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!
Sincerely, Mark Takeshi McGregor
Photo of Tetsu Taiko at the 2014 Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow
On May 30th, the Advocacy Committee held apapier-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).
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 • vancouvertaiko.ca
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.
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).
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:
environment & sustainability
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com).
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!
CUPE Local 389
Gregor Scott Reid
Jenny & Winnie Joe
John Philip & Reiko Richardson
JTB International (Canada) Ltd.
Kimiko May Sato
Kitanoya Marketing Corp
Les and Phillis Murata
Mitsuo & Emmie Hayashi
Susan H Gratton
Vancouver Yokohama Sistercity Society
Photo of festival attendee from previous Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow. Back to top
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.