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VNCS :: ビクトリア日系文化協会

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society – Celebrating Japanese-Canadian Culture

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Trees to permanently honor Japanese Canadian internees 75 years later

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is creating a permanent tribute to the Japanese Canadians dispersed and interned during the Second World War with the donation of three cherry blossom trees to the Township of Esquimalt.

The trees along with a commemorative plaque will be placed in the Japanese Garden in Esquimalt Gorge Park to mark the 75th anniversary of the Japanese Internment. The donation was announced at a Sept. 10 luncheon honoring Greater Victoria’s many living survivors and attended by 120 people.

“There are people in our community who lived through the Interment — being forced to leave their homes, losing their properties, being separated from the families,’ said VNCS President Tsugio Kurushima. “These trees honor all the lives touched by the tragedy of the Internment — and will serve as a reminder to future generations so it does not happen again.”

Esquimalt’s Japanese Garden has a history directly tied to the Internment. The Takata Teahouse and Garden originally located there was the first Japanese garden in Canada when it opened in 1907. It closed in 1942 when the Takada family were sent to internment camps in the Kootenays. They never returned and the gardens and buildings fell into disrepair and were eventually lost.

Lasting from 1942 until 1949 (four years after the end of the war), Japanese-Canadians living in Coastal British Columbia were detained by the government, relocated to camps and farms in the Interior and in the rest of Canada, and stripped of their businesses and homes. In fact, the sale of their personal property was used to fund the Internments.

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society was able to donate the trees with financial support from the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

Announcing the VNCS Cultural Outreach Program!

VNCS Cultural Outreach Program

The mandate of the VNCS Cultural Outreach Program is to help promote the awareness of Japanese culture in the greater Victoria community. We strive to achieve the goal by providing the community with a variety of fun and educational Japanese cultural activities through hands-on workshops, lectures and presentations. Please contact us if you are interested in our service. After assessing your needs, we will be able to help you set up sessions you are looking for either by the VNCS directly or connecting you with suitable cultural groups that meet your expectations.

The attached is the application form for us to assess your interest and needs. Please fill it out in detail and send it to community@vncs.ca We will contact you as soon as possible!

Cheers from the Cultural Outreach Team!
Mieko Fedrau, Hitomi Harama,  and Tomoko Okada

VNCS-Cultural-Outreach-Program-Application-Form

Don’t forget to renew your membership!

VNCS Membership Renewal

Please renew your VNCS membership for 2017.  The membership fee is still only $10 for an individual and $15 for a family.

It’s a small amount, but collectively it helps pay for the operation of the VNCS.

We were hoping to have the online membership payment facility available by now, but it is taking a bit longer so you will have to pay the old way by writing a cheque payable to VNCS and mailing it to:

Membership – Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
4401 Tremblay Drive
Victoria BC, V8N 4W6
Canada

If you are new to the VNCS then please include a membership form which can be obtained at http://www.vncs.ca/resources/VNCS_Membership_Brochure.pdf.

Announcing the VNCS 2017 Board of Directors

At the VNCS Annual General Meeting on Sunday, February 5, 2017 the membership elected this year’s Board of Directors. Below is a list of the successful candidates.

2017 Executive

President: Tsugio Kurushima
Vice President: vacant
Treasurer: Ken Watai
Secretary: vacant

2017 Directors

Mieko Fedrau
Kyla Fitzgerald
Hitomi Harama
Debbie Ibaraki
Amy Kawano
Karen Kobayashi
Tomoko Okada
Yukari Peerless
Cristina Shore

For more information including board photos and biographies visit the Board of Directors page here: http://www.vncs.ca/wordpress/about-the-vncs/vncs-board-of-directors/

Announcing the VNCS 2016 Board of Directors

At the VNCS Annual General Meeting on January 31st, 2016 the membership elected this year’s Board of Directors. Below is a list of the successful candidates.

2016 Executive

President: Tsugio Kurushima
Vice President: Debbie Ibaraki
Treasurer: Ken Watai
Secretary: vacant
Past-President: Mike Abe

2016 Directors

Mieko Fedrau
Kyla Fitzgerald
Hitomi Harama
Amy Kawano
Karen Kobayashi
Tomoko Okada
Yukari Peerless
Cristina Shore
Jeff Tanaka

For more information including board photos and biographies visit the Board of Directors page here: http://www.vncs.ca/wordpress/about-the-vncs/vncs-board-of-directors/

VNCS News – May 20th 2014

VNCS 20th Anniversary – Still a few tickets left

The VNCS 20th Anniversary Banquet is just a month away.  On the evening of Saturday June 21 we will be having a Banquet and Gala at the Ambrosia Convention and Event Centre, 638 Fisgard Street.  In addition to a delicious 3 entree buffet we are going to have entertainment, games, dancing and karaoke.  It should be a great evening.  At the banquet we are going to be honouring a number of people and businesses who have made significant contributions to the VNCS.  The following individuals will be recognized for their life long contribution to the VNCS – Dick Nakamura, Henry Shimizu, Sus Tabata, Aiko Sutherland, Roy and Marianne Natsuhara, Jack and Elizabeth Watanabe and, posthumously, Midge Ayukawa.  The businesses we will be honouring are Fujiya Japanese Food and Silk Road Tea.

Ticket sales are going really well and we only have around 25 left.  So if you are planning on attending order your tickets soon or you may be out of luck.  The cost for the evening is only $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 6 to 12, children less than 6 are free.  You can reserve tickets by e-mailing Tsugio Kurushima at .  Reserved seating available for groups of 3 or more.   For more information see http://www.vncs.ca/wordpress/vncs-20th-anniversary-banquet-june-21st-2014/.  Hope to see you there.

Japanese at Ross Bay

FROM THE OLD CEMETERIES SOCIETY WEBSITE
http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/tour.htm
Sunday Ross Bay Cemetery History Tours: Tours start at 2:00 pm. Meet at 1:45 pm in front of Oregano’s, Fairfield Plaza, 1516 Fairfield Rd.  Others start where noted.

Charge: $5 for non-members; $2 for members. No reservations needed. Tours are held regardless of weather. Contact www.oldcem.bc.ca or 250.598.8870.

May 25.  Japanese at Ross Bay. The third tour of Asian Heritage Month will be conducted by Gordon and Ann-Lee Switzer, authors of Gateway to Paradise: Canada’s First Japanese Community, a history of Japanese in Victoria (http://www.tijeanpress.ca/). Ross Bay includes graves of about 150 Japanese and is the location of the impressive Kakehashi Monument dedicated to Japanese pioneers.

Spring Social, A Sorry State

Thank you to those who attended our Spring social last month. We were fortunate to have been able to view the documentary, A Sorry State by Mitch Miyagawa without paying the licensing fee.  This was covered by the National Association of Japanese Canadians until the end of April 2014. We have been asked to submit a short report, so I am collecting comments from those in attendance. Please forward me your thoughts and input of the documentary at your earliest convenience. I will summarize the comments, without names. Also, please send me any pictures you may have taken at the event.  Send to