In Memory of Kevin Sleziak

May 28, 1966 - October 24, 2021

Kevin Sleziak Memorial Portrait_Turquoise Background (1) (1)

It is with great sadness to share that our dear friend and long-time Powell Street Festival supporter, Kevin Sleziak, passed away on Sunday, October 24th, 2021 in the comfort and care of May’s Place. ⁠

Kevin is known to many in the Powell Street Festival (PSF) and Downtown Eastside (DTES) communities because he worked for and was a volunteer for so many different organizations. The Festival was so fortunate to have had Kevin’s help for the past 20 years or so as a leader of our Hospitality & Security Team. Kevin was at the center of our learning about how to bring the Festival into Oppenheimer Park, the living room and backyard of so many residents, in a respectful way that aims to humanize the interactions of people with many different experiences, backgrounds, and daily challenges. Kevin showed us through his kindness, generosity of spirit, and by example, how to treat people with dignity and respect, and helped ensure that every Festival went as smoothly as possible. Our successful events rested heavily on his shoulders for which we will be eternally grateful. ⁠

We are also so lucky that Greg Masuda, a past member of the PSF Advocacy & Outreach Committee, created the wonderful film, The Spirit of Nihonmachi, which documents the 2011 Festival and the participation of Kevin and friend, Abraham, in our behind the scenes work as well as their participation in our annual Sumo Tournament. You can view this gift from Greg online here and see Kevin in action. ⁠

Thank you to everyone who sent their condolences and attended Kevin’s memorial at Oppenheimer Park on November 28th. Here’s to Kevin and all he did for the community and so many. He will be hugely missed at the Festival and in the neighbourhood, but he will remain well loved and long remembered! ⁠

Thank you to Angela May for the illustration.