Meet the 2024 Japanese Canadian Youth Cohort

2024 Japanese Canadian Youth Cohort

Powell Street Festival Society is excited to announce the members of our thrid Japanese Canadian Youth Cohort! This expenses-paid program brings three young Japanese Canadians aged 19-29 who are living outside a 100-mile radius from Oppenheimer Park 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!

Camille Kiku Belair (they/them) is a gosei (fifth-generation) Japanese Canadian with French Canadian ancestry. They are a composer, classical guitarist and interdisciplinary artist interested in working with field recordings and experimenting with mixed media. They previously completed a BMus specializing in composition at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, and studied at California Institute of the Arts in both the Performer-Composer and Experimental Sound Practices MFA programs. Currently pursuing an MFA in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design program at OCAD University, their work involves developing hand-made book objects that function as compositional tools, including the exploration of different forms of music notation.


Lauren Shiga (she/her) is completing her master’s at the University of Toronto in Urban Planning. Throughout her personal and academic journey, Lauren has always been interested in cultural representation and celebrating the uniqueness of different identities. Being Japanese and Italian, growing up meant appreciating her cultural backgrounds and praising the traditions and customs that came with them. Partaking in the Japanese Canadian Youth Cohort is a special experience for Lauren as it will allow her to learn more about her culture and what it means to engage in meaningful cultural dialogue.

Sydney Christie (she/her) is a Hafu yonsei born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. She was raised in part by her Nisei grandmother who was displaced from Haney BC along with her family in 1942. As an adult Sydney has found joy and catharsis in reconnecting and reclaiming her Japanese-Canadian heritage and identity. She has a love for the arts and pop culture, particularly writing and counterculture history. Sydney is thrilled to return to the exclusion zone this summer to be a part of the Powell Street Festival!

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.