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Powell Street Festival Society • パウエル祭協会 | Celebrating Japanese Canadian arts and culture since 1977

Annual Top-Up & Lifetime Membership Registration is now OPEN! 

Looking for ways to support the festival? Sign up to be a PSF Member & Top-Up your membership to receive special discounts from local businesses!

Annual top-up for current Lifetime Members  …………………….$12
Annual top-up & new Lifetime Membership  ………………………$24
Lifetime Membership only, no Annual Top-up  ……………………..$12 

Memberships get you lots of benefits at our local partner organisations and sponsors! Annual Members receive a Membership Card valid until March 31, 2022, entitling you a 10% discount at: 

  • 10% off in store at Coconama Chocolate retail location, first ganache chocolate shop in North Vancouver at 264 E. 1 Street. 
  • 10% off of Catfe food, drink and ‘meowchandise’ in store. Catfe is part cafe, part foster home for cats, and a space to hang with kitties! #2035 – International Village Mall, 88 W. Pender Street. 
  • 10% off in store at Tama Organic Life, a treasure trove of Japanese food products & organic vegetables as well as healthy home-made foods including daily bentos at #102 – 2828 E. Hastings Street. 
  • 10% off BLIM classes and at retail shop. BLIM is an independent art and craft workshop space, resource, and small business at 115 E. Pender Street. 
  • $1 off large coconut puddings at Vegan Pudding, the one and only vegan custard pudding store at 422 Richards StreetThe discount is now redeemable on online orders through FacebookInstagram, and email Be sure to tell them you are a PSF Top-Up Member when making your online purchase to apply the discount. 
  • 10% off in store at Baker & Table Café, the only place you can get mochi melonpan, Japanese cakes, & yougashi, a Japanese peanut-free bakery at 6414 Fraser Street. 
  • 10% off at Dosanko, Japanese homestyle Yoshoku restaurant sourcing seasonally inspired, local ingredients, located at 566 Powell St. 10% discount is redeemable for pick up orders between Tuesday and Thursday 1:00pm-5:00pm. Orders must to be preordered by the day before. Be sure to tell them your name and that you are a PSF Top-Up Member when placing your order to apply the discount.  
  • 10% off Powell Street Festival Society merchandise at Festival and all year. 

Your membership card also gets you:

  • An invite to the Annual General Meeting in the Spring;
  • Discounted rates at PSFS art presentations all year long! 

Annual General Meeting

Powell Street Festival Society's online AGM will take place via Zoom, please register to receive your AGM package and Zoom link.

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7:00 PM Pacific Time
Note that Katari Taiko’s AGM starts at 6:30 pm, please login early to support them too.

Thank you so much for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you online soon! Please feel free to contact us if there are any concerns or questions.

Freedom Day: April 1st, 1949

This year is the 72nd anniversary of “Freedom Day” which took place on April 1, 1949, the day Japanese-Canadians attained the full rights of citizenship and the freedom to live anywhere in Canada.

We've come a long way, but there is still much work and healing to be done. It is our aim on this day to reflect on the history of dispossession and intergenerational trauma of not only the Japanese Canadian community but all marginalized groups, so we can build upon inter-community relationships and allyships.

Stewardship of 360 Riot Walk  

The Powell Street Festival Society is proud to announce its stewardship of 360 Riot Walk created by artist Henry Tsang. 360 Riot Walk is a multilingual interactive self-guided walking tour which invites participants to trace a layered history of Vancouver’s labour politics, anti-Asian racism, and community resistance in what is today the Downtown Eastside. This unique project interweaves the narratives of racialized communities, reclaiming how and what histories are told.  

Combining historical images with contemporary surroundings, participants are confronted with Vancouver’s ongoing legacy of racism. Through raising awareness and encouraging dialogue around these issues of social, legal, and ethical assumptions of rights, we ask ourselves, “how can we learn from our history and take action against injustice?” It is for this reason, that the Powell Street Festival Society sees this project as having the potential to build upon inter-community relationships, creating allyships with other racialized groups and shared community responsibility.  

We will be partnering with the 360 Riot Walk team to host online panel discussions and live walking tours from May to September 2021. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will be joining us as a community partner to build greater awareness of the project. 
Panel Discussions- May, June, & July 

  • Reflections on the Tour- with former participants of the walking tour 
  • The Challenge of Translation- with the translators of the Japanese, Cantonese and Punjabi versions 
  • The Context of the Riots- with the writers of 360 Riot Walk blog posts 

Self-Guided Tours & Reflections- July – September  

  • July 24 and 25, Weekend Prior to the Powell Street Festival 
  • July 31 and August 1, Powell Street Festival Weekend 
  • September 11, Memorial of the 1907 Anti-Asian Riots 

Registration and event details to come! Visit or follow @powellstfest and or follow @360riotwalk for event updates.  

About the Project 

360 Riot Walk is an interactive walking tour of the 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver. It utilizes 360 video technology to trace the history and route of the mob that attacked the Chinese Canadian and Japanese Canadian communities following the demonstration and parade organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League in Vancouver. Participants are brought into the social and political environment of the time where racialized communities were targeted through legislated as well as physical acts of exclusion and violence. The soundtrack is available in four languages of the local residents of the period: English, Cantonese, Japanese and Punjabi.  

You can stream the project on location with a mobile device and headphones or remotely on a web browser. There are 13 stops on the tour. If you decide to take this self-guided tour on location, start at Maple Tree Square in Gastown in downtown Vancouver. You will need wireless data and about 2 hours to complete the tour; feel free to stop at any point and resume anytime later.  

Please be aware that the area has a higher density of vulnerable and marginalized people – it may be a good idea to go with someone. Because you will be aiming your device in every direction, you may be perceived as taking photos of local residents, which may cause a reaction. Be courteous, and take the time to let them know that you are watching a recorded video.  

Also please understand that if you decide to take this self-guided tour on location, you agree to accept full responsibility for your behaviour, well-being and health. The full release text is embedded within the 360 video project. 

Paueru Gai Dialogues #3 on YouTube

If you missed the second of the Paueru Gai Dialogues or just want to relive the experience, you can now watch presentations by guest host John Endo Greenaway and panellists Bryce Kanbara and Sherri Kajiwara— as they share stories and reflections On Memory, Mythmaking and Community Resilience.
Watch Now
Thank you to Hapa Collaborative, The Bulletin (JCCA), ElementIQ,  SFU David Lam Centres, The Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and City of Vancouver for their financial and in-kind support of this program.

The Paueru Gai Dialogues #4

The fourth event, Old Roots and New Relationships on Indigenous Lands is at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern on Saturday, April 24, 2021. The event is free! For more information visit:

How can Japanese Canadians request the return of lost property in the Powell Street neighbourhood without perpetuating colonial practices?

Guest host Jeff Masuda and panelists Doris Chow, Justin Sekiguchi, and Chris Livingstone shift the white-centered colonial lens on housing, racial discrimination, and dispossession to an exploration of what it means to live and work on behalf of the multiracial and diverse community that dwells today on the unceded and occupied Indigenous territories of the Downtown Eastside.

Participants will be invited into breakout groups to share their thoughts and experiences of building allyships across communities. To wrap up the event, everyone will reconvene to offer generative questions as catalysts for actions in solidarity.

This series of 9 online events, highlights BIPOC artists and activists sharing their perspectives on current social issues. The project intends to inspire civic engagement and community building during the disruption of the enduring pandemic. Check out The Bulletin's regular column on the Paueru Gai Dialogues throughout 2021.

Click to Register

Paueru Mashup Dance - Online Lessons

Thursdays, April 22 - May 30, 5-6 pm PST
Free Online: Zoom, Register HERE 

Itching to move your body? Learn the Paueru Mashup, a community dance drawing on elements of Radio Taiso and Tanko Bushi. Commissioned by the Powell Street Festival Society with music created by Onibana Taiko and movements by Company 605, this high-energy dance is accessible for all ages and abilities.

No dance experience necessary! We'll have skilled dance instructors walking you through the movements as you learn from the comfort of your own home.

These are iterative lessons, so we encourage you to sign up for all the lessons so you can learn a new portion of the dance each week!


GVJCCA: Antiracism in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

April 10, 1-3 pm PST
Free Online: Zoom, Register HERE or contact

The GVJCCA's third online antiracism session is coming up on Saturday, April 10 from 1-3pm PST. Antiracism in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside will feature five panelists who are engaged in antiracism work in the Downtown Eastside. Participants will have an opportunity to ask speakers questions at the end. All are welcome to attend!

Guest panelists:
Sid Chow Tan - former National Chairperson of the Chinese Canadian National Council, founding/current director of the Head Tax Families Society of Canada, past President of the Full Figure Theatre Company Society, and former Vice-President of the Firehall Arts Centre Society.

Lama Mugabo - Building Bridges with Rwanda cofounder, SFU Pacific Water Research Centre initiative field projects manager, Hogan's Alley Society board member. 

Angela May - scholar, writer, and community activist investigating legacies of displacement and the durability of memory in the Downtown Eastside.

Skundaal Bernie Williams - Haida artist and carver - the only female to apprentice with the late artist Bill Reid. 

Eddy Takayanagi - Powell Street Festival Society Board of Directors President, graduate of UBC law school, involved in building community, forging allyships, and fighting for equity and social justice. 

Virtual Tour of 1 Hour Photo
by Tetsuro Shigematsu

April 2021 – June 2021

Ticket and Venue Details: HERE

Navigating this new world of social distancing spawned the innovative solution to bring vAct’s award-winning production 1 Hour Photo across Canada. vAct has collaborated with a Vancouver based film production company, Brightlight Pictures, to produce a high quality, 75 minute cinematic adaptation of 1 Hour Photo by Tetsuro Shigematsu. Presented by theatre companies across Canada, the 1 Hour Photo Virtual Tour will engage with audiences through scheduled showings accompanied by a live talkback with Tetsuro Shigematsu.

Research Project: Call to Action!

Identity of Canadian Youth of Japanese/Korean Descent in Metro Vancouver Area


Jiin Yoo, a MA student in Educational Studies at UBC, is currently conducting research on: 'Identity and sense of belonging of Canadian youth of Japanese/Korean descent in Metro Vancouver area,' to broaden an understanding of how Japanese and Korean youth are negotiating and constructing their identity and sense of belonging in their daily life. 

Call to Action:  
Yoo plans to recruit six Japanese youths (age 17~23) who can participate in the interview and the focus group. Each participant will be granted a gift card ($25) for participation. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jin Yoo at

Research Project: Call to Action!

The Goh Ohn Bell Project
Deadline: May 1, 2021


Students from the University of Toronto are conducting a research and advocacy campaign to bring to light the unwritten lived experiences of the Japanese Canadian community in collaboration with the Ontario Place Anniversary by Daniels Students initiative.

Built in 1977, the Goh Ohn Bell is a built monument located in Ontario Place , a Harborfront park located in downtown Toronto. Designed by renowned Japanese Canadian Architect Raymond Moriyama, it was built to commemorate the centennial of Japanese settlement in Canada.

Call to Action: We would like to ask for your help. If you have any photos, thoughts, historical information, resources to direct us to, photos, or (most importantly) personal stories relating to these questions, we would love to hear from you! Please email:

About the Project: As an important cultural icon located in Ontario Place, the Goh Ohn Bell contains stories and lived experiences of the Japanese Canadian community that are largely hidden from history. The Goh Ohn Bell Project is an effort to gather, curate, archive, and bring to light this history through lived experiences of Japanese Canadians in relation to the Goh Ohn Bell. We also hope to raise awareness of the history and cultural value of this space within Ontario Place, to advocate for its preservation in the future. We are gathering stories from the Japanese Canadian community and sharing them to an audience through our Instagram and the Future of Ontario Place Instagram, as well as sharing information regarding the history of the Goh Ohn Bell monument as it relates to Japanese Canadian heritage.

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Thank you again to all of our festival supporters!
You can see the full list on our website!
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