powell street festival society

In this Issue:
1. The Future of Our Neighbourhood: Next Committee Meeting
2. Special thanks and welcome to PSF Committee Members
3. Call for New Programming Committee Members
3. Thank you to the Nikkei Place Foundation!
4. Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble presents: Bang Danjos
5. Post-Redress:
Panel Discussion
6. Yayoi Theatre Movement Society Presents The Premiere of MEDEA (ROKUJO)
7. The 10th Annual DTES Heart of the City Festival in association with Tonari Gumi presents: TAIKO ROOTS IN THE HEART OF THE CITY
8. Direct from Japan: OSUWA DAIKO
9. Chibi Taiko: 20th Anniversary Concert

10. Park-a-Palooza: The 6th Annual Oppenheimer Park Community Art Show

The Future of Our Neighbourhood
Sustaining our Japanese Canadian Legacy
Next Community Meeting: Thursday, Nov 21st at 6pm at the VJLS-JH (487 Alexander Street)

As many of you know, the Downtown Eastside (DTES) Local Area Planning Process (LAPP) has been underway for over a year and a half now and will conclude in January 2014. The Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (VJLSJH) and the Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS)
share a seat on the committee. We are currently waiting for the full draft of the Plan, which will be presented by the City of Vancouver to the public at a number of sessions in November (dates, times and locations to be confirmed by the City).

You can read about the framework for the plan in the Emerging Directions document found online here:

The planning process is at a critical point. As long-time members of this neighbourhood, the VJLS-JH and PSFS are currently involved in passionate discussions about the future of the DTES and the fate of the City’s most marginalized residents. As beneficiaries of the federal Redress 25 years ago, the provincial apology of last year, and now, the City apology, we are committed to sustaining the Japanese Canadian legacy as human rights champions in Canada. VJLS-JH and PSFS have organized a number of community meetings to inform people about the DTES local area planning process, and as a forum for all members of the JC community to share their thoughts and ideas about a vision for our historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood, within the current context of the DTES.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov 21st at 6pm at the VJLS-JH (487 Alexander Street). Any interested JC community members are encouraged to attend. Snacks and tea will be provided.

You can also find out more online at and feel free to send your suggestions and ideas to the City directly at
If you would like more information and / or are interested in attending future meetings held by VJLS-JH and PSFS, please contact Kathy Shimizu at or 604.725.6054.

Special Thanks & Welcome

The Powell Street Festival Society would like to give a special thanks to John Yamazaki, who will be resigning from the Powell Street Festival Board of Directors. The society is incredibly grateful for his dedication throughout his many years spent on the PSF Board as a President, Vice President, and Director; and for his ongoing support for the festival.

John Yamazaki

We would also like to extend a warm welcome to our most recent additions to the Board of the Directors:  Daniel Iwama and Colin Chan.
Daniel Iwama joined the Powell Street Festival Society's Board in the fall of 2012 and Colin Chan joined the board in the spring of this year.
Both members have been a valuable part of the team since and we are grateful to have them on board!

 Daniel Iwama                         Colin Chan

A link to Powell Street Festival's current list of Board of Directors:

The Society would also like to give a special thanks to Naomi Horii and Kaori Kasai, who are both resigning from Powell Street Festival's Programming Committee.
Naomi and Kaori have been vital members of the committee, contributing their strengths, skills, and ideas that have greatly enriched the creativity of the festival's programming.

 Naomi Horii                  Kaori Kasai

Call for New Programming Committee Members!

The Powell Street Festival is currently seeking new members to join its Programming Committee.
All interested, committed parties are encouraged to apply
Please see our website for details on our programming committee:
To apply or for more information, please send us an email at info(at)powellstreetfestival.

Thank you to the Nikkei Place Foundation!

The Powell Street Festival Society would like to thank the Nikkei Place Foundation for honoring the festival with the Nikkei Place Foundation's 'Japanese Culture Award' at the 3rd Annual Nikkei Place Community Awards & Fundraising Dinner held on September 21st.
The Powell Street Festival Society won the  'Japanese Culture Award', which is presented to an individual or organization who has worked in raising awareness of Japanese culture and contributed to the harmony of Canadians and Japanese.
PSFS would also like to thank Takeo Yamashiro for introducing Nina Inaoka Lee, PSFS President at the awards ceremony and for all of his hard work and dedication in establishing the Powell Street Festival in its early days.

Takeo Yamashiro at the 3rd Annual Nikkei Place Community Awards & Fundraising Dinner
Photo courtesy of the Nikkei Place Foundation

Takeo Yamashiro and Nina Inaoka Lee at the 3rd Annual Nikkei Place Community Awards & Fundraising Dinner
Photo courtesy of the Nikkei Place Foundation

Nina Inaoka Lee at the 3rd Annual Nikkei Place Community Awards & Fundraising Dinner
Photo courtesy of the Nikkei Place Foundation

Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society Presents:
Bang Danjos

Saturday November 16 2013, 7:30pm
Vancouver Playhouse Theatre

$20 Reserved Seating

Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble:

Jirong Huang, musical director – erhu            Dayna Szyndrowski – Tap Dancer
Bruce Henzcel – percussion                             Featured Banjos:
Sarah Tan – guzheng                                         Qing Chang – sanxian
Lawrence Mollerup – Bass                               Nick Hornbuckle – Bluegrass Banjo
John Oliver – guitar                                             Hiroshi Yamaguchi – tsugaru shamisen

Strumming drumming and tapping!

Bang Danjos showcases three unique manifestations of the banjo. Come join us and witness the influences of bluegrass, Chinese classical and Japanese folk-rock in a stimulating mash up of culture and styles. Known for his appearance in the Asia Art Festival, our concert features honored guest performer Hiroshi Yamaguchi. He will be showcasing the infectious sounds of the Japanese tsugaru shamisen that so rarely makes an appearance in Vancouver.

The evening’s program will be emceed by renowned linguist Dr. Jan Walls and includes Evelyn Chang on sanxian (Chinese banjo), Nick Hornbuckle playing bluegrass banjo, Hiroshi Yamaguchi on tsugaru shamisen tapping and twanging with our very own dancer Dayna Szyndrowski.

Be apart of history as the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble breaks traditions, enriching Vancouver’s live music scene with vitality through an event that promotes the beauty of diversity and intertwined stylistic identities.

For more information or reserved tickets contact| Tel 604.683.8240 | Fax 604.683.7911
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Powell Street Festival, City of Vancouver, Hamber foundation the Canada Council for the Arts, Listel Hotel and the Consulate General of Japan.

Nikkei National Museum with Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities and the Asian Canadian Study Society present:


Research on Japanese Canadians: What are the Challenges? What are the Possibilities?

Panel Discussion
Free admission
Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre

6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby | 604.777.7000 |
Moderator: Roy Miki, Professor Emeritus, English, Simon Fraser University
Audrey Kobayashi, Professor, Geography, Queen’s University
Jeff Masuda, Associate Professor, Geography, University of Manitoba
Kirsten Emiko McAllister, Associate Professor, Communication, Simon Fraser University
Mona Oikawa, Associate Professor, Equity Studies, York University
John Price, Professor, History, University of Victoria

more following the panel discussion

The Premiere of MEDEA (ROKUJO)

Thurs. to Sat. November 7 to 9 2013 at 8 pm
& Sat. November 9, 2 pm Matinee
 (Artist talk after the shows)
Tickets $20   Ph. 604-739-7760
Or email

The Orpheum Annex Theatre (823 Seymour St. - 2nd Floor)
Choreographer: Yayoi Hirano
Artist Directors: Yayoi Hirano (YTM) and Peter Hall (Mortal Coil Performance Society)
Dancers: Yayoi Hirano, Peter Hall, Donna Yamamoto, Tomoko Hanawa, Eri MacGregor, Shuzuka Kai, Misako Woodall.
Musicians: Sara Davis Buechner (pianist),Minoru Yamamoto (Shakuhachi, percussion) & others
Chant Team: Mieko Usijima, Mieko Isogai, Shoko Okurano, Junko Hayashi, Yoshiho Hara, Aya Akiyama, Noriko Tidball.
Puppet: Hitoshi Okamoto, Noh-Mask & Costume Design: Yayoi Hirano
Lighting: Gerald King
Set Design: Shizuka Kai
Yayoi Theatre Movement Society debuts its full length contemporary adaptation Medea, based on the original Greek tragedy by Euripides (431BC). This work explores the rage and madness of the vengeful lead female protagonists (Medea and Rokujo), who are strong independent and powerful women, that have their positions in society destroyed through their lover's actions of infidelity.
With witchcraft, Medea murders her husband's bride, the bride's father Creon, and ultimately her own two children.
Using text, puppetry and dance movement, the tragedies of these women’s lives will be artistically interpreted through the world of Noh Theatre.
The principal cast: Yayoi Hirano (Medea), Peter Hall (Jason & Creon), Donna Yamamoto (Nurse) and emerging Noh dancer Eri MacGregor (Princess). The Chorus will be comprised of an 8 member Noh chanting ensemble.
Medea's sons will be interpreted by two Bunraku style puppets designed and built by Japanese designer Hitoshi Okamoto.
Publicist contact: Marcella Galliazzo 604.880.0527


The 10th Annual DTES Heart of the City Festival in association with Tonari Gumi presents:

Friday November 1, 8pm – 10:30pm
Vancouver Ballroom, 456 Prior (at Dunlevy)

Have we got a treat for you! Inspired by a taiko performance at the 1979 Powell Street Festival, members of Vancouver's Asian community came together to form their own taiko group as a means of exploring and celebrating their heritage through the Japanese drum. One of those members was John Endo Greenaway, long time Vancouver Moving Theatre designer and artistic associate. As a tribute to Vancouver as the birthplace of taiko in Canada, and in recognition of John's immense contribution to the taiko community, the Festival presents this exciting evening of taiko.
Immerse yourself in the beats, in the rhythms, in the excitement of Sansho Daiko, Vancouver's newest taiko group, of which John is a founding member. We also are thrilled that other ensembles will join forces for an intimate evening of drumming. Guests include Uzume Taiko in collaboration with LOUD; Katari Taiko and Sawagi Taiko; and Chibi Taiko, the youth ensemble celebrating its twentieth year.
A special thanks to Gordon Koo for letting us use his wonderful ballroom for an evening of taiko. Presented in association with Tonari Gumi.
Bar sales. Tickets at the door, first come first serve so arrive early. Suggested donation $10

Direct from Japan: OSUWA DAIKO
With performances by the Van Tech Chamber Choir and Shansho Daiko

Monday, November 4th 7:00 PM
Vancouver Technical Secondary School
2600 East Broadway,  Vancouver

For more information about performances, tickets, and workshops led by Osuwa Daiko, please contact Doug Masuhara at or  visit

Chibi Taiko
20th Anniversary Concert

Saturday, November 30, 2013
At 7:30 pm
Vancouver Playhouse Theatre

 Chibi Taiko, Canada’s first children’s Japanese drumming group, celebrates twenty years with a special concert featuring members from acclaimed Japanese taiko group Kodo
Vancouver, September 30, 2013 -- On Saturday November 30, 2013, Chibi Taiko presents a very special evening of taiko at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre. Over the last two decades, the group has had the honour of working with some of the most accomplished taiko artists in Japan and North America.  To celebrate this important milestone, Chibi Taiko has invited Yoshikazu and Yoko Fujimoto from the world-renowned taiko group Kodo.  Over the years, Yoshikazu and Yoko have seen Chibi members mature into talented taiko players.  Chibi is honoured to share this special evening with the Fujimoto’s.
Chibi Taiko also has invited Inochi Taiko from Seattle to help celebrate this anniversary.  Chibi and Inochi members grew up together sharing their love of taiko since they were children.  Now as young adults, their skill and dedication to their art form shows in their dynamic performances which bring audiences to their feet.
Chibi Taiko was founded in 1993 by Shinobu Homma.  The first children’s taiko ensemble in Canada, Chibi Taiko was founded with the goal of passing this unique and dynamic performing art on to the next generation of Asian Canadians.  The membership currently includes 22 youth ranging in age from 8 to 25 years old.  “The group focuses not only in teaching musical skills, but also developing “soft” skills of members such as cooperation, leadership, responsibility and spirituality,” says Shinobu Homma.
Shinobu recently received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his long-time service in the community and particularly his dedication to Chibi Taiko.
Visit for more info and tickets. 
Chibi Taiko gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Vancouver Theatre Rental Grants program and BTA Foundation.
For information contact:
Lucy Komori
Chibi Taiko

-Fun & Play-
The 6th Annual Oppenheimer Park Community Art Show
Oct 24th - Dec 1st, 201
Gallery Gachet (88 East Cordova Street)
Oppenheimer Park is pleased to present the 6th Annual Oppenheimer Park Community Art Show, Park-a-Palooza! -Fun & Play-.
The Powell Street Festival Advocacy Committee ran lantern-decorating workshops this past July at the Fieldhouse in collaboration with Oppenheimer Park.
The decorated lanterns were hung in the cherry trees during the Festival and now, they are a part of the Park-a-Palooza show alongside other fantastic art works created by the Oppenheimer Park Community!

Send us your events!

Do you have a Japanese-Canadian or Downtown Eastside community related event? Powell Street Festival Society is happy and excited to offer our community partners the opportunity to submit their own special events to our newsletter. It's our little way of saying thank you for your hard work in our community! Send us via PSF Community Event Submission Form.

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Our mailing address is: Suite 410-111 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4
Powell Street Festival Society
410-111 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1H4

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