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Powell Street Festival Society • パウエル祭協会 | Celebrating Japanese Canadian arts and culture since 1977
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Featuring local Japanese Canadian craft vendors! 

Minori Harvest 2020

As part of this year’s Minori Harvest, the Powell Street Festival Society presents this origami pumpkin prompt to celebrate the harvest season and the history of Japanese Canadian farmers in British Columbia.

Many of the first generation of Japanese in Canada, the Issei, came in the early 20th century. These immigrants came from fishing or farming backgrounds and settled along the coastline and Fraser Valley. Options for employment were limited for the Japanese. The provincial government did not allow the Japanese to have full citizenship rights, which prevented them from voting or working jobs in civil services, public health, and many other prominent occupations1.

Instead, Japanese settlers decided to work for themselves, purchasing what was considered unprofitable or difficult land to farm in the Fraser Valley, Mission and Abbotsford. The Japanese farmers in these areas set up a farming co-op, Nokkai, which provided a communal space for meetings and social gatherings. The Nokkai became an important part of life for the Issei, functioning as not just an agricultural business hub but also a community and learning center.

However, the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941, changed everything. Canada and the United States declared war on Japan, and soon after, all Japanese Canadians were declared enemy aliens, forced to relinquish all financial assets, and relocated to camps in Canada’s interior. Farmers were told their land would be held in safekeeping until after the war, but less than a year later, all confiscated possessions and property were auctioned off by the Custodian for Enemy Alien Property. This included at least 90 farms (over 1,400 acres of land) and over 100 vehicles2. Even after the war ended, a ban was put in place denying Japanese Canadians the right to return to BC. Many years later, a few Nisei, second generation Japanese Canadians, chose to return and continue the tradition of farming.

This time of year, you will see in the fields an abundance of squash and pumpkins. To honor the dedicated farmers who transformed the Fraser Valley into the fertile land we know today, we share with you how to make your own origami pumpkin. You can use this new skill anywhere, anytime, with just a sheet of paper. Share the gift of origami with others, whether that be the physical gift of origami or sharing the folding process.

Special thanks to Yakashiro Farm & Gardens, VANDU, Overdose Prevention Society, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, and our generous partners and donors.


Carousel Theatre for Young People presents:
Nom Nom Gnomes 

December 10, 2020 - January 3, 2021

Let’s fry, simmer, chop, steam, and eat a wonderful feast together!

Baba has sent a special package all the way from Japan, but what could be inside? One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be おいしい (delicious)! Join Momoka and her brother Taku as they sing, play and of course, EAT! Nom Nom Gnomes is an intergenerational AudioPLAY about family, food and what brings us together, even while we’re apart. 

Created by Manami Hara & Kanon Hewitt. Listen from home and take part in interactive activities such as cooking, singing and even a treasure hunt! 

Giselle Clarke-Trenaman – Stage Manager
Matt Horrigan – Sound Designer & Audio Technician
Cindy Mochizuki – Visual Designer

June Fukumura – Kyoko Inemura
Brent Hirose – Taku Becker
Jennifer Tong – Momoka Becker

AudioPLAY is Carousel Theatre for Young People’s 2020/2021 season of screen-free audio theatre designed to engage and excite. Listen in!

AudioPLAY Frequently Asked Questions can be found here

Individual Play Packs: $50 for all 3 AudioPLAY shows

Family of 4 Play Packs: $110 for all 3 AudioPLAY shows
(Additional adults: $10 per show, Additional kids: $5 per show)

New(to)Town Collective presents: 
ARTIST TAKE OVER with Renae Morriseau

DECEMBER 13th Sunday 2-4 pm PST


Home, Homelessness and the Culture in Between...

In this Online Training Jam with Renae Morriseau, we’ll be delving into her dramaturgical process in supporting the voices of personal histories, in relation to larger social inequities.  Through dialogue, Zoom exercises, and some writing prompts the hope is to find the collective story that creates a trajectory for social change. This process invites participants to consider what their de-colonial, self-dramaturgy is for one’s individual stories of resilience and restitution in what home, homelessness and the Culture In-Between means to you. 

About Online Training Jams:

Training Jams are collaborative, interdisciplinary, and experimental workshops produced by New(to)Town Collective. They are opportunities to cross-pollinate training, practices, and ideas between artists of various disciplines as well as non-artists. We like to think of Training Jams as experimental art 'labs' where you can explore and experiment with your own curiosities free of pressures of having to necessarily create 'product'. Come and learn with us! 

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