About the 46th Annual Powell Street Festival

Festival poster, and feature events (from top): KūsouKytami & Phonik Ops, ICHIGO-ICHIEH NEW THEATRE: Hiromoto Ida

President’s Message

Welcome back! On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, I am happy to welcome you to the 46th Annual Powell Street Festival.   

This year’s Festival returns to Oppenheimer Park and the surrounding Paueru-Gai neighborhood, located on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people. We are excited to reconvene with a full-build,  in-person festival this year after going online and hosting a hybrid format in the past two years. Applying the lessons from the past years, we will have a livestream component, Festival Connect, allowing those of us who are unable to visit in person to stay connected and enjoy select Festival programming from their homes.   

We have a full array of programming over the weekend to celebrate Japanese Canadian arts and culture including; live music, dance, and theatre performances on multiple stages, delicious Japanese food booths, martial arts demonstrations, children’s programming, ikebana, community booths, a sumo tournament and our annual lottery. Our volunteers and Festival Ambassadors, identifiable by their bright hachimaki headbands and happi vests, are on site to help you navigate and enjoy the festival. 

Our return to the park celebrates the resilience of our community and the strong relationship we have with the current residents of the neighborhood. We strive to connect diverse communities through arts and culture. We have persevered through these unprecedented times together and we will continue to provide a rich cultural experience for our festival goers in a safe, healthy and respectful manner. 

Thank you for joining us in celebrating the spirit of Powell Street Festival. We hope that you have a great time at the festival and thank you for spending a part of your long weekend with us.  

 – Edward Takayanagi (Board President)

What’s New This Year!

What is old is new at the 46th Powell Street Festival!  The Diamond Stage is located at the baseball diamond in Oppenheimer Park; contemporary and traditional artists perform throughout the weekend; and our community food vendors and crafters are offering favourite Japanese delights and designs. Our festival touchstones are in place: the Festival lottery, Tanko Bushi folk dance, and sumo tournament! 

But the reality is that we’re all a little changed as we emerge from the pandemic. We return to Paueru Gai, the historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood of Powell Street, with deep appreciation for the power of relationships and community.  

We are very sad to say goodbye to our long-time volunteer Kevin Sleziak, as well as our equipment provider Salmon’s Rental. The salmon BBQ and bonsai will also be missed this year. 

The Asahi Baseball Association joins us to promote their forthcoming baseball tour to Japan. Attend a Buddhist blessing of the legendary pre-war players in the Demo Area. You’ll find the new Asahi players at the festival’s Asahi Pitch Game in the park.  

Embrace technology and new forms of art: TeamLab-inspired Kūsou, an immersive installation and interactive media workshops for children.  

UBC students have conceived bespoke water fountains and misters, Fuki no Mizu. Bring your refillable water bottle or participate in our Cup Share program to stay hydrated throughout the festival! 

Also, for those unable to visit the festival site, Festival Connect will live-stream featured programs and on-location reporting! Check our homepage for the link to the livestream during the festival!