Thanks to all who attended the GVJCCA Fundraising Dance on February 14th at Nikkei Place had. The numbers weren’t as many as last year but I think the nice, cosier group had a wonderful time. The music was supplied by Kiyo Goto and Joyce Oikawa, who created a very nice blend and hopefully everyone was able to get up and dance to their favourite type of music as well as enjoy enough dessert and food. I am always pleased to see a people come out to support the GVJCCA. It’d like to thank all our donors and the volunteers who helped make the event fun and interesting.
From February 24 – March 1, UBC’s Thunderbird Arena will be the host venue for the Hockey Canada Cup-Sledge Hockey Tournament. This international tournament features teams from Japan, Canada, US, and Germany. This will be the first time that Japanese sledge players have participated in an International Tournament in Vancouver. Sledge hockey, the Paralympics version of ice hockey, is hockey on sleds. This fast-growing sport follows IIHF rules and will be part of the upcoming 2010 Olympics next year. It is a full-contact sport whereby players can shoot the puck with one hand, hit each other at full speed, and fly down the ice propelled by the picks on the ends of their two sticks. The real interesting part of all this is that the athletes who participate in this sport, “hockey on sleds”, have limited use of their lower limbs. Some are paraplegic, amputees, suffer from cystic fibrosis, etc. With this in mind I think it would be a wonderful to see this type of hockey, especially since in Canada, we support all levels of hockey, don’t you think so?
Last month, there was a short questionnaire in the Bulletin meant to collect information from people in the Nikkei community who might want to share some of their thoughts and feelings from the Internment years. The GVJCCA is hoping to collect this information to develop an archival history for future reference and also for support in the planned conference in the fall “Honouring Our Past”. This month’s issue contains the same survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out.
Upcoming on March 14, at Nikkei Place, the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association will be holding its Annual General Meeting from 2 – 4 PM at the JCCA office on the second floor. The GVJCCA’s work has always been important in the Nikkei community and having a strong directorship is important in order to meet our mandate. Nominations are still being accepted for our Board of Directors for the upcoming term. The GVJCCA will be seeking individuals who will work within the framework of the Japanese Canadian community and its budgetary confines. I hope you will join us in helping to create a better tomorrow for our children.
On March 28, there will be a Japantown Multicultural Neighbourhood Celebration in conjunction with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival being held in Vancouver. The area of Powell Street and Oppenheimer Park was the site of Vancouver’s earliest beginnings and was one of the main areas of Japanese settlement before the War. As part of Vancouver’s’ historical and cultural connections and in conjunction with commemorating the 80th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan, this event-filled day, held in various venues in the Japantown area is planned. We hope you all mark this date on your calendar. See you there.
Ron Nishimura, President GVJCCA