Japanese Canadian Artist Directory
The Japanese Canadian Artist Directory is a cross-Canada venture to establish an electronic website of names, contact information, and samples of Japanese Candian (JC) artists. The project is led by a Partnership Team of Susanne Tabata, of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC), Emiko Morita, of the Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS) along with Bryce Kanbara and John Ota of the Art Committee, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC).
“We have three main goals for the website,” says Bryce Kanbara. “We want to increase awareness of JC artists, encourage JC artists to network with the public and each other and also to announce events, profile artists and job possibilities.”
While the idea of starting a website originated in Vancouver, it was a JC Artist Symposium in April 2016 in Toronto that determined that an Artist Directory Website could be the centrepiece of revitalizing JC art. The new online resource would be an updated version of Aiko Suzuki’s 1994 publication, Japanese Canadians in the Arts – A Directory of Professionals.
“A key incentive for the website is to preserve a legacy for past JC artists who might be forgotten in the digital age,“ says Susanne Tabata. “We want to showcase those who have produced works in the 20th century, and whose contributions are part of the rich tapestry of artistic expression in Canada.”
But the website is also for the present and future JC artists. “The directory is a platform to showcase all Japanese Canadian artists, past and present.” says Emiko Morita. “Our focus at present is enhancing the ‘legacy’ artists as well as inviting contemporary artists to create their online profiles. We see it as an essential hub to connect artists with each other and their audiences.”
The Partnership Team is grateful for funding from the Canada Council of the Arts and the NAJC, through the Arts Culture Education Committee (ACE), in support of the JC Web Directory.