The Winter Edition: featuring the 2014 Powell Street Festival in Review, notice of the 2015 AGM + more!
A Year in Review: looking back at 2014
by Kristen Lambertson, outgoing Executive Director
Looking back on what was supposed to be a quiet year, 2014 turned out to be quite the year of transition! Happily we accomplished some major achievements, some planned and some unplanned. In terms of planned achievements, we successfully drafted a new strategic plan http://www.powellstreetfestival.com/about/. Next year marks our 40th anniversary, and we thought it was high time to take stock of where we stood in the community and where we were headed. Little did we know how germane our in-depth planning process would turn out to be.
Faced last July with a tent occupation in our home ground of Oppenheimer Park, we had less than 2 weeks to decide how to proceed with the Powell Street Festival. Rather than try to force anybody out or cancel the Festival, we soldiered on by making the most neighbourly choice we could think of. We shifted the location of the Powell Street Festival.
PSFS chose to be a connector of communities: bringing attention to struggles of Vancouver’s homeless, all the while celebrating the resilience, innovation and creative drive of Japanese Canadians. The decision epitomized what I love and live for in Powell Street Festival. The last minute relocation was certainly not without its struggles, trials and many long hours (shout out to PSFS Board, staff members: Kazuho Yamamoto, Alba Calvo, Whitney Millar, Owen Cameron, and key volunteers Kathy Shimizu, Michael Ouchi and Jon Nakane!). But thanks to these key figures and the contributions of many others, the move embodied the true spirit of the Powell Street Festival’s newly established vision: “A society enriched and interconnected through Japanese Canadian arts and culture.” In our move we strove to bring people together.
It is therefore with much sadness that I leave this family known as the Powell Street Festival Society. It is an incredible community of inspired individuals who give many hours of love and their time. I have learned much from its various members and I hope to stay in touch and involved as a volunteer. I have great faith in the new leadership of Emiko Morita, and am excited to see the potential under her guidance and that of the new Artistic Director. Here’s to another exciting year, and to our 40th anniversary in 2016!
A Message from Colin Chan, President
Hello Powell Street Festival Community,
I have exciting news to share with you, as we have hired our new Executive Director! We are very pleased to welcome Emiko Morita to our team, who brings with her a wealth of leadership experience from the arts and publishing communities. She has a long personal connection to the PSFS, including working with us as a publishing intern early in her career. With Emiko, we look forward to carrying out our Strategic Plan, and to building out the rest of our office team with an Artistic Director (accepting applications!) and Administrative Assistant.
Of course, this means that our existing Executive Director is moving on, and we are saying our heartfelt good-byes to Kristen Lambertson. Kristen came aboard as our General Manager in 2008, and has been a leadership fixture for all of us at PSFS. We are a multi-faceted Society, with our annual festival, diverse programming, volunteers, committees, and our board. Through her talents and effort, Kristen has continuously been able to evolve our organization with cohesive facilitation, guidance, and administration. It has been a privilege to have worked with Kristen and we are grateful for her immense contributions to our Society and our community.
We are excited to introduce to you our new Executive Director, Emiko Morita.
Emiko Morita is a hapa sansei who has been active in Vancouver’s cultural scene for over 25 years; her earliest grassroots experiences include the Powell Street Festival and the Chinese Cultural Centre’s art event Racy/Sexy. As a book marketer, she had worked with some of Canada’s leading writers and served on the board of the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop.
Introducing our newest Board Member
We are happy to announce our newest member to the PSF Board of Directors, Luke Mochizuki!
Luke Mochizuki was born in Vancouver and raised in Coquitlam. He graduated from SFU with a BA majoring in Communications, Political Economy, and Media Studies. He has been with Vancity Credit Union for over 10 years and has accumulated many valuable skills over a number of positions. He is presently an Account Manager, Brand Ambassador, and Financial Literacy Instructor. Although born and raised in Canada, Luke has never lost sight of his Japanese heritage and culture. He has many fond memories of attending the Powell Street Festival with his family and would like others to create similar memories with their families just as he has. Also, Luke hopes to add value to the PSFS by helping streamline their waste disposal programs and will implement a Zero Waste goal at all the PSFS events.
* Featured Announcement: PSFS Annual General Meeting
April 16, 2015 at 6:30pm (Katari Taiko's AGM is at 7:00. Please come to both!)
5th Floor, 111 West Hastings Street, Woodwards Building.
Applications still open for the PSFS Artistic Director!
Still thinking of applying for our current job posting?
Deadline for the Artistic Directer is Feb. 13, 2015 at 10am.
Join us as we enter our 39th year!
Want to participate in the PSF? Vendor and Performer applications available online soon!
For interested vendors and potential participants, please note that our Festival applications will become available online February 13 and will be due March 9, 2015.
New this year: we are working to create the online application process easy for you in the future. Starting this year, all applications will be saved under a user profile that you create this year, for future years - so that you can simply update your past applications for the future!
Check our website for more details on how you can participate in the 39th Powell Street Festival. Mark your calendars and don't miss the deadline!
As we amp up our planning for the 39th annual festival, we will be looking to do our seasonal hiring! Want to be part of the Powell Street Festival team? Powell Street Festival Society hires for the position of Communications Manager, Production Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator.
Please check our website for work opportunity updates! Photo of hip hop dancers from the 2003 Powell Street Festival by Barb Yamazaki Back to top
PSF Committee News
In December, 2014, the PSFS received a Downtown Eastside Capital Grant from the City of Vancouver. The grant application cited the ongoing desire amongst members of the broader Japanese Canadian community to (re)establish a socially responsible year-round presence in the historic home of Japanese Canadians, possibly in the form of a physical building. The money received through this grant is intended to finance pre-planning activities (i.e., community engagement, building analyses in the Powell St. area, etc.) We have begun engaging community members to determine what their hopes are for this project. Our first community meeting will be on Thursday, February 26th, in the Hastings Mill room at the Woodwards building, 4th floor.
There are many directions that this project can take. In this first meeting, you will hear a bit about the background of the project and how it came about, and have an opportunity to discuss your hopes for the process at length. If you have any particular ideas about items you would like to discuss or have addressed at the meeting, do let us know and we will endure that they are included. Please contact admin[at]powellstreetfestival.com
Acknowledgements - Thank you to our 2014 donors
January - December 2014, in alphabetical order:
Mieko Amano, Yoshio Arai, Hideko Arai, Susan Arai, Andrew Arai, Elizabeth Chu, Randy Enomoto, Kyoko Fleming, Stanley Fukawa, Jane Good, Kiyo Goto, Susan H Gratton, Masami Hanashiro, Emily Harwell, Mitsuo & Emmie Hayashi, Linda Hoffman, Miko Hoffman, Nina Inaoka Lee, Gordon Kadota, Eileen Kage, Kikuye Komori, Lindsay Kotick, Kamara Kroeker, Pei-Tsung Li, Rod Mickelburgh, Kazuko Mito, Elmer Morishita, Les and Phillis Murata, Chuichi Nakahori, Craig Natsuhara, Haruko Okano, July Ono, Gregor Reid, John Philip & Reiko Richardson, Renee Rodin, Michiko Sakamoto-Senge, Kimiko May Sato, Kathy Shimizu, David Shimizu, Lyndsay Sung, Kumi Sutcliffe, R.R. Sutherland, Dan Tokawa, Rika Uto, Leslie Uyeda, Bryan Uyesugi, and numerous others that would like to remain anonymous.
Donations In Memory Of: Dr. Midge Ayukawa - Reiko Tagami Ed Yeung - Kathy Shimizu, David Shimizu Janice & David Shimizu & families - Gregor Reid and Kathy Shimizu Ken Shikaze - Connie Kadota Mio and Victor Shimizu - Kathy Shimizu & Gregor Reid Yukiko & Mikio Nakamura - Margaret Nakamura
Aki Restaurant, Angel Seafoods, Aresnal Pulp Press, Artisan Sake Maker at Granville Island, Coco Cake Land, Cadeaux Bakery, Cupe Local 389, Fujiya, Guu Restaurant, Halfmoon Books, Hapa Izakaya, Japan Airlines, JTB, OK Gift Shop, Queer Film Festival, Sunrise Market, The Cinematheque, Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver Canadians, Vancouver International Dance Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver New Music,Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Shinpo, Vancouver Writers Festival,
Royal Bank of Canada, Vancouver Yokohama Sister City Society
The Powell Street Festival gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage,the BC Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver through the Office of Cultural Affairs.
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.