Powell Street Festival Monthly Newsletter – September 2015 View this email in your browser
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
News this month: Festival Photos, Zero Waste Campaign, and more!

Message from Artistic Director Mark Takeshi McGregor


Autumn may be upon us, but that festival atmosphere is still in the air! Our good friends at Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre celebrated their third Nikkei Matsuri on September 5th and 6th. Congratulations to everyone for a wonderful weekend full of great food and amazing performances.
The good times continue to roll this month with the 5th annual Hapa-palooza Festival, a celebration of mixed heritage and hybrid cultural identity, running from September 16 – 20. Many of us in the Japanese Canadian community are familiar with the word “Hapa”: a Hawaiian term to describe an individual of mixed ancestry. For five days at venues throughout the city, Hapa-palooza provides opportunities to discuss, explore, and celebrate the richness of diverse cultural identities. You can learn more about the whole festival lineup by checking out their website,
Here at the office, gears are turning for Powell Street Festival’s 40th Anniversary! We’re always looking for volunteers to help us out throughout the year – and this coming year there’ll be A LOT going on! Drop us a line at if you’re interested in helping us bring the season to life. And for those of you who are already looking back on our 39th Festival with a sense of nostalgia, be sure to scroll through our festival photos below to relive some of the many highlights!

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Photo of Tetsu Taiko at the 2014 Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow

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Festival Photos!


Photo credit Jeanie Ow

Photo credit Mike de Leon

Photo credit Jeanie Ow

Photo credit Jeanie Ow

Check out some of wonderful images of the 39th Annual Powell Street Festival on Flickr and FacebookThank you to our talented photographers. 

Zero Waste Campaign a Success!


Many of you noticed our incredible Environment & Sustainability team at work in Oppenheimer Park during the 39th Powell Street Festival. These folks were on hand to help sort recycling, compost, and landfill — helping make PSF one of the most environmentally friendly festivals in the country! Powell Street Festival president Colin Chan talks more about our campaign and summarizes this year’s record-breaking efforts to reduce waste:

The Zero Waste campaign at the Powell Street Festival has been running for eight years! At PSF, Zero Waste means a continuous effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce and to divert what we do produce away from the landfill via compost or recycling.


Photo credit Carly Yoshida-Butryn

As with all our initiatives, our Zero Waste campaign is truly a community collaboration:

  • We rely on our coordinators and volunteers to help festival attendees sort their waste into the proper bins.
  • We work closely with our food vendors to ensure everything they sell is either compostable or recyclable.
  • We work with Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver to provide free drinking water fountains to eliminate the need for bottled water sales at the festival.

Photo credit Aki Mimoto

This year, we also partnered with Green Chair Events, a local social enterprise focused on improving the sustainability of festivals around Metro Vancouver. And the results? In 2015, we were able to recycle or compost 99% of all our front-of-house waste gathered from our six Zero Waste stations placed around the festival grounds. This is a major accomplishment that speaks volumes of the efforts from all involved.

We’re not perfect…yet!

Our overall landfill waste diversion rate was 71%:


However, that still means we produced 72 bags of garbage that did end up in the landfill, mostly from our back-of-house. If you’ve volunteered with us, you know how much focus and effort goes on behind the scenes to set up the site in a day, prepare food for 15,000 people over the weekend, and take down the site in just a few hours. With all the flurry of activity, it’s easy to accidentally put recyclable material in the garbage or vice-versa, but we know we can improve on that and increase  our landfill waste diversion rate next year!

All in all it was a great green success and something that we’re very proud of here at PSFS.

Want to help with our sustainability efforts at the Powell Street Festival? Please email and we’d love to have your help.

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Congratulations 2015 Powell Street Festival Lottery Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of this year's Powell Street Festival lottery!

Full list of winners and their prizes is available on our website at this link: 

If you are a winner, please call our offices at 604-739-9388 to arrange pick-up of your prize.


Please help us spread the word!

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. 
© 2015 Powell Street Festival Society, All rights reserved.

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