Meet the 2023 Japanese Canadian Youth Cohort

Powell Street Festival Society is excited to announce the members of our second Japanese Canadian Youth Cohort! This expenses-paid program brings three young Japanese Canadians aged 19-29 who were raised outside of British Columbia to Paueru Gai to experience the Powell Street Festival and participate in its production, attend training sessions, and to create an embodied experience of Japanese Canadian identity as vibrant and vital. Read on to learn about this year’s cohort!

photo of Noah Haruki RichardsonNoah Haruki Richardson (He/Him) is a sansei (third generation) Japanese Canadian born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Noah graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Health Sciences but has been taking a break from science to pursue painting and ceramics.

Japanese culture has always been very important to Noah, so he has worked hard to incorporate traditional mediums and techniques into his artwork. Noah’s passion for art and culture inspired him to work with the Calgary Japanese Community Association to develop and help with arts and culture programming.

Noah is very excited to meet more people in the Japanese Canadian community, learn more about community engagement and participate in the Powell Street Festival.

Photo of Sean ChenSean Chen (He/Him) is from Burlington, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto on the traditional territory of many First Peoples, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples. He is a student currently entering his 4th year at Toronto Metropolitan University, studying Performance Acting.

Sean is thrilled to be joining the 2023 JC Youth Cohort, and is looking forward to assisting in the festival production as well as learning more about his Japanese-Canadian roots in BC.

Photo of Boomba NishikawaBoomba Nishikawa (any pronouns) is a rising fourth year at the University of Toronto studying Ethics, Society, and Law and Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity with a minor in Asian Canadian studies.

Boomba is Yonsei Japanese Canadian and currently resides on the occupied lands of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Wendake, and Haudenosaunee (Tkaranto) and grew up in the so-called United States. Boomba is involved with climate justice organizing work in Tkaronto and is currently an organizer with Climate Justice U of T. Boomba is thrilled for this opportunity to return to historic Powell Street grounds this summer.

We are so excited to welcome these three young Japanese Canadians to Vancouver this summer. Support our vision to bring young Japanese Canadians together and—through the Festival and community—provide an embodied experience for youth to connect with their heritage by making a donation to Powell Street Festival Society.