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Powell Street Festival Society • パウエル祭協会 | Celebrating Japanese Canadian arts and culture since 1977
Photo from the 2018 Powell Street Festival. Photo credit: Hammer. 

The 44th Powell Street Festival cancelled as a public gathering event 

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the 44th Powell Street Festival is cancelled as a public gathering event.  

The Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS) board is directing its staff to follow public safety guidelines and to continue consulting with community stakeholders to reconceptualize a safe and innovative celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture. 

“Our festival is first and foremost, a celebration of community and culture.  We may not be gathering together physically but we are united in spirit.  Because of our deep historic roots in the festival’s geographic location of the Downtown Eastside (DTES), we are committed to the people currently living in the neighbourhood and stand in solidarity with them,” says President Edward Takayanagi.  

“During the festival weekend, August 1 and 2, 2020, the 44th Powell Street Festival will adapt its Japanese Canadian celebration to transcend the COVID-19 pandemic and to uplift communities and people in need. There will be no public gathering but we will create opportunities for everyone — artists, festival attendees, volunteers, vendors, DTES residents, and the Japanese Canadian community at large — to enjoy art, culture and community.” 

The Powell Street Festival Society’s mission is to cultivate Japanese Canadian arts and culture to connect communities. A group of Japanese immigrants and third-generation Japanese Canadians initiated PSF in 1977, on the centennial year of Japanese Canadian settlement in Canada and 35 years after the forced removal of Japanese Canadians from British Columbia's coast during WWII. The Powell Street neighbourhood was once a bustling Japanese Canadian community and today is known as one of the most impoverished districts in North America, the DTES. PSFS remains engaged with the local community, offering accessible programs that assert social justice through the arts. 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 7:00 pm
(Katari Taiko starts at 6:30 pm) 

The online AGM will take place via Zoom, please register to receive your AGM package.  


Zoom Info: 
Topic: Annual General Meetings for Katari Taiko and Powell Street Festival Society 

Time: May 27, 2020 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) 

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 836 2161 0778 

Password: 027210 

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Annual Top-Up & Lifetime Membership Registration is now OPEN! 

Sign up to be a PSF Member & Top-Up your membership to receive special discounts from local businesses! 

Annual top-up for current Lifetime Members  …………………….$12
Annual top-up & new Lifetime Membership  ………………………$24
Lifetime Membership only, no Annual Top-up  ……………………..$12 

Register Now
Annual Members receive a Membership Card valid until March 31, 2021, entitling you a 10% discount at: 
  • 10% off in store at Coconama Chocolate retail location, first ganache chocolate shop in North Vancouver at 264 E. 1 Street. 
  • 10% off of Catfe food, drink and ‘meowchandise’ in store. Catfe is part cafe, part foster home for cats, and a space to hang with kitties! #2035 – International Village Mall, 88 W. Pender Street. 
  • 10% off in store at Tama Organic Life, a treasure trove of Japanese food products & organic vegetables as well as healthy home-made foods including daily bentos at #102 – 2828 E. Hastings Street
  • 10% off BLIM classes and at retail shop. BLIM is an independent art and craft workshop space, resource, and small business at 115 E. Pender Street. 
  • $1 off large coconut puddings at Vegan Pudding, the one and only vegan custard pudding store at 422 Richards StreetThe discount is now redeemable on online orders through FacebookInstagram, and email Be sure to tell them you are a PSF Top-Up Member when making your online purchase to apply the discount. 
  • 10% off in store at Baker & Table Café, the only place you can get mochi melonpan, Japanese cakes, & yougashi, a Japanese peanut-free bakery at 6414 Fraser Street
  • 10% off at Dosanko, Japanese homestyle Yoshoku restaurant sourcing seasonally inspired, local ingredients, located at 566 Powell St. 10% discount is redeemable for pick up orders between Tuesday and Thursday 1:00pm-5:00pm. Orders must to be preordered by the day before. Be sure to tell them your name and that you are a PSF Top-Up Member when placing your order to apply the discount.  
  • 10% off Powell Street Festival Society merchandise at Festival and all year. 

Your membership card also gets you:

  • An invite to the Annual General Meeting in the Spring;
  • Discounted rates at PSFS art presentations all year long! 

Winners of the 5th Annual Public Art and Design Competition for Powell Street Festival Announced 

Vancouver, BC (Monday, May 4, 2020) – UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture students Shaheed H. Karim and Amy Wu are the winners of the 5th Annual Public Art and Design Competition for Powell Street Festival Society. The team has been awarded a $1000 prize for their proposal titled Go Kingyo, a production budget, and mentorship from Revery Architecture and Abaton Projects. 

The Go Kingyo installation takes inspiration from the goldfish which, in Japan, is a symbol of beauty, grace, and of summer. It is said the mere sight of a swimming goldfish can cool the body and calm the mind. The Design Team explains, “The large origami inspired fabric and bamboo goldfish swims above seating...Dozens of origami goldfish are hung in recycled jars underneath the shading structure inviting visitors to lay back and watch the fish swim.”   

To read the full press release please visit

Community News

Mask Making Workshop - Accessible Skills Building Using Materials in Your Home

in partnership with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Wednesday, May 20th, 2-3 PM, RSVP: Eventbrite 

Laura Fukumoto will be leading a free and interactive Zoom workshop making durable reusable face coverings from everyday items found around the home - no sewing skills required! 

Wearing a mask is a simple action that contributes to community care. As manufactured supply chains receive increased demand, making or purchasing a reusable fabric mask reduces landfill waste and ensures disposable masks remain available for front line workers.

In this workshop we will:
  • Discuss materials around your house that can be crafted into a durable reusable mask
  • Build skills and explore a few techniques to make a mask
  • Make a mask for yourself by the end of the workshop using materials in your home.
  • Share what we’ve made (if u want lol)

Materials that may be helpful or available in your home:

FABRIC - Tshirt, old bed sheets/pillow cases, bandanas (ideally poly-cotton blends, breathable, tight weave fabric)

TOOLS - Sewing machine, iron, needle and thread, sharp scissors, fabric glue/glue gun, stapler, tape, safety pins, (not all tools necessary; we are exploring several ways to achieve the desired outcome)

OTHER MATERIALS - Wire for nose pinch (paper clips, twist ties); Ties for mask (ideally elastic/stretchy- Hair ties, old shoe laces, strip of t-shirt, old bathing suit bikini ties or cut into strips)

Marbling Workshop: The Art of Painting on Water

Sun, May 10, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm
**Online on Zoom: register here.

All levels welcome and encouraged
This event is free (type in $0 when registering; donations are welcome but optional)
If you can, we suggest donating to the DTES Response to support COVID-19 response efforts for the people at risk in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

What is marbling?
Join us on Zoom to learn the magic of this mesmerizing art technique, which has a long and expansive history in many nations. This workshop will draw upon the techniques developed over hundreds of years, but with a simplified process that only requires household materials, so you won’t have a break the quarantine. The painting will mimic the flow of water as the artist creates endless colours and intricate forms. The balance between controlling the inks and the unpredictability of how they expand and change is mesmerizing. Every new piece is both a surprise and an accomplishment, a reaction that is shared from 5-year-old kids to professional artists to elders. You will be amazed at the intricacy and natural beauty of your painting.


Sansei: The Storyteller  - Streaming May 5-9, 2020 as part of UNO Fest 2020

Created and Performed by Kunji Mark Ikeda

Access starts at $10 and includes other great performances!

On December 7, 1941, an attack on Pearl Harbour triggered events in Canada that may easily be described as among the darkest in our history – the internment and dispossession of tens of thousands of Japanese Canadians. Through an engaging blend of dance, spoken word and loads of humour, Kunji Mark Ikeda weaves a tale that is illuminating and profoundly personal. Sansei: The Storyteller offers Ikeda’s observations about the internment, his own discovery of where he came from, and how Japanese Canadians found peace. A multi-award winning ‘masterpiece’ from a storyteller like no other. Audiences across the world have connected with the uplifting message of hope and perseverance. 

Preview clip:

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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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