On August 1&2, the Powell Street Festival was held at Woodland Park, a relocation made necessary by the renovations being done at Oppenheimer Park this year. This change in venue was a real interesting one in that the Powell Street Festival was able to draw not just from faithful attendees but new ones who travelled from Commercial Drive. The park setting offered more shade from trees, more parking, a different demographic as a result of a more residential neighbourhood, and a more relaxed atmosphere.
However the Oppenheimer Park location provides a much more historical connection through Nihon-machi, Japan Town, the main historical home of the local Japanese community prior to World War II before the years of internment and forced relocation. Holding the Powell Street Festival there enables the younger generations of Japanese Canadians to reconnect with their local history.
There are arguments to support both sides of the successfulness of the Powell Street Festival at either location but I think the importance of reconnecting with our history will be the most significant concern. Your views and comments would be greatly appreciated.
The GVJCCA helped support the fourth annual Obon Service and Odori at Nikkei Place on August 5th with Reverend Aoki from the Vancouver Buddhist Temple, Reverend Ikuta from the Steveston Buddhist Temple, and Bishop Fujikawa providing the service for the many who attended. The service is provided for all who are unable to attend the other Obon services and we are always thrilled to provide such a service for our community.
In case you haven’t already read it in The Bulletin or seen any of the brochures available locally and nationally, the National Association of Japanese Canadians and the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association will be holding the conference titled Honouring Our People: Stories of the Internment on September 25 – 27 at Nikkei Place in Burnaby. This conference is very important to all Nikkei as it will pay tribute to those generations of Japanese Canadians who experienced displacement and hardships during and after World War II. This is a rare opportunity to hear their stories and memories so that they can be passed on to future generations. When our elders were interned, they came from many locations along the West Coast and were of many age groups. Where they were interned, and eventually relocated, provide different perspectives from this period. Many of our elders speak about the difficult times but also of the close relations they had with others of their age group at the time. We would like to hear from our elders—not just the difficult times, but also the fun and happy ones. The NAJC and the GVJCCA invite you to share some of these stories that hopefully have been passed on to some of your younger generations. We urge you to sign up and register soon so that we may all share in these stories, especially your grandchildren. Brochures and registration forms are available at many locations locally in the Greater Vancouver area or by calling the GVJCCA office at 604.777.5222 or through the GVJCCA website http://jccabulletin-geppo.ca or Facebook.com Honouring Our People – Stories of the Internment.
The GVJCCA thanks our many volunteers who help us out each year by holding a Volunteer Appreciation Night. This year’s event will be held on November 20th at Nikkei Place, from 6 – 8 pm. This is always a special event for the GVJCCA to thank all its volunteers, donors, and advertisers for the year. We hope you can attend and enjoy seeing your many friends again before getting yourself ready before the busy holiday season in December. We hope to see many of you there!
President Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association