Powell Street Festival Monthly Newsletter – June 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:  A Message from Artistic Director, First Site Visit to Oppenheimer Park, Spatial Poetics XIV + More!   

A Message from Artistic
Director Mark Takeshi McGregor


Nothing hits home the fact that Powell Street Festival is on the horizon quite like a visit to the site itself. On May 19th, the PSF staff – Emiko, Asia, Holly, Dempsey, and myself – spent a terrific sunny afternoon at Oppenheimer Park learning the ropes from the very best: Powell Street Festival guru Kathy Shimizu. Anyone who’s ever met Kathy knows what an incredibly energetic, charismatic, and knowledgeable force of nature she is. Her understanding of the Festival, of Japanese Canadian culture, and of the Downtown Eastside are an inspiration to us all, and we’re more excited than ever to be a part of such a historically significant and culturally vital event.

In just a few weeks we’ll be unveiling the full Festival lineup. But in the meantime, I think it’s safe to give you a small taste of what to expect: in addition to annual favourites like Sumo Fun Club, Omikoshi, and tonnes of incredible food, we’re thrilled to be presenting Cuban inspired pianist Niho Takase; monster jazz drummer Bernie Arai; avant-garde muse Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa; and our taiko extravaganza, Against The Current, featuring the combined forces of Katari Taiko, Sawagi Taiko, Sansho Daiko, and Chibi Taiko.

The Powell Street Festival could never have made it this far – 39 years! – without the unbelievable generosity and support of our community. If you’re excited by the idea of helping us bring the very best of Japanese Canadian arts and culture to life, I heartily encourage you to consider volunteering for the festival – you can find out more by reading our Call for Volunteers below. Also, so much of what we do is made possible by Individual Donations. If you’ve donated to us before – or to any arts organization, for that matter – THANK YOU. If you haven’t donated before, please know that any amount makes an incredible difference for non-profit arts organizations like Powell Street Festival Society. You can make that difference by clicking HERE

I look forward to sharing more news with you soon!

Mark Takeshi McGregor


Follow us:


Powell Street Festival Facebook Page      PSF Twitter      PSF Instagram      PSF Flickr Page


Donate Now

Photo of Tetsu Taiko at the 2014 Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow

Back to top    

Staff Site Visit to Oppenheimer Park with Kathy Shimizu


The PSFS staff made our first site visit to Oppenheimer Park with Kathy Shimizu. Time to get the ball rolling on this year's festival, big things are happening!

Photos by Mark Takeshi McGregor.
Back to top

Advocacy Committee Fish-Making Workshop


On May 30th, the Advocacy Committee held a papier-mâché fish-making workshop at the Fieldhouse at Oppenheimer Park as part of Asian Heritage Month. The workshop was in collaboration with Vancouver Taiko Society and Carnegie Community Centre and Oppenheimer Park. Powell Street Festival attendees can look forward to seeing the finished pieces this August!
Photos by Kathy Shimizu.

Vancouver Taiko Society’s Papier Mache Salmon-Making Workshops


Create colourful coho and other artworks to display or carry alongside drumming and songs by Chibi Taiko, Katari Taiko, Sansho Daiko, and Sawagi Taiko at the 39th Annual Powell Street Festival! This series of 3-week workshops will teach you how to make papier mache salmon props which will be used in the Vancouver Taiko Society’s Salmon Project, Against the Current (a.k.a. FishStix).
If you’d like more information, please contact Kathy & Kay at
Carnegie Tuesdays
Tue, June 2, 2–4pm – 3rd floor Gallery Space (make fish molds)
Tue, June 16, 2–4pm – Art Room in basement (papier mache the molds)
Tue, June  30, 2–4pm – Art Room in basement (paint the fish)
Oppenheimer Park Saturdays
Sat, June 13, 2–4pm (make fish molds)
Sat, June 27,  2–4pm (papier mache the molds)
Sat, July 11,  2–4pm (paint the fish)
National Aboriginal Day
Sat, June 20, 11am–4pm @ Oppenheimer Park
Vancouver Japanese Language School
Children's World and VJLS summer camp participants only
July 14
39th Annual Powell Street Festival
Sat & Sun, Aug 1 and 2, 2015
Oppenheimer Park & other venues
The Children’s Tent in the Park will have fish-making activities!
Project by Vancouver Taiko Society  •
In partnership with the Powell Street Festival Society, Carnegie Community Centre, and the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall. Supported by the Vancouver Foundation.
Photos by Kathy Shimizu.
Back to top



Spatial Poetics XIV, an annual collaborative event hosted by Powell Street Festival Society, brings together artists from different disciplines to create innovative works.

Cindy Mochizuki and Maiko Bae Yamamoto will present In the Shadow of this Archive, an audiovisual performance that integrates philosophies and stylized movements of kendo to explore the story of Mochizuki’s uncle, a former kendo athlete who competed in the 1970 Osaka Expo as a Japanese Canadian.

Stacey Ho and Julia Aoki will present a performance inspired by sangaku, panels hung in Shinto and Buddhist temples across Japan to depict beautiful geometric math problems. Using this Edo-era folk math of Japan as the starting point, this work is a cross-cultural, quasi-fictional investigation of circles and triangles. 

Spatial Poetics XIV, curated by Makiko Hara, takes place on Thursday, July 9. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Performance at 8:00 p.m. at Vancouver Japanese Language School, 487 Alexander Street.

Advance tickets ($12) can be purchased here. Tickets also available at the door ($15).


Call for Volunteers



The Powell Street Festival Society continues to seek volunteers for the 2015 event! We are looking for people to fill a variety of roles, including those holding a Class 5 driver's license to assist with driving on the weekend of the Festival. Strong Japanese language skills are a definite plus, but not required. Take part in this vibrant and unique event, and meet new friends! Some volunteer opportunities include: 
  • site crew
  • environment & sustainability
  • hospitality
  • stage crew
  • drivers
We are also seeking year-round volunteers to assist with general office tasks, events, graphic design, and various  organizing committees.

Interested parties may apply via our Volunteer Registration form here, or contact Dempsey Watson at

Call for MCs

Volunteer MC Recruitment for the Powell Street Festival

We are recruiting stage MCs! No experience necessary. As an MC, you will welcome everyone to the festival, introduce performers and make announcements (you will be provided with notes). We look forward to hearing from you! For more information, please contact Dempsey Watson via phone (604-739-9388) or email (


今年のパウエル祭は8月1日・2日にオッペンハイマー公園にて開催されます。現在、ステージMCを大募集中です!経験の有無は問いません。明るく、元気にパフォーマーの方々を紹介してくれる方のご連絡をお待ちしております!MC以外のボランティアポジションも募集中です。ご興味のある方は、Dempsey Watsonまでお電話(604-739-9388)かメール(でご連絡下さい

Photo of volunteers and organizers from previous Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow. 
Back to top

Thank You to our Donors!

Powell Street Festival Society would like to recognize our donors from last year. Please accept our sincerest thanks for your support of PSFS; your donations really do make a difference.  It's not too late to donate to support the society towards this year's festival! 

Bryan Uyesugi
Chuichi Nakahori
Craig Natsuhara
CUPE Local 389
Dan Tokawa
Elizabeth Chu
Elmer Morishita
Gordon  Kadota
Gregor Scott Reid
Haruko Okano
Hideko Arai
Jane Good
Jenny & Winnie Joe
John Philip & Reiko Richardson
JTB International (Canada) Ltd.
July Ono
Kathy Shimizu
Kazuko Mito
Kazuko Takahashi
Kikuye  Komori
Kimiko May Sato
Kitanoya Marketing Corp
Kiyo Goto
Kumi Sutcliffe
Kyoko Fleming
Lawrence Lam
Les and Phillis Murata
Lyndsay Sung
Marlene Yuen
Masami Hanashiro
Michiko Ayukawa
Michiko Sakamoto-Senge
Mieko Amano
Mitsuo & Emmie Hayashi
Nobu  Ellis
R.R. Sutherland
Randy Enomoto
Rod Mickleburgh
Stanley Fukawa
Susan H Gratton
Vancouver Yokohama Sistercity Society
Yoshio Arai

Photo of festival attendee from previous Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow. 
Back to top
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. 
© 2015 Powell Street Festival Society, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp