The Paueru Gai Dialogues #1

Catalyzing Social Equity through Culture & Connection to Place

Date: January 30, 2021

Time: 1PM – 3PM PST / 4PM – 6PM EST

Free admission. Registration Required. 

Guest host Izumi Sakamoto will facilitate a discussion with three panelists — Ayumi Goto, Kathy Shimizu and Terry Watada — as they share their perspectives on how cultural heritage and connection to place impact their artistic practice. Participants will join breakout groups to share their own experiences and to consider how Japanese Canadian art and culture might advance social justice. To wrap up the event, everyone will reconvene to offer questions for further contemplation.

We are grateful to Hapa Collaborative, The Bulletin (JCCA), ElementIQ,  SFU David Lam Centres, The Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and City of Vancouver for financial and in-kind support.

Guest Host Izumi Sakamoto is Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. A former Fulbright Scholar, she received MSW, MS (Social Psychology) and Ph.D. (Social Work & Psychology) from the University of Michigan and BA and MA from Sophia University, Japan. 

Ayumi Goto is a performance artist, currently based in Toronto, traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron Wendat, Anishinaabe, and Missisaugas of the Credit First Nations. Born in Canada, she often draws upon her Japanese heritage and language to creatively challenge sedimented notions of nation-building, cultural belonging, and activism. Working collaboratively, she explores land-human relations, in-betweenness, collective responsibility, and spatial-temporal play. Ayumi is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

Kathy Shimizu is a sansei, graphic and web designer, artist, and community organizer. She has worked for the Powell Street Festival Society in various roles since 1991, is a co-founder, collective member, and administrator of WePress, serves on the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association Human Rights Committee and is a member of Sawagi Taiko. She works to use the importance of history, and the power and joy of arts and culture, to build community, fight for social justice and change, and help create space for the voices of communities and individuals marginalized by our existing systems.

Terry Watada is a writer, poet, and one-time musician. His latest publications are The Four Sufferings (poetry, Mawenzi House Press, Toronto, 2020) and The Mysterious Dreams of the Dead (novel, Anvil Press, Vancouver, 2020). Many of his writings reflect upon his Japanese Canadian identity and several of his books are set in the historic Japanese Canadian community of Paueru Gai/Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. He was a featured performer at the inaugural Powell Street Festival in 1977 and has been a supporter ever since.