Press Release: Announcing the 46th Annual Powell Street Festival

What is old is new at the 46th Annual Powell Street Festival as we gather in-person to celebrate Japanese Canadian art and culture in Oppenheimer Park and Paueru Gai (the Powell Street area) this July 30 and 31! Three stages feature contemporary and traditional artists, community food vendors and crafters offer favourite Japanese delights and designs, plus traditional Powell Street Festival touchstones are in place throughout the weekend. Staying committed to showcasing dynamic, engaging, and diverse arts and culture programming, Japanese Canadian and beyond, Powell Street Festival is excited to present an excellent lineup of dynamic programming this summer. 

Embrace technology and new forms of art at Kūsou/空相, an interactive and immersive audio-visual installation merging Japanese calligraphy, computer generated art, and western flute at the Anvil Theatre in New Westminster. Plus, see artists’ talks and panels with the creative production team and participate in interactive AI Workshops for Families back on the Festival grounds. 

Catch live performances by violinist-extremist Kytami & Phonik Ops, stirring Butoh by Kokoro Dance set to the sublimely edgy music of jo passed, an exhilarating combination of Onibana Taiko with vocals from opera singer Teiya Kasahara, Hiromoto Ida’s ICHIGO-ICHIEH NEW THEATRE solo show Homecoming 2020, and many more. 

New 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. Cool off and fill your reusable water bottle under new bespoke misters and water fountains, Fuki no Mizu, created by UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture students. 

That’s just a sample of what to expect! There is something for everyone as Festival touchstones return: learn the Paueru Mashup dance in free lessons in July and join our Community Dance on Saturday July 30, try your luck in the annual Festival Lottery, visit our interactive zone and children’s tent, and much more. 

This year Powell Street Festival sustains our efforts to include those unable to visit the festival site in-person, and will feature selected performances and on-location reporting in online live streams as part of our Festival Connect Live Stream program. Check back on our website for more information. 

The pandemic has left its mark on the Powell Street Festival as we return to Paueru Gai, the historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood of Powell Street, with deep appreciation for the power of relationships and community. Of the return to a full-build, in-person Festival, Eddy Takayanagi, Powell Street Festival Society President, says: 

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.  

The Powell Street Festival has taken the lessons learned through our past two online and hybrid festivals to reinforce our vision of a society enriched and interconnected through Japanese Canadian art and culture as we excitedly return to an in-person Festival. 

Click here to download the full press release