The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association would like to welcome all participants, volunteers, donors, funders, and attendees to the 35th Annual Powell Street Festival. This time of year is always exciting for Japanese Canadians in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia as we come together in Oppenheimer Park to experience a ménage of arts, heritage and culture, all squeezed into one weekend. Here in Vancouver’s historic Japan Town we will be entertained by dance, martial arts and music; we will browse visual arts, crafts and traditional displays; we will cheer for our favourites at the ever-popular sumo tournament; and will of course enjoy plenty of food and drink.
The GVJCCA will again be participating in the Powell Street Festival, providing our popular salmon dinner plus our Musubi Spam Sushi, a new item last year that proved to be very popular. The salmon BBQ is one of our primary sources of funding and we thank everyone who purchases a delicious meal for helping support our activities.
The GVJCCA has long supported the Powell Street Festival, and every year we have a booth where we provide information on our work in the Japanese Canadian community, primarily through its valued Human Rights Committee. This year the GVJCCA Human Rights Committee will be not only be providing updated information in regards to the Hastings Park redevelopment, but will be seeking input from the community on the commemorative and interpretative centre being planned for the Livestock Building. For our new readers, Hastings Park was the main holding area for Japanese Canadians in 1942 following the bombing of Pearl Harbour, where they were held while waiting dispersal to camps in the interior of BC, and farms across Canada. This year’s Human Rights booth will also feature a collage of photos of the Franciscan Sisters of Atonement, who served the Vancouver Downtown Eastside for the past 85 years. The Franciscan Sisters served the Japanese community on Powell Street for many years before the Internment and played an instrumental role in the evacuation of 1,700 Japanese Canadians to Greenwood, BC. They took on the education the children while they were interned and played a formative role in many of their lives. After WWII, the Franciscan Sisters returned to continue their humanitarian work in Downtown Eastside. They will be moving to their Edmonton convent shortly after the Festival and this photo montage is one way we have of remembering the good work they have done over the years.
On Wednesday August 17th, the GVJCCA and NNM&HC will be sponsoring an Obon Service and Bon Odori at Nikkei Place with Obon Service at 2pm and Bon Odori at 3pm, with Reverend Aoki from the Vancouver Buddhist Temple presiding the service. We hope that you can be there if you were not able to attend other services during the past few weeks.
Enjoy this year’s Powell Street edition of The Bulletin and enjoy yourselves at the Festival!
Please note that July and August donors will be acknowledged in the September issue of The Bulletin.