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

PowellStFest Holiday Gift Box 

Curated holiday gift boxes featuring unique handmade items from Powell Street Festival craft vendors!  

Powell Street Festival is proud to collaborate with local Japanese Canadian crafters to bring holiday cheer to your home. These specially curated boxes demonstrate the creativity and skill of some of the festival's long-time crafters and vendors.  

Featured vendors:

Just in time for the gift giving season, it's also one of the last chances to grab 2018, 2019, and 2020 Powell Street Festival Merchandise. Limited quantities are available so get them before they're gone! 

Send a box with Powell Street Festival merch to your friends, family, and even to yourself this holiday season! 


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Setting the Table for Resilience

We spent the early autumn season housekeeping and now have a seat at the Downtown Eastside Community Kitchens (DECK) table, where a network of grassroots groups have gathered to enhance food security, work towards a long-term vision of food sovereignty, and nurture community resilience in our beloved Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood.

Following the success of the Telethon and the groundswell of support for Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS’s) Community Care Program, we hosted a Special General Meeting for members to vote on the following amendment to our Constitutional purpose. The motion passed unanimously:

To advance economic and social equity by creating skills training and employment opportunities through programs that deliver basic necessities of life and/or cultural education for marginalized and racialized populations currently living in the historic Japanese Canadian geographic location of the Powell Street neighbourhood, currently known as the Downtown Eastside.

We decided to prioritize sustainability and to take a mutual aid approach with the PowellStFest Community Kitchen. As of mid-October, rather than establishing a once-a-week set up independently, we are contributing to the emergent DECK program, a community kitchen network that aims to coordinate its utilization of facilities, supplies and resources to bolster food security in the DTES. DECK’s activities support the preparation of hot meals and provides ways for Single Room Occupancy Hotel (SRO) tenants to cook for themselves and their neighbours. 

PSFS contributes to the WePress Community Kitchen based in the Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall’s (VJLS-JH) facility to cook and distribute 200 meals per day, Mondays through Fridays. We are also supporting a pilot project with Health through Spirit, who are integrating their peers into this network with enhanced mental health and trauma support. This mutual aid approach sets a path toward a sustainable, capacity-building food system in the DTES.

In lieu of the Annual Asahi Tribute Game, which was cancelled due to the pandemic, PSFS screened the feature film The Vancouver Asahi at the DTES Heart of the City Festival. PSFS partnered with VJLS-JH/Atira’s Respite Space in the Japanese Hall. To add to the festivities, PSFS distributed popcorn and origami baseball cap art prompts! A heartfelt thank you to Grace Eiko Thomson for providing access to the film.

We anticipate an active winter season despite the predictabilities of Covid-19. Follow our newsletter and Facebook for updates. Interested in learning the Paueru Mashup community dance? Thinking about joining a PSFS committee? Are you an artist seeking connections to the Japanese Canadian community? We would love to hear from you! Please write to us at



Join us in supporting our local artists with the #POWERSHARE Covid Relief Fundraiser for BIPOC Artists! @seara_fund is raising & distributing $500k-$1M to BC-based BIPOC Artists facing financial hardship. Donate or apply for a grant at

The Sector Equity for Anti-Racism in the Arts (SEARA) @seara_fund was created by BC Arts Service Organizations and other sector leaders to call for mutual aid and accountability in the arts. To simultaneously provide COVID-19 support and point to the inadequacies of current arts-funding models, SEARA looks to raise and deliver $500K-$1M to BC-based BIPOC Artists currently facing financial hardship.

Help us to offset BC-based BIPOC Artists’ loss of income, and simultaneously address historical inequities in the sector. Donate to #POWERSHARE and check out our donation goals online at 

#SEARA #OURSHARE #BIPOCArtists #BC #Vancouver

DISPLACEMENT: "A memory is too powerful a weapon" In conversation with yonsei artists Kiku Hughes and Erica Isomura

Japanese American author Kiku Hughes (@kikuhughes) and Japanese Canadian writer Erica Isomura (@ericahiroko) discuss family history, reclamation of queer stories, model minority myths in Asian America, and the significance of these narratives to the racial justice movement.

Kiku Hughes' Displacement (published by First Second Books) is a magical realist story about a Japanese American teen who is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother's experiences in an incarceration camp during the Second World War. Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when she suddenly finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese American internment camp where her late grandmother was forcibly relocated. When Kiku finds herself "stuck" back in time, she gets the education she never received in history class. Kiku witnesses the lives of Japanese Americans who manage to cultivate community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive, despite the denial of their civil liberties. When will Kiku be able to return home? And what lessons will she bring back to present-day America? Kiku Hughes weaves a riveting, bittersweet tale that highlights the intergenerational impact and power of memory in this stunning debut.

New(to)Town Collective's Online Training Jam 3: Basics with June Fukumura

NOVEMBER 29th 2-4pm PST
Register at
ASL Interpretation available 

Training Jams are collaborative, interdisciplinary, and experimental workshops produced by New(to)Town Collective. They are opportunities to cross-pollinate training, practices, and ideas between artists of various disciplines as well as non-artists. We like to think of Training Jams as experimental art 'labs' where you can explore and experiment with your own curiosities free of pressures of having to necessarily create 'product'.

It's all about the process!

Regardless of your experience level, there is always room to hone your craft. At Training Jams we offer space for exploration, curiosity, and to expand your artistic community, now online.

This Training Jam will cover essential and basic techniques to sharpen your tools as a performer. You will learn warm up exercises; explore physical movement; and build character bodies through structured improvisations. This class is open to all participants and any skill level. 

ASL Interpreted 
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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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