JCCA Takes Part in explorASIAN during Asian Heritage Month

Every May in Vancouver, Asian culture takes centre stage as the city celebrates Asian Heritage Month with explorASIAN, a colourful explosion of Asian culture and heritage.

Established in 1997 following a Canada Council-funded conference that explored the possibility of creating a national festival hosted by individual communities, the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society plays a major role in bringing together artists from across Greater Vancouver’s culturally diverse Pan-Asian artistic and cultural communities to perform, to explore and to collaborate on a wide range of cultural and artistic endeavours.

The explorASIAN festival continues to evolve to meet the needs of our multicultural society and to serve as the driving force that helps our Pan-Asian Canadian cultural communities progress to a higher level of awareness, inclusivity, integration and participation in the mainstream of Canada’s artistic and cultural community.

Every year one Asian community is highlighted at the opening ceremony and recognition gala. This year, it’s the Japanese Canadian community’s turn and we invite you to join the GVJCCA and the Japanese Canadian community at explorASIAN events throughout the city. Next month we will print a guide to the Festival, but for now we’ll provide a sneak peek at some upcoming events. Full event listings and details can be found at www.explorasian.org

Opening Ceremony
Saturday, April 16, 10am – 12noon
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre
Simon Fraser University
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Free. Open to the public.

Recognition Gala

20th Anniversary of the Asian Heritage Month Society & Honouring Outstanding Japanese Canadian Leaders, Tosh and Mary Kitagawa, and Grace Eiko Thomson. The GVJCCA will also be recognized. The gala will feature Japanese Canadian performers, musicians, and art displays, “Following the Silk Routes & Beyond to Vancouver”, Generation One Art “Teaser 2016”

Japanese food. Wine and Beer cash bar.

Saturday, June 11 from 5:30pm to 10pm
Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby
Ticket information: http://explorasian.org

GVJCCA Walking Tour
Japanese Canadians and the Labour Movement: A history walking tour in the Powell Street District
Saturday, May 7 from 10am to approx. 11am

Walk with Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs and GVJCCA (Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association) President Lorene Oikawa, and discover the history of Japanese Canadians and unions in the Downtown Eastside. Japanese immigration to Canada started in the 1800’s with men looking to work in the mines and fishing industry. By 1900, there were nearly 5,000 Japanese Canadians living in B.C., many in the salmon canning town of Steveston, and the rest around Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver. Learn about the hidden labour history, and the connections between BC unions and Japanese Canadians.

Powell Street District (near Oppenheimer Park)

Free. Register by May 5: gvjcca@gmail.com or 604-777-5222


GVJCCA Legacy of Redress Forum
Saturday, May 14, 1pm – 4pm
22,000 Canadians of Japanese ancestry were labelled enemy aliens and forcibly removed from the B.C. coast in 1942. With rumours and fear mongering, the federal government used the War Measures Act to unjustly incarcerate Japanese Canadians and take their property including land, businesses, vehicles, fishing boats, and personal property. In 1988, the federal government apologized. In 2012, the provincial government apologized. What is a meaningful apology and what does it look like for survivors and their families?

This community forum is the first of a series to gather feedback from Japanese Canadian community members about what action they would like to see from the provincial government to make their apology meaningful to the community.

We encourage those who experienced the forced removal in 1942, and their families, to share their stories and join the discussion about how we acknowledge past injustices and work for the future.

*Special guest speaker: Elder Larry Grant, who is of mixed Chinese and Musqueam ancestry, will share his story, and speak about historical injustice and reconciliation.

Guest speaker: Carolyn Nakagawa, a fourth generation Japanese Canadian, will talk about what redress and a meaningful apology mean to her generation.

Light refreshments will be available.

Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby
Free. Register by May 12: gvjcca@gmail.com or 604-777-5222


GVJCCA Website Launch

Saturday, May 21 from 11am to 1pm

We’re excited to announce the brand new website for the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association (GVJCCA) is o­fficially up and running. You’ll find information about The Bulletin/Geppo magazine, GVJCCA events, how to join and renew your membership using a new online form, and coming soon, an updated human rights guide.

Check us out at www.gvjcca.org The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association (GVJCCA) is a non-profit organization that builds communities and advocates for social justice, primarily for people in Canada of Japanese heritage, and their families. The organization was formed in 1952, and in 1958 started publishing The Bulletin/Geppo, a journal of Japanese Canadian community, history and culture.

Meet members of the GVJCCA Board of Directors, enjoy some refreshments, and get a quick introduction to our new website.

Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre – Room 200
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby

Use the west entrance door – near Suzuya Market – and go through to the elevator, and take the elevator to the second floor.

Honouring Our People Book Launch

Saturday, June 4 from 2pm to 4pm

On three days in September 2009, families, friends, and survivors came together for the Honouring Our People: Stories of the Internment conference in Burnaby, BC. The conference paid tribute to the Japanese Canadians who experienced racism, alienation, betrayal, restrictions, uprooting and loss during and after WWII. We also acknowledged the resilience and perseverance shown by Japanese Canadians who not only endured, but often prospered after the war. We created a dialogue between generations and gave descendants of survivors the opportunity to learn more about their family’s history. With our book, Honouring Our People: Breaking the Silence, we are hoping to continue the opportunity for dialogue and learning by sharing some of the stories from the conference.

Meet the editor and co-editors, some of the storytellers, and buy a copy of the book.
Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre – Room 200
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby