News this month: A Message from our President, Celebrating Asian Heritage Month + More!
A Message from our President,
Hello PSFS Community,
We had a very well-attended AGM last month, which included members of our society, committees, board, and our staff. Thank you all for coming and I hope you had a good opportunity to connect with fellow contributors to our organization.
Our staff hiring for the 2015 festival is now complete, and I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Production Coordinator, Holly Eksal, and our Volunteer Coordinator, Dempsey Watson. In addition, we welcome back Owen Cameron as our Communications Manager after a very successful 2014 campaign. Thanks to our hiring committee members for all their help in recruiting!
With our staff positions now filled, we are all looking forward to diving into our plans for this year's festival. As always, we rely heavily on the passion and efforts of our community members, so if you are able to contribute in time, effort, or donations, please do and help make our 39th festival our best one yet!
Photo of Tetsu Taiko at the 2014 Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow
A Message from Artistic Director Mark Takeshi McGregor
Dear Friends and Supporters of Powell Street Festival Society,
It’s been a whirlwind month!
Since stepping in as Artistic Director of Powell Street Festival on March 24th, I’ve been having an incredible time immersing myself in the history, traditions, and future trajectories of this unique and vital organization. I won’t lie: outgoing General Manager Kristen Lambertson has left behind some big shoes to fill. But I’m confident that Emiko, Asia, and myself are up to the challenge, especially with the inspiring support of our board of directors, committee members, volunteers, and community partners.
In addition to “learning the ropes” of a new job, I was privileged to partake in a number of events throughout April that served as important reminders of the role the Japanese Canadian community has played — and continues to play — in our city. The Right to Remain project came to a close on April 12th at Gallery Gachet with a moving afternoon of discourse and solidarity among the members of the many communities of the Downtown Eastside. On April 26th we witnessed the unveiling of the Hastings Park Signage Project, honouring the 8,000 Japanese Canadians who were detained in appalling conditions in 1942. And mid-month saw the Powell Street Festival’s Annual General Meeting, where I had the opportunity to meet many of the inspirational individuals who have helped make PSFS the cultural beacon that it is.
As we embark on our 39th year, plans are well underway not only for an exciting summer festival, but for a number of extremely cool projects and initiatives: on May 7th we’ll give a special screening of Niwa Gekidan Penino’s comically erotic film “The Room Nobody Knows” at Groundswell Cafe as part of Vancouver Asian Heritage Month’s ExplorASIAN celebrations. Also, Spatial Poetics XIV is set to take place on July 9th at the Vancouver Japanese Language School. This event, curated by Makiko Hara, explores art and sport from Edo-period Japan and features a number of outstanding local
artists: Julia Aoki, Stacey Ho, Cindy Mochizuki, and Maiko Yamamoto.
Finally, we’re thrilled to welcome our Production Coordinator, Holly Eksal and our Volunteer Coordinator, Dempsey Watson as we begin applying the final touches to our 39th Powell Street Festival at Oppenheimer Park, August 1st and 2nd. Our theme this year is “Alien” — so expect the new, expect the unusual, and expect us to boldly go where no JC arts festival has gone before!
Introducing the PSFS Production Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator!
We are happy to announce PSFS's summer staff:
Holly Eksal is a 4th-year History student at Simon Fraser University, and currently on her first co-op work term. She enjoys Japanese language and culture, and is excited to be working at Powell Street Festival Society this summer! Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!
Dempsey Watson's interest in exploring his Japanese heritage first brought him to the Powell Street Festival Society as a volunteer. He's looking forward to working with the PSFS and contributing to this year's festival.
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 is looking for 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:
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 us at email@example.com.
Photo of volunteers and organizers from previous Powell Street Festival by Jeanie Ow. Back to top
The GVJCCA is hiring 2 students under the Canada Summer Jobs program. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 8, 2015.
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.