Powell Street Festival Monthly Newsletter – July 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: Spatial Poetics XIV, 39th Annual Powell Street Festival, + more!   

Spatial Poetics XIV


Powell Street Festival Society presents Spatial Poetics XIV on July 9th at the Vancouver Japanese Language School at 487 Alexander Street, Vancouver. Now in its fourteenth year, Spatial Poetics invites artists of different backgrounds (visual art, theatre, performance art, music, etc) to collaborate in the creation of a new, multi-genre artistic work. This year we asked Makiko Hara, former curator of Centre A, the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, to assemble a team of artists to explore the theme of Edo-period Japan. Thursday’s event will feature two new performance works: “How to Dig a Hole” by Stacey Ho and Julia Aoki, and “In the Shadow of This Archive” by Cindy Mochizuki and Maiko Yamamoto. As they busily prepare for this Thursday’s event, the artists and curator took some time to talk about their work with Powell Street Festival artistic director, Mark Takeshi McGregor. Read the full interview here.

Spatial Poetics XIV takes place on Thursday, July 9.
Doors at 7:30 p.m. Performance at 8:00 p.m.
Vancouver Japanese Language School, 487 Alexander Street. 

Advance tickets ($12) can be purchased here. Tickets also available at the door ($15).


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

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39th Annual Powell Street Festival


Artwork by Andrea Wan

The festival returns to its usual main location at Oppenheimer Park (400 Block of Powell Street) for its 39th year! Other participating venues will include the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova Street), Vancouver Japanese Language School/Japanese Hall (475 Alexander Street), Vancouver Buddhist Temple (220 Jackson Avenue) and Centre A Gallery (229 East Georgia Street).


This year’s robust lineup of contemporary and traditional Japanese Canadian artists range from dancers and musicians to a comedy troupe and one of the world’s most influential environmentalists. Cuban inspired pianist Niho Takase, monster jazz drummer Bernie Arai, avant-garde muse Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, movement artist Mark Ikeda, Bhutto-inspired sensation Kokoro Dance and comedians Assaulted Fish will all appear at the Firehall Arts Centre while Katari TaikoSawagi Taiko, Sansho Daiko, and Chibi Taiko will combine forces in the park for a mega-taiko drumming event, Against The Current. Author, broadcaster and activist David Suzuki will make a special appearance and speaking engagement in support of his newly released book Letters to My Grandchildren.


Expect martial arts, ikebana, animé, walking tours, a sumo tournament and children’s games. Guests can also enjoy a large variety of delicious Japanese food from 17 vendors and browse over 20 craft booths, community booths, displays and visual arts.

All events at The Powell Street Festival are free! More information is available at and on facebook and twitter.

Photo of Katari Taiko by Jeanie Ow, photo of David Suzuki courtesy The David Suzuki Foundation
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New at the Festival: Asahi Pitch Game


Asahi Pitch Game
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Festival Grounds
Batter up! Can you strike out an Asahi baseball star? Pitch balls past the batter’s swing to win an assortment of prizes. New this year, Asahi Pitch Game is designed by Abaton Projects, artwork by Shinsuke Minegishi, and generously sponsored by Bing Thom Architects and Nikkei National Museum especially for Powell Street Festival. All ages. $2 per ball, or $5 for three balls.  

Artwork by Shinsuke Minegishi
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Kiai Kick Corner


Kiai Kick Corner
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Large Hall, Vancouver Japanese Language School

Come give us your best “kiai” shout! Calling all festival-goers, sumo wrestlers, dancers, drummers, chefs, young and old­--we want to capture the energy and spirit that carries Powell Street Festival forward year after year. You will be asked to sign a release form so that a video can be created to launch our 40th Anniversary campaign next year!

Photo credit Jon Elder 
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Call for Volunteers



The Powell Street Festival Society continues to seek volunteers for the 2015 event! We are looking for people to fill a variety of roles, including those holding a Class 5 driver's license to assist with driving on the weekend of the Festival. Strong Japanese language skills are an attribute, but not required. Take part in this vibrant and unique event, and meet new friends! Some volunteer opportunities include: 
  • site crew
  • environment & sustainability
  • stage crew
  • drivers
We are also seeking year-round volunteers to assist with general office tasks, events, graphic design, and various  organizing committees.

Interested parties may apply via our Volunteer Registration form here, or contact Dempsey Watson at


Photo of volunteers and organizers from previous Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow. 
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Lottery Grand Prizes

Thank you to this year's Powell Street Festival Lottery donors, including Japan Airlines and Hapa Izakaya, for their generous contributions! 


Special Thanks to our Volunteer and Community Sponsors


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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