festival and Japanese Canadian Young Leaders of Vancouver.

The Annual Vancouver Asahi Tribute Game is a free, inclusive, and family-friendly place to play ball, eat hot dogs and corn, and come together for some summer fun! No previous baseball experience required!

For more information, visit our website.


To all of you who came out to make the Powell Street Festival happen... we did it!

The festival couldn't take place without everyone's help, and every year we're so grateful to to all of you who come out and contribute your time. From everyone here at the Powell Street Festival Society: thank you.  We couldn't do it without you.  

Did you miss the application deadline for volunteering or were you away during the festival? We are still looking for volunteers to help us with post festival wrap up in the office. If you are interested, please email to find out which jobs are available!

Thanks again! We hope you'll consider joining us in 2017 for our 41th Powell Street Festival! See you next year!  

Image credit Kristin Fuchihara

Community News

Regional Taiko Gathering 2016 Concert at The Rio

Sun, Aug 21st from 2 to 4 pm

Featuring Fubuki Daiko (Winnipeg), Vancouver Okinawa Taiko (Vancouver), and Tiffany Tamaribuchi (Sacramento)

For the first time, the Regional Taiko Gathering (RTG) will fill the historic Rio Theatre with thunderous and awesome sounds of the taiko. Audience members of all ages can expect an energetic, passionate, and lively performance from all three guest artists: Tiffany Tamaribuchi (Sacramento) and friends, Vancouver Okinawa Taiko and Fubuki Daiko (Winnipeg). Each offers a unique performance and distinctive drumming style. RTG 2016 is proud to present this showcase of Canadian and US Taiko.

About Vancouver Taiko Society

This concert is the final event of the Regional Taiko Gathering 2016, a gathering of Pacific Northwest and Western Canadian taiko players organized by the Vancouver Taiko Society, an umbrella organization for Vancouver taiko groups. Taiko at the Rio will be the grand finale to RTG 2016, a weekend of taiko workshops, performances and fun to inspire new and seasoned taiko players on the path of taiko life.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the City of Vancouver through the Community Arts Program and the Government of Canada through the Summer Jobs Program

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Facepainters Wanted!

Thank you again to all of our festival supporters!
You can see the full list on our website!
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For information on the various Community Events that PSFS supports and/or thinks that might be of interest to you, please click here

Community Events

Send Us Your Event!

Do you have a Japanese Canadian or Downtown Eastside community related event? Powell Street Festival Society is pleased to offer our community partners the opportunity to submit their own special events. We will publicize suitable events and activities. It’s our little way of saying thank you for your hard work in our community! Send us via Community Event Submission Form. 
© 2016 Powell Street Festival Society, All rights reserved.

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