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

August 1, 2020
from 2pm –7pm  


Celebrate Japanese Canadian culture while giving back to your community! Join us for a LIVE online telethon August 1, 2020 from 2pm – 7pm to watch live performances, highlights from previous festivals, appearances from festival vendors, and so much more. Tune in with your family and friends to experience the spirit of the festival right from your home! 
The Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS) produces the annual Japanese Canadian (JC) outdoor festival that takes place in the historic JC neighbourhood, Paueru Gai located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Side (DTES). The Powell Street Festival is the largest JC festival in the country and the longest running community arts celebration in Vancouver! Our mission is to cultivate Japanese Canadian arts and culture to connect communities. We thrive on and encourage community engagement, collaboration, and accessibility. That is why we offer space to Downtown Eastside Organizations among our community booths at the festival. Outside of our festival, we play an active role throughout the year in uplifting the DTES community. Through our Advocacy and Outreach Committee we help facilitate events such as workshops, free lunches, and artistic collaborations. 
Regrettably, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of the 44th Annual Powell Street Festival as a physical gathering. But the spirit of the festival lives on in our online Telethon August 1, 2020. The Telethon will be streamed on our website and will feature appearances from local JC artists, vendors and booths, and community stakeholders who are the heart of the festival. In addition, our website will host an online directory to highlight our food/craft/community booths and marketplace vendors.  
100% of the Telethon proceeds will go toward our year-round DTES Community Care program. This program entails bringing the JC community together to create a monthly meal program for people in the DTES in partnership with the DTES Community Kitchen network. The funds will also support our existing DTES seasonal celebrations including: the Hanami Cherry Blossom EventAsahi Tribute Game, and Minori Harvest.   
With your support, we will rally to bring well-being to the DTES! Now is the time to show our collective resilience, solidarity, and community care to support those in need during this challenging time.  
We will be launching our online Telethon Pledge Campaign on July 1, 2020 on Canada Helps. If you would like to donate immediately, please visit our Canada Helps website and your donation will count as a pledge for the Telethon. More information about the campaign will be made available on our website in July. Please support by donating and consider becoming our monthly donor. We are a charitable organization and will be issuing tax receipts for donations.  

CONTACT: June Fukumura, Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator   

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Launching on July 1st through
Canada Helps! 

Help us raise funds for our new DTES Community Care program. Together we can bring well-being to our community!


We are currently seeking Leadership Donors who can help kickstart this campaign. If you are interested finding out more about becoming a Leadership Donor please email june[at]

The Nikkei Artist Mixer is an informal social gathering curated and produced by June Fukumura and presented in partnership with the Powell Street Festival. The aim of the mixer is to bring together the Japanese Canadian community and to elevate the voices of JC artists. 

The Spring Nikkei Artist Mixer was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the event was moved to an online platform and a small gathering was held on May 22nd. The mixer featured three up and coming Japanese Canadian inter-disciplinary dance artists: Erika Mitsuhashi, Shion Carter, and Tomoyo Yamada who presented artist talks about their practice. Please click on the link below to view the presentations. 

Community News


There is not enough food for the unhoused and precariously housed. There was a shortage of food before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the situation is worse. To immediately respond to the additional food resources we need to combat COVID-19, we have coordinated with small DTES groups who are falling through the cracks in overall food security programs. 

Our solution Phase I – Community Food Partners: 

We are partnering with Potluck Cafe to provide meals for 1,200 residents in the DTES until the third week of May. Community groups will then distribute the meals by hiring peers. We are working to support Aboriginal Front Door, Friends of Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP), Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society (WAHRS), Overdose Prevention Society (OPS), Vancouver Women’s Health Collective (VWHC), Health Through SPIRIT, The Blue Door, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), and Muslim Care Centre who will distribute the majority of the meals. 

Our solution Phase II – Community Kitchens:

At the same time, we will be working to establish long-term meal-making capacity to continue supporting the unhoused and precariously housed after current emergency support runs out. This is a collaborative effort between the Phase I groups listed above as well as Watari, DTES Neighbourhood House, Jacob’s Well, Servant Partners, Hives for Humanity, Raise the Rates, Lotus Light Charity, and Megaphone Magazine.


Call out for Japanese Canadian artists to participate in Japanese American virtual pilgrimage

Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage

On-line programming is being planned to actively memorialize the history of Japanese incarceration during World War II, a way to celebrate the history, diversity, strength, and vibrancy of the Nikkei community.

Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages ( is going digital due to the cancellation of annual pilgrimages to sites of wartime Japanese American incarceration caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


OPPORTUNITY FOR PERFORMING ARTISTS: Japanese Canadian artists are invited to contact Performing Arts Programmer Courtney Ozaki with ideas for live or pre-recorded performances, concerts, theatre, dance. Programming is open to include workshops, cooking classes, etc. Taiko groups are encouraged to apply. Ideas are to be submitted directly to Courtney Ozaki.

SCHEDULE: June 13 - August 16, 2020

For more information visit:

Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre 
presents MSG 2: Oh Sandra! by June Pang

The MSG Lab is vAct’s annual new play development program, in association with Playwrights Theatre Centre.

Facilitating the creation and development of new theatrical work by emerging and mid-career Asian Canadian artists, this program is our commitment to the next generation of Asian Canadian theatre-makers. The MSG Lab showcases stories from Asian Canadian points of view, and develops new Asian Canadian work to a professional level for future production opportunities. 

Oh Sandra! by playwright, June Pang
Director: Jamie King
Dramaturg: June Fukumura 

Art, Love and Other Reckless Pursuits.
Turbulent, imaginative Frankie is irrepressibly drawn to curious but complicated Audrey. Art and politics infuse the language of love and lust in this play about making the best of bad timing, avoiding the obvious, and living life in the warm, comforting glow of cultural heroes.

Free Public Reading of Oh Sandra! by June Pang
June 16, 2020 at 7:00pm via Zoom, 
To get the invite link, please RSVP to

ACT2endracism Coalition

ACT2endracism are a coalition of concerned citizens and community groups of Asian descent, who aim to focus on Canadians affected by COVID-19 triggered related racism. They have been working on creating and distribution anti-racism resources, which describe how to react to racism and support those affected. For more information please check out their website:
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Thank you again to all of our festival supporters!
You can see the full list on our website!
© 2020 Powell Street Festival Society, All rights reserved.

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