Festival Connect

The 46th Annual Powell Street Festival presents Festival Connect, a cultural-sharing program that will bring together intergenerational Japanese Canadians through a shared interest in Japanese Canadian art, culture and history. It will connect survivors and younger generations of Japanese Canadians who share the legacy of Internment.

Thank you to Nikkei Seniors Home Care & Housing Society – Japanese Canadian Survivors Health & Wellness Fund, and New Century Ltd. for their support of this program.

The key activities include:

  • cultural programming for elders and youth, such as Radio Taiso workshops leading up to the Festival, and field trips to Steveston, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre and more (month of July)
  • community consultation with elders to ensure the Festival livestream is relevant and impactful,
  • Radio Taiso demonstration by elders on July 30th at the Festival, and finally,
  • livestreaming of the Festival weekend—in English and Japanese—with on-location reporting so that Festival go-ers, including Japanese Canadians from across the country, can freely experience the festivities from the comfort of their homes


How will this program benefit survivors of Japanese Canadian Internment?

From our initial outreach to survivors, one-on-one time, ideally in-person, is particularly important to survivors’ wellbeing and mental health. We will facilitate visits from yonsei and gosei Japanese Canadian youth who wish to connect and hear elders’ experience of Powell Street Festival and the local community. This meaningful access to both Festival memories and stories of community connection will benefit both the survivors and youth involved.

We will additionally provide a Tech Buddy phone line for homebound seniors who would like to participate in Festival Connect to allow for greater accessibility.  


How will this program connect Japanese Canadian youth with elders?

Survivors will be involved with the JC Festival Cohort—our adjacent Festival program which engages Japanese Canadian youth from across Canada. Both groups will go on excursions to Steveston, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, and other historic and cultural sites important to Japanese Canadian heritage. We envision that this intergenerational sharing will facilitate a deeper connection to heritage and place.


Why Radio Taiso?

Radio Taiso is a long-standing Festival tradition and a well-loved physical activity for Japanese elders across the world. Festival Connect will encourage seniors homes to include Radio Taiso as a regular practice. The Festival with feature a Radio Taiso demonstration on the Main Stage, which will be livestreamed in both English and Japanese to residents of participating senior homes. Combined, Festival Connect contributes to both the mental and physical well-being of survivors.