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

Tamio Wakayama [1941-2018]

We are saddened by the news of Tamio Wakayama's passing on March 23, 2018. Tamio was a photojournalist for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the American civil rights movement and brought his experience and spirit to Vancouver's Asian Identity Movement in the late 1970s.  As Powell Street Festival's main photographer for many years, he captured the heart of our annual gathering -- its diversity and energy of celebration and empowerment.  

On the SNCC Digital Gateway website, Tamio says, "You've got to be able to say, I refuse. I'm not what they are saying. I am a human being...and that has been the essence of my struggle, and of my art, my photography, throughout my life."  

His greatest gift to Powell Street Festival Society was the creation of Kikyo: Coming Home to Powell Street (1992), an exhibition and book that documents Powell Street Festival's first 15 years. Tamio's festival photographs are archived in the Powell Street Festival fonds at Nikkei Museum. 

Image via Allentown Art Museum

Annual General Meeting and
Members-Only Party

Join us April 12th for our Annual General Meeting at 111 West Hastings Street, 5th floor at 6 pm.

There will be a small gathering with refreshments from Tama Organic and wine from Stoneboat Vineyards at KW production Studio following the AGM from 7 until 9:30 pm.

Buy your membership now either online via eventbrite or mail us this form with your payment enclosed to 410 -111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 1H4.

Learn more about our membership program.

Image credit Gordy Tong, 2017

follow us @powellstfest



The 42nd Annual Powell Street Festival is
August 4 & 5 at Oppenheimer Park and Surrounding Areas!!

From Up On Poppy Hill

Sunday, April 15th, 11am at The Cinematheque
1131 Howe Street, Vancouver

$6 - Ages 13 & Under
$10 - Everybody Else

Co-scripted by anime master Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Gorō Miyazaki, this lovingly hand-drawn film from Studio Ghibli is a poignant, tender coming-of-age drama adapted from a 1980 manga. “Frankly stunning, as beautiful a hand-drawn animated feature as you are likely to see” (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times). More info...


Poet Leanne Dunic reads from her new book 
To Love the Coming End

Thursday, April 19th at 7:30pm
Vancouver Maritime Museum
1905 Ogden Avenue in Vanier Park
Tickets $11.00

Join us in celebrating National Poetry Month with Leanne Dunic. Leanne is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, and writer. Her work has won several honours including the 2015 Alice Munro Short Story Contest.

In To Love the Coming End, a disillusioned author obsessed with natural disasters and ‘the curse of 11’ reflects on their own personal earthquake: the loss of a loved one. A lyric travelogue that moves between Singapore, Canada, and Japan, this debut from Leanne Dunic captures what it’s like to be united while simultaneously separated from the global experience of trauma, history, and loss that colour our everyday lives.


Cherry Blossom #AfternoonTEALEAVES in the Garden

Date: Thursday, April 26th
Time: 6:00pm to 7:30pm, doors open 5:45pm
Location: UBC Nitobe Memorial Garden
Cost of Event: $48, all proceeds will be donated to UBC Nitobe Memorial Garden
For ticket purchases and other inquiries, please email
Discover the beauty of the cherry blossoms at UBC Nitobe Memorial Garden. Walk among the delicate blossoms this spring and enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony demonstrated by the Urasenke Foundation.
Discussions on cherry blossoms, hanami and culture by Douglas Justice from UBC Botanical Garden and Linda Poole, the founder of Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, along with HiDe Ebina, a renowned Japanese ceramic artist, will be taking place at the garden.

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

Vancouver Art Gallery
February 3 – May 6, 2018

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is a major retrospective exhibition of the monumental paintings of Takashi Murakami, one of the world’s most influential artists.

With fifty-five works, the show will trace Murakami’s oeuvre over three decades, from early paintings to a newly created five-metre-tall sculpture. There will also be two multi-panel paintings created specifically for the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition.

Sumo! A Beginner's Workshop

Sunday, May 13
Vancouver Buddhist Temple 220 Jackson St, 2nd floor
Doors at 12:30pm; 1 – 4pm 

To pre-register email

No experience necessary. All ages. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring your own water bottle. Please enter through the door in the lane 25 feet east of Jackson Avenue. 

Japanese Canadian
Artist Directory

Are you an artist? Submit your profile to the new online Japanese Canadian Artist Directory! Visit to check it out.

Powell Street Festival Society is proud to present this resource in partnership with the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (Toronto) and the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

Renew your Annual Membership Top-Up 

For an additional $12, get discounts are great local businesses including Coconama ChocolateCatfe, Tama Organic Life, and of course Powell Street Festival Society! 

Top up now on Eventbrite!

Read about membership benefits here!

Donate Now
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For information on the various Community Events that PSFS supports and/or thinks that might be of interest to you, please click here

Community Events

Thank you again to all of our festival supporters!
You can see the full list on our website!

Send Us Your Event!

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. 
© 2018 Powell Street Festival Society, All rights reserved.

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