The Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS) mission is to cultivate Japanese Canadian arts and culture to connect communities. Our main activity is producing the Powell Street Festival (PSF) in Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood. PSF is an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture. In addition to PSF, we engage in co-presentations with arts organizations and produce an annual season of cultural and artistic programming.
About POWELL STREET FESTIVAL SOCIETY
The Powell Street Festival Society’s vision includes a society enriched and interconnected through Japanese Canadian arts and culture. We encourage the recognition of Japanese Canadians as a creative force within the broader community. To achieve this vision, we provide a hub for Japanese Canadian emerging and established, professional and amateur, and traditional and contemporary artists. Our artistic and cultural programming reflects a continuum of new, emerging, mid-career and senior professional artists of Japanese heritage working in literary, visual, performing, new media, and inter- and community arts fields originating from across the Lower Mainland, Canada, the US, and Japan. As part of our reach to Japanese Canadians, we also develop ties and partnerships between Japanese Canadian groups and organizations.
To further interconnectedness, our annual programming includes collaborative and/or intercultural explorations between Japanese Canadian and Asian Canadian artists. We maximize our reach and influence through this expanded programming alongside partnership engagement within our geographic and cultural umbrella communities (including the Asian Canadian, arts and culture, and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside communities). In this, we aim to provide the Vancouver community-at-large with a fully accessible diverse, innovative, and challenging Japanese Canadian voice while encouraging a deeper sense of interconnectedness and exchange.
Signature Event: The Powell Street Festival
The Powell Street Festival is the largest event of its kind in Canada and the longest running community arts festival in the Lower Mainland. Inaugurated in 1977, the Powell Street Festival is free to the public. It is held in both outdoor locations and indoor venues around the Powell Street area within Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood. Influenced by typical Japanese summer festivals or matsuri, PSF has developed into a unique Vancouver event. Over the course of the 2-day outdoor and indoor series of performances and activities, we attract over 16,000 local, national and international attendees.