Powell Street Festival Monthly Newsletter – March 2016 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


Message from Artistic Director
Mark Takeshi McGregor

With the arrival of March, the gears are now turning full-time here at the PSF office as we begin the ramp up to this summer's 40th anniversary festivities. But this week we also saw the birth of a rather different project. From March 1st to 3rd, we hosted a series of artist workshops that explored the incredible life of Kiyoko Tanaka Goto, a pre-war madam of a brothel on Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside. Four artists -- Lisa Ravensbergen (North Vancouver), Julie Tamiko Manning (Montreal), Ayumi Goto (Kelowna), and Mark Haney (Vancouver) -- came together to discuss, debate, and develop the possibility of a new artistic project inspired by the words, life, and times of Tanaka Goto. Her recorded interviews (housed in BC Archives and transcribed for us by Ayaka Yoshimizu) are frank and detailed accounts of not only the perils of working in the sex trade, but also vivid portraits of pre-war life in general in one of Vancouver's most vibrant, complex, and historic neighbourhoods. The artists met with scholars Ayaka Yoshimizu and Julia Aoki, who shared their studies into the history of migrant sex workers in Vancouver and Yokohama; spent an absorbing afternoon at the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby, where museum archivists displayed Tanaka Goto's belongings; and on the final day had a walking tour of Powell Street and surrounding areas -- the historic stomping grounds of the Japanese Canadian community. It remains to be seen how this project will develop over the coming months -- but from the moment the four artists met, the air was full of passionate discourse, perceptive questions, and a desire to learn more. Ravensbergen, Tamiko Manning, Goto, and Haney will convene again later this Spring; and we'll be sure to share these developments with you. 
Our thanks go to Ayaka Yoshimizu and Julia Aoki; Sherri Kajiwara, Linda Reid, and Lisa Uyeda at the Nikkei National Museum; Ann-Marie Metten at Historic Joy Kogawa House; and to the BC Arts Council for their generous support of this project.

Image: Artists Lisa Ravensbergen, Julie Tamiko Manning, Ayumi Goto, and Mark Haney at the original site of Kiyoko Tanaka Goto's Hastings Street brothel

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Donate Now

2016 Festival Applications due March 18th

Participate in the 2016 Powell Street Festival in Oppenheimer Park on Saturday & Sunday, July 30th and 31st, 2016!

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. If you haven't already, you will receive your perks and tax receipts in the mail shortly.




Enjoy a free Kiai Tea Cocktail between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. This specially mixed drink features our empowering signature Kiai! Festival Blend tea by TEALEAVES, a bespoke purveyor of tea.

Sharon Minimoto and Bernie Arai perform at 9 pm.

Tickets are sold on a sliding scale from $25.00 – $60.00 and are available in advance through Eventbrite.

Proceeds will support Powell Street Festival Society. This past summer, Powell Street Festival saw a record attendance of over 15,000 people enjoying the free weekend celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture. In 2016, Powell Street Festival Society plans to expand the festival site, increase children’s activities, and upgrade food vendor equipment. Help make our 40th Annual Festival the best one yet from July 30th – 31st, 2016!

Accessibility Info: 750 Hamilton is not at street level. The easiest way to find it is to get yourself to Hamilton Street between Robson and Georgia. Mid-block, with the Library behind you, you will be looking at a JJ Bean coffee kiosk. To the right of that, you will see a set of concrete steps leading up. Follow those to 750 and dial 110 on the entryphone to be admitted to The Post at 750! People with mobility issues are encouraged to use the elevator in the atrium of the CBC Broadcast Centre at 700 Hamilton Street, then go past the Security desk to the breezeway. 750 will be on your left when you exit the doors at Security.

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Sakura Days Japan Fair 2016

Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden 
5251 Oak Street (37th & Oak), Vancouver, BC
Date: Sat., April 9 & Sun., April 10 , 2016 
Time: 10:00am - 5:00pm 

Presented by the Japan Fair Association of Vancouver (JFAV) as part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival with the support of the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Sakura Days Japan Fair (SDJF) is a family-friendly, two-day Japanese festival held at the spectacular VanDusen Botanical Gardens. The festival showcases Japanese cultural and performing arts, cuisine and businesses.

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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