August 10, 2008

Powell Street Festival

August 2nd, 2008 - A celebration of Japanese Canadian culture and arts, the 32nd edition of the annual Powell Street Festival, took place at its usual home in Oppenheimer Park. It marked the 80th year of diplomatic relations between Japan and Canada. A stage and shopping stalls had been set up inside the park, while food was being sold on the side streets. The first performance I witnessed was by Chibi Taiko ("little kid, big drum"). Taiko are Japanese drums and this ensemble beat them with great enthusiasm. I had come to see my friend Daizo perform with the Okinawa troupe. He provided musical accompaniment to the Yuaikai Ryukyu Taiko. After watching a high tempo performance comprising of music, song, and dance, I enjoyed some wild salmon cooked in a traditional manner over a fire.