BC Day Long Weekend includes a FREE Japanese Culture and Food Festival

powell street festival vancouver 2018

Katari Taiko at the Powell Street Festival Photo credit: [stu-di-o] by jeanie

In a BC Day Long Weekend packed full of major events, including the Pride Festival and the Celebration of Light, the Powell Street Festival might get overlooked. However, the Powell Street Festival is actually the largest event of its kind in Canada and the longest running community arts festival in the Lower Mainland – since 1977.

This free, family-friendly event is held both indoors and out around the Powell Street area within Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood, on the traditional unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil- Waututh First Nations. Influenced by typical Japanese summer festivals or matsuri, PSF has developed into a unique Vancouver event. Over the course of the 2-day event, nearly 17,500 people participate in the event.

From Saturday, August 5 – Sunday, August 4 in Oppenheimer Park, the Powell Street Festival will feature performances and demonstrations (including taiko drumming, sumo wrestling, martial arts, and alternative pop/rock/urban music), historical walking tours, tea ceremonies, and a fantastic array of Japanese food, crafts, and displays.

powell street festival 2018 vancouver

Delicious Takoyaki being prepared at the Powell Street Festival

The Powell Street Festival has been celebrating the history of Japanese Canadians since 1977. In addition to being a platform for Japanese Canadian arts performers to showcase their talents, the festival engages the broader community through fun cultural activities, volunteer opportunities, and of course, delicious food.

Speaking of food, there will be 24 food vendors selling delicious delights including ramen, Japanese chocolate, takoyaki (octopus balls), matcha, sake, and more. A full list of what to expect is available on the Powell Street Festival website.

The lineup for performers features a wide variety of local and international talent. One of the many musical highlights is virtuoso percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, who, along with the Nakatani Gong Orchestra (a 14-person gong ensemble), kicks off his B.C. tour at the festival. Other international guests include sadgrrlrocker Emma Lee Toyoda. Katari Taiko, Kaya Kurz, and The Sakura Singers are just a few of the local festival favourites returning this year.

powell street festival vancouver 2018

Image from the Powell Street Festival Facebook page

2018 Powell Street Festival Details

Dates: Saturday, August 4 – Sunday, August 5

Times: 11:30am – 6:30pm

Location: Oppenheimer Park (400 block of Powell Street) and the surrounding streets and nearby venues

Website: http://www.powellstreetfestival.com

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