The DTES Community Care Program is a suite of social justice programs produced byThe Powell Street Festival that services Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The DTES Community Care Program includes: the Hanami Cherry Blossom Picnic, Minori Harvest, the Asahi Tribute Game, the Giving Ceremony and the PowellStFest Community Kitchen. These programs aim to raise awareness of Japanese Canadian history and culture, while creating inclusive, capacity-building experiences that foster economic and social equity for everyone. The money raised during the Telethon will allow us to enhance our DTES Community Care Program, continue our collaborative role in the DTES Community Kitchens Network, and establish our own PowellStFest Community Kitchen.
These programs provide meaningful and sustainable connection to the historic location of the early Japanese settlers prior to their forced removal during the Second World War. Through our practice of social justice through art and culture, we honour this heritage while seeking to be accountable as settler-colonizers and acknowledging the larger narrative of displacement on these unceded territories of the Tsleil–Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam peoples.
PowellStFest Community Kitchen
PowellStFest Community Kitchen program is a new meal program servicing the DTES neighbourhood. Starting in the fall of 2020, each week four peers from the neighbourhood will be employed to cook 200 meals for the unhoused and precariously housed in the DTES.
The meals fill the gap of insufficient food for low-income community and the cooking program provides an opportunity for people to cook together, learn new skills, and build community. This not only provides a positive mental health experience but gives people the sense of gratification and steady income.
100% of the Telethon proceeds will be used to launch this new program!
The Giving Ceremony
To symbolize this reciprocal relationship, we are staging a physical-distance-respecting ceremony to honour our ancestors and offer furoshiki-wrapped gifts to our DTES friends and community partners. This choreographed event will be shared during the live Telethon.
Behind the scenes, we are also delivering 1500 care packages to unhoused and precariously housed people living in the Powell Street neighbourhood the week of July 27. This is a big undertaking which we couldn’t do without the logistical support from our DTES partner organizations and financial support from Vancouver Foundation.
We thank our DTES Community Partners, including Aboriginal Front Door, Carnegie Community Centre, Carnegie Community Action Project, DTES Neighbourhood House, Health Through Spirit, Muslim Care Centre, Overdose Prevention Sites, Pace, Wish, Right to Remain, SRO Collaborative, VANDU, Watari, WePress Community Art Space, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, Vancouver Buddhist Temple, Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall, Vancouver Womens Health Centre.
Asahi Tribute Game
The Vancouver Asahi was a Japanese Canadian baseball team that played in the Powell Street area, a historically Japanese Canadian community, from 1914 to 1941. Their home field was Oppenheimer Park.
We play baseball in recognition of the Vancouver Asahi for their contribution to the sport of baseball (the team was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2005), and for their place in and impact on the history of Canada, human and citizenship rights, and community-building.
The Annual Vancouver Asahi Tribute Game is a free, inclusive, and family-friendly place to play ball, eat hot dogs, and come together for some summer fun!
Hanami Cherry Blossom Picnic
Celebrate the Sakura Blossoms with free Japanese Curry Lunch
and Haiku and Calligraphy Workshops.
Presented by Powell Street Festival Society and Oppenheimer Park