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Event Category: BC’s Best Festivals & Events
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, 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, the festival attracts over 16,000 local, national and international attendees.
PSF features something for everyone, including live music, delicious Japanese food from over 40 authentic vendors, film, dance, visual arts, martial arts demonstrations, amateur sumo tournament, children’s activities, participatory activities, walking tours of the historic neighbourhood, craft vendors, traditional displays, nd much more. The festival presents new works and new Japanese Canadian artists each year, representing the wealth of Japanese Canadian artistic creativity and stimulating the local professional arts community with outside talent and expertise. The Festival provides a platform for Japanese Canadians to perform, display their work and gain recognition.
The Festival’s unique character, with its combination of professional and community arts and culture, provides a climate ripe for community development and exchange. Though produced and presented by the Powell Street Festival Society, the Festival has a vast array of community partners who are integral to its success and feel. It is equally a showcase of talent and culture, as it is a community building opportunity, and a community bridge where the general public can access, learn and experience the diversity of Japanese Canadian arts and culture.