Advocacy and Outreach Committee

Mandate – to promote the profile of the organization to the cultural, social, political and mainstream communities; and participate in Downtown Eastside community-building efforts.


  • Liaises with other arts and community organizations to foster awareness and partnerships
  • Liaises with local and national Japanese Canadian cultural and social organizations
  • Meets with community leaders
  • Identifies issues around location (specific concerns of the Downtown Eastside)
  • Works cooperatively with other neighbourhood organizations (such as Oppenheimer Park Committee, DTES Community Arts Network, Heart of the City Festival) to promote change and support to renew the area

Explore Advocacy and Outreach events: DTES Community Programs

Committee Members

Kathy Shimizu is a sansei, graphic and web designer, artist, and community organizer. She has worked for the Powell Street Festival Society in various roles since 1991, is a co-founder, collective member, and administrator of WePress, serves on the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association Human Rights Committee, and is a member of Sawagi Taiko. She works to use the importance of history, and the power and joy of arts and culture, to build community, fight for social justice and change, and help create space for the voices of communities and individuals marginalized by our existing systems.

Edward Takayanagi is a child of post-war immigrants, born and raised in Alberta. He attended Kyoto University on the Monbusho Scholarship and lived in Japan for 5 years. After graduation he returned to Canada and moved to Vancouver to attend Law School at the University of British Columbia. He has worked for a Japanese multi-national company, in private practice, for non-profit organizations and government agencies. He has been appointed as a member of the Human Rights Tribunal in 2022.

Nicole Yakashiro is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Department of History, studying under the supervision of Dr. Laura Ishiguro. Her Masters’ thesis explored the dispossession of Nikkei daffodil farmers in the 1940s within the longer context of settler colonialism in the Fraser Valley. Her current research continues to examine settler colonialism by interrogating how the histories of non-Indigenous people of colour relate to the historical and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous communities in Canada. Nicole has worked as a research assistant for the Landscapes of Injustice project where she received the Hide Hyodo Shimizu Scholarship in 2016. She continues to work as a researcher for Dr. Laura Madokoro (Carleton University), Cited Podcast (UBC), and other projects at UBC. As a yonsei settler, she grew up on the unceded and occupied territory of the Stó:lō and currently resides on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

Olivia Chupik is a mixed yonsei/gosei who grew up on the unceded territories of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen people. She attended the festival once while growing up and first volunteered for the festival in 2020.

Kano Tamaki [they/them] is an immigrant settler on the unceded territories of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw Peoples. They strive to help address barriers to coming together across time, space, and social locations.

Sachiko Takeda-McKee is a yonsei who grew up East of the Rockies in Montreal, Qc. She is bilingual, speaking English and French, sometimes both in the same sentence. Having grown up in a post-internment family that did not talk of their experience, it is in more recent years that she has gotten to know the shared history of Japanese-Canadians and its cultural impact. Moving to Vancouver in 2020 has offered a portal to explore her heritage. Joining the Powell Street Festival Society has allowed growth and connection to her cultural roots and wider community.

Miki Konishi (he/him) is a mixed, nisei Japanese-American who grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. From young age, he has been involved in the Japanese community through cultural and educational practices such as kendo and Japanese Saturday school. He became more involved in social justice advocacy beginning in college, where he co-founded MULTI, a student organization for multiracial and multiethnic students, while completing his BA in Critical Theory and Social Justice at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. After college, Miki moved to Miyazaki prefecture in Japan to teach English to elementary and junior high school students for two years. Following his time in Japan, he moved to Washington state where he worked as an Admission Officer for Whitman College and remotely as an Assistant Teacher for the Japanese Saturday school he attended as a kid. Miki is excited to serve the Downtown Eastside community and contribute to the important work of Powell Street Festival Society

Please contact emiko [at] if you are interested in joining any committee.

Read Paueru Gaizette, the Advocacy & Outreach Committee Zine