Applications for the Festival have now closed. Applications open for the Festival every January and close in March. The Festival takes place every BC Day weekend in August. If you would like to receive notice when application open, please sign up for our monthly enews here, or sign up for our annual call to enter notice list.
Powell Street Festival Society Mission
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.\
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, we attract nearly 17,500 local, national and international attendees.
PSF features something for everyone, including dance, music, film and video, visual arts, martial arts demonstrations, amateur sumo tournament, children’s activities, participatory activities, walking tours of the historic neighbourhood, craft vendors, traditional displays, delicious Japanese food, and much more. We present 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.
To view our 2014 Strategic Plan, visit here: Powell Street Festival 2014 Strategic Plan (PDF, 900KB)