Celebrate Japanese Canadian art and culture at the 47th Annual Powell Street Festival!

Powell Street Festival Society announces the 47th Annual Powell Street Festival this August 5-6, 2023, 11:30 am to 7:00 pm. This free two-day celebration of Japanese Canadian art and culture in Oppenheimer Park and the surrounding Paueru Gai area presents a spectrum of events and entertainment for all: from live performances to a Japanese food and craft marketplace to traditional elements and exciting Powell Street Festival touchstones. 

Local, national, and international artists will bring over 35 live performances to three festival stages! Experience Daikagura, a rare and auspicious 1000-year-old art form with ceremony and juggling, performed by Michiyo Kagami. Witness the resurrection of Okuni, the 17th-century cis-female founder of kabuki, reimagined as a punk/synthwave/glam-goth figure in a multidisciplinary dance titled IzumonookunI, by Vancouver-born Aretha Aoki and Ryan MacDonald. Dance along to EPITHYMiA, an up-and-coming J-pop dance and vocal group from Japan, as they stop in on their first-ever North American tour. These three performances represent just a slice of what’s in store this Festival weekend. 

This year’s program is packed with panels, workshops, walking tours, martial arts demonstrations, a Sumo Tournament, and other exciting events. In between happenings, wander around Paueru Gai to stop in on beloved Powell Street Festival favourites including a community Japanese food and handmade crafts marketplace, an interactive zone, children’s activities, and our Festival Lottery. Friends from afar can join in too, with a special two-hour Festival Connect Online Live Stream on Saturday, August 5 at 12:30 pm through our website and YouTube channel. 

Don’t wait until August, as Festival vibes reverberate through partnerships new and renewed across the city starting in July! Jump into the festival spirit and learn the Paueru Mashup Dance alongside talented instructors through free lessons Tuesdays in July in Oppenheimer Park; strike a pose in the ballroom scene as we sponsor a judge at the Van Vogue Jam’s Posh Ball on July 28; and learn about the myth behind the star festival tanabata at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s family friendly presentation on August 4. Then, pick up right where you left off as these events tie into Festival Weekend programming! 

As we come together in-person for our second post-pandemic, full build Powell Street Festival, Eddy Takayanagi, the society’s President, shares words of welcome: 

Our sponsors, volunteers, and staff help put the Festival together, but it’s you, the audience, who support us by attending, participating, and enjoying our programs. Thank you for joining us in celebrating the spirit of Powell Street Festival this BC Day Long Weekend.

Stay tuned for the release of our full festival schedule on July 6. Until then, explore our website at powellstreetfestival.com for pre-festival information and excitement. 

About Powell Street Festival Society: 

The Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS) mission is to celebrate Japanese Canadian art and culture to connect communities. With the support of over 250 volunteers, the Powell Street Festival is the largest of its kind in Canada and the longest running festival in Metro Vancouver, entering its 47thyear. PSFS is a non-profit professional arts presenter that is progressive, diverse, contemporary, and compelling.

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For Media Inquiries

Debbie Cheung, Operations Manager. debbie[AT]powellstreetfestival.com