Update from Powell Street Festival 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

Update from Powell Street Festival

As the year closes, so does an affirming chapter in our organization’s history. In recent years, PSFS’s budgets and capacity have increased and its infrastructure strengthened. Leanne Dunic (Artistic Director) and Cara Seccafien (Administrative and Development Manager) made impactful contributions to this growth and are now moving on to new pursuits. A heartfelt thanks to both of you! 

The PSFS Board has revised the organizational structure and Emiko Morita, Executive Director since 2015, will be welcoming a new team in January. In the meantime, together with Production Associate Julia Wong, the Board and Committees, our work continues... 

What keeps us busy throughout the year?! PSFS is deeply engaged in the Japanese Canadian and Downtown Eastside (DTES) communities and continually seeks ways to practice social justice through Japanese Canadian arts and culture. We have year-round programming and are constantly scheming new ways to improve the production of the longest-running festival in Vancouver! 

Behind the scenes, we’re undertaking major operational projects such as writing manuals for every festival volunteer coordinator position, building a Cultural Workers Training Program to support our seasonal staff interested in careers in live event production and working in the DTES, a Tankless Hot Water System to improve our environmental footprint and further support our community food vendors, and so on... 

The Artist Residency program, Artist Mixers, Public Art Competition for PSF, and our off-season presentations such as the Nakatani Gong Orchestra and author Karen Tei Yamashita, all showcase and nurture a diverse array of artistic practices. In addition, we have community engagement programs such as the Asahi Tribute Baseball Game, Sumo Workshops for children and adults, seasonal crafts and meals at Oppenheimer Park.  

In the spring, watch for our musical co-presentation with The Future is You and Me and artist Kathy Shimizu reporting back from AIRY Residency in Japan. We are also honoured to partner with WePress Community Art Space and DTES SRO Collaborative through the Right to Remain research project, both of which have taught us much about the challenges of modern-day stigma and how to be good allies.  

We look forward to welcoming the New Year and the 44th Powell Street Festival – here’s to a nimble and sustainable PSFS for generations to come!

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Join the PSF Family!

We are currently looking to fill the following positions:
Apply by December 15th.
Thank you to Karen Tei Yamashita, the SRO Collaborative, Erica Hiroko Isomura, Carolyn Nakagawa, Laura Fukumoto, and to those who joined us!

Katari Taiko Celebrates its 40th Anniversary!

Katari Taiko has always been an integral part of Powell St. Festival's production.  In the early days, one requirement to be a member of KT was to volunteer during the festival weekend! Their sweat-labour was a huge component of the festival's capacity to continue year after year. 
Katari Taiko celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. We were honoured to be included at a "family" gathering and moved to hear John Endo Greenaway's telling of his version of the birth of taiko drumming in Canada.

"Canadian taiko was conceived in 1979 at the third annual Powell Street Festival, in Oppenheimer Park, a few blocks from here. Powell Street, home to the prewar Japanese Canadian community. Oppenheimer Park, home to the fabled Asahi baseball team, our very own field of dreams.

On that day, on that field of dreams, under a west coast sky, the earth opened up beneath our feet. With their first beat, their first kiai, the San Jose Taiko Group showed us a way..."

Read the whole excerpt here.

Donate to Powell Street Festival!

As our festival has continues to grow, we remain committed to our grassroots origin and our vision of an inclusive community. Powell Street Festival is made possible and financially sustainable with your support.

If you are able to support us with a financial donation, this can be done via:
  • cheque made out to Powell Street Festival Society, 410-111 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4 

  • online through

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Thank you again to all of our festival supporters!
You can see the full list on our website!
© 2019 Powell Street Festival Society, All rights reserved.

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