Powell Street Festival Monthly Newsletter – January 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: Yamato Drummers of Japan, and Happy New Year!


Message from Artistic Director Mark Takeshi McGregor



January, as we all know, is a great time to talk about new directions. When I joined the Powell Street Festival Society last Spring, one of my priorities was to create year-round programming to that would illuminate the history, culture, and lives of Japanese Canadians and our unique role in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This month we see the first steps in this direction with a year-long development period for a project called KIYO

Inspired by the stories of Madam Kiyoko Tanaka-Goto, a historical Vancouver business woman who ran a successful brothel on Hastings Street from 1927 - 1941, KIYO asks four Canadian artists to develop new work that explores the pre-war sex trade in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Artists Ayumi Goto (Kelowna), Mark Haney (Vancouver), Julie Tamiko Manning (Montreal), and Lisa C. Ravensbergen (North Vancouver) will spend the coming months working alongside historical advisors, translators, and Nikkei National Museum staff to ensure that KIYO develops in a way that is creative, respectful, and historically accurate.

Ultimately, at the heart of KIYO is the desire to bring a posthumous voice to a unique historical Japanese Canadian, and to address a complex topic that still has significant contemporary relevance. As always, fearless discourse forms the backbone of all PSFS activities; if you would like to add your voice to this year-long artistic dialogue, we would love to hear from you. And of course, we’ll keep you up-to-date as this fascinating project moves forward. 

Mark Takeshi McGregor

Artistic Director


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Thank you for helping us raise over $10,000!


Thank you to all of the individual donors and The Green Foundation who have helped us raised a total of $10,000 towards the 40th Annual Powell Street Festival. However, we still have a long way to go! That is why we will continue our online fundraiser until the end of February. So, if you haven't donated yet and are still interested, you are still eligible for our many perks including our new signature Kiai! Tea.

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We also will be hosting a Kiai! Party and Auction to continue our 40th Anniversary Fundraising efforts on May 7th. Save the date! Details and ticket sales will be released in March!

Check out Powell Street Festival's new Kiai! tea featured in this video by TEALEAVESIf you donated over $50 to our campaign you will receive a package of Kiai! tea in the mail along with your charitable tax receipt in February.

B-roll by Telus

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Yamato Drummers of Japan debut February 6

yamato drummers22Making their anticipated Vancouver debut, February 6, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the dynamic and masterly Yamato Drummers of Japan, described as the “U2 of Taiko drumming”, present a heart-themping, athletically charged spectacle that showcases their remarkable strength, expertise and unmistakable sound.

Yamato’s one-night only, big budget engagement will feature a ferocious mix of theatrics, agility, and rapid-fire speed. Audience members will be hypnotized by the impressive display of physicality and visual fireworks in the widely acclaimed production of Bakuon.

Tickets from $25 at
For more information visit:

2nd Annual GVJCCA Japanaese Canadian Community Bowl-a-thon Fundraiser

February 2112:30pm Check in, 3:00pm Draws and Prizes
Registration: deadline is February 1, (on a first come, first serve basis)
Rev’s Burnaby Bowling Centre, 5502 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby (next to Holdom Skytrain Station – free parking available

Join Powell Street Festival Society's team and help collect pledges on our behalf! Contact to join. 10 pin bowling! Fun for all ages! 
Admission: Team (maximum of 6): $150 - includes 2 games and shoe rental for six members. Individual: $25 (we can assign you to a team) – includes 2 games & shoe rental.

Powell Street Festival Society Annual General Meeting


Thursday, February 25, 6:30 pm
W Room, 5th Floor, Woodwards Building
111 West Hastings Street

Come learn about our plans for the coming year! Meet our board and staff, ask about our various committees, and find out if there's a role for you. If you are not already a member, the cost of a lifetime membership is $12, which, in addition to voting privileges at annual general meetings, comes with some extra perks such as discounted ticket prices to some of our events!

Legacy Fund

PSFS is establishing a Legacy Fund to enhance our financial stability as we continue to celebrate Japanese Canadian arts and culture. Powell Street Festival is the largest Japanese Canadian festival in the country and the longest running community celebration in Vancouver. Make a gift to our Legacy Fund.

photo credit Tamio WakayamaYour Bequeathment

Whether you are a regular festival goer, a volunteer, or a member of our broader community, you have made a personal investment in Powell Street Festival Society. Commitment like yours is what has enriched our community and kept this festival running for the last 40 years. You can help sustain our vibrancy by remembering Powell Street Festival Society in your estate planning.

By bequeathing to Powell Street Festival Society, you are celebrating the history of the Japanese culture in Canada and giving to future generations.

Powell Street Festival may have impacted your life in some way. You are not alone. Powell Street Festival Society has been touching lives throughout the Lower Mainland for over 39 years by presenting accessible, community based Japanese Canadian arts and cultural programming. We will continue to do so with your support.

For more information on how to donate to Powell Street Festival Society please contact us at 604-739-9388 or email info [at]

photo credit Tamio Wakayama

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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. 
© 2016 Powell Street Festival Society, All rights reserved.

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