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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 the Artistic Director


Hello Powell Street Family,
Just a quick note to say a temporary sayounara as I gear up to go to Japan. I'll be spending most of my time at Akiyoshidai International Artist Village as the artist-in-residence, where I plan to meet plenty of Japanese artists and creators of whom I may invite to future Powell Street Festivals. 
Thank you for your interest and support of the PSFS. I hope you each have a wonderful rest of this year. I'm excited by the possibilities of 2017!
Mata ne!

Leanne Dunic

Follow us:

Winners of the 2016 Festival Lottery!
All of the winners are listed on our website! Email or call 604-739-9388 to claim your prize.

Festival Photos are up on facebook and flickr!
Thank you to our wonderful volunteer photographers!


Please donate!

Thank you for celebrating our 40th Festival with us this past summer! We took on quite the challenge this year: expanding the festival site, hosting incredible international artists, building relationships with new partners, and welcoming more even marketplace and food vendors! We couldn’t be happier with the results. Over the last two years alone our attendance has increased 38%. And we keep attracting new people, with 47% attending for the first time and 80% of them saying they’re planning on coming back for more next year!

With your support, we will continue bringing the very best of Japanese Canadian arts and culture to the public stage. Many of you know that Powell Street Festival is our country’s largest Japanese Canadian festival and the longest running community event in Vancouver. We’re committed to honouring and celebrating our past while actively working towards a future of artistic creation, community building, and social justice. 

You can help us create this future. Send us a cheque today, donate online at, or call us at 604 739 9388. You will receive a charitable tax receipt for the value of your donation. Your support strengthens our voice as a cultural beacon in our community.

In addition, we will be launching a new tier of Membership in 2017! Please stay tuned for updates and we look forward to seeing you August 5th and 6th for the 41st Powell Street Festival!

Community News


Japanese Canadian Vegetables & Flowers: Haiku, Letterpress, and Printmaking

Sunday, November 27th from 1 to 4 pm
Wepress Community Art Space #202 – 268 Keefer Street

Free, Register on Eventbrite or Drop in anytime during the workshop
WePressVancouver [at]

In a special new series of workshops for all ages, participants will create haiku (3-line poetry), and use block printmaking to create artworks that celebrate the vegetables and flowers of significance for Japanese Canadians. Many of these plants were grown in family gardens in pre-war days, and in small gardens that families created outside of their makeshift shacks in the camps when Japanese Canadians were incarcerated during World War II. These plants were also grown on larger plots of land established in the camps.

From daikon to chrysanthemums, participants will choose a vegetable or flower and can create a haiku poem or use one provided. The short poem will be stamped in combination with a vegetable or flower block provided by WePress or that participants can create themselves (the completion of your own block will depend on when you arrive and how much time you need, but there will be pre-made blocks available for anyone to use for printmaking).

We are also asking those that have stories of Japanese vegetables and flowers from their own experiences and families, to please bring them to share. We are collecting stories as well as the artwork created in these workshops to share online.

This workshop is part of a series produced in collaboration with WePress Community Art Space and funded by Metro Vancouver.

More info...


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Japanese Canadian Historic Places in B.C.

Deadline extended to November 30th!

Get Involved Now

The Province is inviting the public to nominate places of historic importance to the Japanese Canadian community which reflect the development and history of British Columbia, and which will be considered for formal recognition of their heritage values. Nominated historic places will be evaluated against specific criteria by a team that includes community and academic expertise to establish heritage significance. Historic places of the highest significance will be considered for official recognition by the Government of British Columbia and placed on the BC Register of Historic Places and the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

The announcement is the first milestone in the Provincial Recognition Program’s Japanese Canadian Historic Places Project. The Provincial Recognition Program follows a highly successful 2015 pilot project which focused on historic places of heritage significance to Chinese Canadians, which resulted in the addition of 21 provincially recognized places in British Columbia to the BC Register of Historic Places.

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Katari Taiko, Once Day Taiko Workshop

Sunday November 20, 2016
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Learn about taiko notation, basic rhythms and history at this one-day, hands-on workshop. At the end of the workshop, participants will have learned a taiko piece. No previous experience is necessary.
Venue: Taiko Space, (near Clark Drive and Frances Street, Vancouver)
Fee: $75 general or $50 for students/ seniors/ unemployed. Participants must be a minimum of 16 years of age.
How to Register: Click here for a pdf of the registration form. Please call 604.728.8240 or email to reserve a place in the workshop. Applicants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis to a maximum of 15. Registration will not be confirmed until the fee is paid.

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and bring a lunch. Bring soft-soled indoor athletic footwear, or be prepared to go barefoot – street shoes cannot be worn inside the taiko space. Water and juice will be provided.

Documenting Nikkei Histories

Sunday, January 15, 2017, 1-5 pm

The Special Events Hall at Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby
Free Admission

A partnership with SFU's David See-Chai Lam Centre for International Communication, The Centre for POlicy Studies on Culture and Communities in SFU's Faculty of Communications, Art and Technology, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, and Powell Street Festival Society.

In this event, filmmakers from Canada and the United States will come together to engage in discussion on documentation of Nikkei (the Japanese diaspora) histories. The discussion will be center around the history of the internment of Japanese Canadians and Japanese Americans, but will also explore the following themes:

- Film as a medium of historical storytelling
- Cinematic genres
- Filmmaking as community engagement
- Inter-generational & inter-community relations
- Implications for contemporary racism and xenophobia

More info...

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Thank you again to all of our festival supporters!
You can see the full list on our website!
Donate Now
Powell Street Festival Facebook Page      PSF Twitter      PSF Instagram      PSF Flickr Page
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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