Finding Her Beat

Saturday February 18, 2023 Noon to 6:00 PM
SFU Woodward’s
Free & ticketed events

Join Powell Street Festival Society for a day of femme Taiko on Saturday, February 18th, 2023!

Begin the day with a 30-minute free public Taiko performance at 12:00 noon by Vancouver’s Sawagi Taiko, the first all-women Taiko group in Canada, at Woodward’s Atrium. Following the performance at 1:30 PM, DOXA, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, and Powell Street Festival Society have partnered for a ticketed screening of the film Finding Her Beat—a documentary about a drum master from Japan and a Korean adoptee from Minnesota boldly convening an all-female troupe to perform Taiko, the Japanese drumming art that had been off-limits to women for centuries. The film will be wrapped with a 30-minute Q&A with the Executive Director of TaikoArts Midwest and Executive Producer of the film, Jennifer Weir. Tickets are $10-15 dollars (plus fees) on a sliding scale. This day of femme Taiko will be bookended with light refreshments at a free, informal talkback at 4:00 PM with Jennifer Weir and Vancouver Taiko Society at KW Studios’ Production Studio.

Locations and Schedule

12:00 Noon - Taiko Performance

Woodward’s Atrium – Near 111 W. Hastings St, and next to the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts Campus

1:30 PM - Film Screening

Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema – Located on the 3rd floor of SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St.

4:00 PM - Talkback

KW Studios’ Production Studio – Located on the basement level of 111 W. Hastings St.

For parking and transit information, please visit SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts’ website.

About the Film

A master in Japanese drumming and a Korean adoptee from Minnesota boldly convene an all-female troupe to perform Taiko, the Japanese drumming art that has been off-limits to women for centuries. As the early menace of Covid rumbles in the background, the group faces down hurdles to prepare for a historic performance in snowy St. Paul. Buoyed by dynamic drum performances and do-or-die spirit, FINDING HER BEAT is an energizing and uplifting story of music, cultural expression and sisterhood.

Watch the Trailer

About the Artists and our Partners

Jennifer Weir

Jennifer Weir is the Executive Director of TAM, Artistic Director of Enso Daiko, and has been actively performing, creating, producing, and teaching taiko for over 25 years. She is the recipient of past grants from the MN State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, American Composers Forum, and Taiko Community Alliance. She has led leadership workshops for the Shannon Institute with the Wilder Foundation, and has presented at TedxUMN and the BushConnect Conference. She also has extensive background as a theater director and dramaturg.

Miwa Matreyek

Miwa Matreyek is an animator, designer, and performer. Originally based in Los Angeles, she now calls the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, also known as Vancouver BC, her home. She joined the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University as an assistant professor of Theatre Production and Design in 2022.
With a background in animation and collage, Matreyek creates live multimedia performances where she interacts with her kaleidoscopic animated worlds as a shadow silhouette, at the intersection of cinematic and theatrical, illusionistic and physical, hand-made and digital. Her work exists in a dreamlike visual space that makes invisible worlds visible, often weaving surreal and poetic narratives of conflict between humanity and nature and the climate crisis. She has been an internationally touring artist since 2010. She performs her interdisciplinary shadow performances all around the world, including animation/film festivals, theatre/performance festivals, art museums, science museums, and tech conferences.

Sawagi Taiko

Power, Passion, and Rhythm. Canada’s first all-women taiko group. Founded in 1990, Sawagi Taiko is a multi-generational group of women of East Asian and Indigenous heritage, brought together by our shared passion for the Japanese drum. With thunderous drum beats, stirring vocals, and martial-arts inspired choreography, we share the empowerment and exhilaration we feel through taiko with our diverse audiences. We harness the power of the drum to support feminist and social justice ideals.

SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs

SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs (SFUW) engages with leading edge artists in dance, theatre, cinema, music and digital arts; provoking new practices and approaches reflecting the ever-changing landscape of contemporary arts. 

DOXA Documentary Film Festival

DOXA is presented by The Documentary Media Society, a Vancouver based non-profit, charitable society (incorporated in 1998) devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences. The society exists to educate the public about documentary film as an art form through DOXA Documentary Film Festival, a curated and juried festival comprised of public screenings, panel discussions, public forums and educational programs. The 22nd annual DOXA Documentary Film Festival is scheduled for May 4–14, 2023; stay tuned for further details.

These events are presented with support from Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver


Read or download the press release for this event here.