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

Announcing the 45th Annual Powell Street Festival


Let us raise our festival spirits through celebrations of Japanese Canadian arts and culture within our own bubbles! With the helpful input from our multiple Town Hall Meetings in January, we present to you a varied and layered program to experience the festival within your own safe circles. 


Overview of what the festival will look like:

Rather than a live public event, Matsuri in a Bundle is a multifaceted project that will seed shared experiences of Japanese Canadian art and culture throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond. We will be creating on-demand content and downloadable resources and activities inspired by the 2020 PowellStFest Kids Camp to help you celebrate the festival wherever you are!

Applications are NOW OPEN!

Festival Applications will look different this year. Instead of the traditional format for Community Booths, Craft Vendors, Displays, Food Booth Vendors, Marketplace Vendors, Martial Arts Participants, Performers and Demonstrators, we have two forms of Community Initiative Grants that you can apply for.

We are looking to facilitate community connection and create festival vibrations across the Lower Mainland and beyond. We invite you to play an active role in safely celebrating your favourite parts of the festival within your own bubbles.

Applications will fall into three categories:
  • Tier 1 - Safe-Bubble Community Gatherings
  • Tier 2- Workshop and Resource Production (Pre-Festival) 
  • Professional Artist Application

Application are due MARCH 5 

For more information and to submit your application, please visit

Volunteer Survey

We anticipate a variety of roles for Festival Volunteers this year -- both working-remotely and in-person positions. Please fill out the survey to help us gauge skill sets and availability. Formal volunteer applications will be open later this Spring. 

There are raffle prizes for those who complete the survey!
Early Bird Draw is February 15 to win a pass to Paris Opera Ballet (Live Stream between February 17 and 23) - Body & Soul, complements of DanceHouse
March 5 is the deadline for gift certificates from Vegan Pudding and Matoi Sushi!
Click to Participate

Paueru Gai Dialogues #1 on YouTube

If you missed the first of the Paueru Gai Dialogues or just want to relive the experience, you can now watch the presentations by Izumi Sakamoto, Ayumi Goto, Kathy Shimizu and Terry Watada — as they share their perspectives on how cultural heritage and connection to place impact their artistic practice.
Watch Now
Thank you to Hapa Collaborative, The Bulletin (JCCA), ElementIQ,  SFU David Lam Centres, The Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and City of Vancouver for their financial and in-kind support of this program.

The Paueru Gai Dialogues #2

The second event in the Paueru Gai Dialogues series, On Food & Culture for Community Building, is at 1-3 pm Pacific/4-6 pm Eastern on Saturday, February 27, 2021. The event is free! For more information visit:

Guest host erica hiroko isomura will facilitate a discussion with panelists Carmel Tanaka, Kage, and Ingrid Mendez de Cruz as they share stories on how food and culture contribute to their experiences of building community in Japanese Canadian, DTES communities, and beyond.

Panelists will talk about how they use food to build relationships across differences, create inclusive food and garden spaces for community, and support agricultural migrant workers who grow the food that so many of us eat. Participants will be invited into breakout groups to share their perspectives (and favourite recipes!) with one another. To wrap up the event, everyone will reconvene to offer questions and debrief together.

This series of 9 online events, highlights BIPOC artists and activists sharing their perspectives on current social issues. The project intends to inspire civic engagement and community building during the disruption of the enduring pandemic. Check out The Bulletin's regular column on the Paueru Gai Dialogues throughout 2021.
Click to Register


WePress: Exchanging Words Workshops Series

February 2, 9, 16, and 23, March 2 and 9, 2021

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM PST

Exchanging Words is a new project in a partnership between Warriors Against Violence Society, Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast, and WePress. By providing writing and storytelling workshops to the community at a number of events online, the workshops encourage participants to write and tell stories about experiences with violence (which can include residential school, the 60s scoop, murdered and missing family members, family violence, and intimate partner violence).

The sessions are a way for people to express themselves in ways that they might not have had access to in the past or perhaps ever considered before. Led by professional Indigenous writers in our communities who are collective members of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast (AWCWC). The variety of approaches in writing include traditionally-inspired storytelling, poetry, songwriting, fiction, personal essay, and theatre.

Find out more on WePress' website:

Homecoming 2020 -STREAM

Friday, February 12, 2021
7:30 PM - 8:00 PM PST, TICKETS

Supported by “Made in BC Dance on Tour” through the Vancouver Foundation Digital Projects Fund, Ida has produced this solo dance piece called, “Homecoming 2020”, that is a love letter to his mother, an exploration of belonging and a manifestation of the nature of cycle.

He has given life to a deeply soulful solo show.
He has honed and practiced it.
He is ready to perform.

And, with the update on provincial restrictions due on Feb. 6 , he realizes that he will need to remain flexible! “Homecoming 2020” will therefore be performed BOTH for a live 50-person audience AND streamed!

GVJCCA Session 1: Antiracism 101

Saturday, February 13, 2021

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM PST, TICKETS

The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association (GVJCCA) is pleased to introduce a series of monthly Zoom workshops to support racialized communities, address racism, and build community networks. These sessions aim to empower, educate, and build allyship.

The first workshop, Antiracism 101, addresses burning questions including: What's the difference between "antiracist" and "not racist"? What is White privilege and White fragility? How can we move past discomfort when talking about race? We will also explore the history of racism in BC, leading up to the present day.

Afternoon at TG: Terry Watada's Online Book 

"Mysterious Dreams of the Dead" and "The Four Sufferings"

Saturday, March 6, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM PST, Register by March 4th

The Afternoon at TG provides programs and services of interest to Niseis, Sanseis, and Yonseis at Tonari Gumi.

Our first event of the New Year will feature Japanese-Canadian writer and artist Terry Watada presenting readings from his new novel "Mysterious Dreams of the Dead", and his new, 5th book of poetry "The Four Sufferings" (see details below).  This is a free event, online via Zoom, and donations to Tonari Gumi will be welcome.

To register, please contact us at Please register by March 4th.

Terry Watada is a writer, poet, and one-time musician.  His latest publications are "The Four Sufferings" and "The Mysterious Dreams of the Dead".  He has three novels, five poetry collections, and a short story collection to his credit.  Many of his writings reflect upon his Japanese-Canadian identity and several of his books are set in the historic Japanese-Canadian community of the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.  Terry has been a supporter of Tonari Gumi ever since he was a featured performer at the inaugural Powell Street Festival in 1977.
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Thank you again to all of our festival supporters!
You can see the full list on our website!
© *|2021|* *|Powell Street Festival Society|*, All rights reserved.

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