2024 Annual General Meeting – Sunday, Feb 04

2024 AGM Announcement

Sunday, February 4, 2024 – 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Esquimalt Recreation Centre, Craigflower Room

Please join us for us our Annual Genera Meeting. We will review what the VNCS accomplished in 2023, look at our financial status, introduce some initiatives for 2024, elect our 2024 Board and hear about the Royal Roads University’s plans to revitalize their Japanese Garden. 

NOTE: To vote at the AGM you must be a paid up member of the VNCS.  You can pay your membership at the AGM or do it online through our Web site.  Plan to arrive by 9:45 to register.


9:45am Registration

10:00 am Call to order

  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval of Minutes of Annual General Meeting held Feb 12, 2023 (2023 VNCS AGM Minutes)

10:10 am Annual Reports

NOTE: In order to reduce the length of the AGM, only the Treasurer’s Report and the Cultural Fair Report will be presented in full. For the other reports, the Committee Chairs will be available to answer questions. Please review the reports before the AGM and come ready to ask questions.

a) 2023 President’s Report Tsugio Kurushima
b) 2023 Treasurer’s Report Dave Lawson
c) 2023 Newsletter/Communications Report Yukari Peerless
d) 2023 Web Presence Report Craig Mercer
e) 2023 Heritage Committee Report Mike Abe
f) 2023 Uminari Taiko Report Susan Kurushima
g) 2023 Furusato Dancers Report Tsugio Kurushima
h) 2023 Sakura Fujinkai Report Susan Kurushima
i) 2023 Japanese Cultural Fair Report Craig Mercer
j) 2023 NAJC Report Yukari Peerless
k) 2023 Membership Report Joyce Tobo
l) 2023 Human Rights Committee Report Tsugio Kurushima

10:45 am New Business

a) Japanese Canadian Legacies Fund Grants Karen Geiger & Tsugio Kurushima
b) VNCS Strategic Planning Update Kimiko West
c) 2024 Financial Forecast Dave Lawson

11:00 am Election of Officers and Directors

There are 4 vacant positions to be filled on the Board. The Nominees for those vacancies are – Craig Mercer, Yumiko Mizuno, Djuna Nagasaki, and Lily Yee. The bios of these candidates can be found below.

Further nominations can be submitted. To nominate a candidate, a Nomination Form (VNCS Board Nomination Form) must be completed and submitted to VNCS at info@vncs.ca. Candidates can also be nominated from the floor at the AGM. The nominee must be present and a Nomination Form completed.

11:20 am Adjourn AGM

  • Refreshment break before guest speaker

11:30 am Guest Speakers

  • A Vision in Bloom: Revitalizing the Japanese Gardens at Royal Roads University.
    Presented by Emmy Blouin and Stephanie Clay

Designed at the turn of the last century by Isaburo Kishida and then Tadashi Noda, the Japanese Gardens at Royal Roads University were among the first of the formal gardens built at Hatley Castle. Now a peaceful oasis in a weary world, the gardens have reached a venerable age. Compassionate care is urgently required to preserve both plants and infrastructure. Join Royal Roads University staff for an overview of the history of the university’s beloved Japanese Gardens and learn more about plans to revitalize this special place in years to come.

12:00 pm Closing & Clean up

Director Nominee Bios

Craig Mercer

Craig MercerCraig Mercer was born and raised in Victoria, BC where he graduated from Royal Roads University with a diploma in network security as well as technical certifications in systems administration and systems design. Craig is married to Kana, a Japanese national. They have 2 children Grace Yuki (18) and Wyatt Haku (14). Craig is currently working as a Director with the Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) Centre of Excellence at Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union.

Craig has served as a Director with the VNCS Board off and on since 2010 and looks after the VNCS website. He has been overseeing the annual Obon Grave Washing at Ross Bay Cemetery for many years now, in addition, he and his wife Kana have also organized several Tanabata Summer Social picnics at the Esquimalt Gorge Park, and Craig serves as one of the co-leads of the VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair. Craig believes his extensive experience with the VNCS will be valuable as the organization continues through a period of renewal and refreshing.

Yumiko Mizuno

Yumiko MizunoYumiko, originally from Kawasaki, Japan, discovered her love for Canadian nature during a study exchange in Nanaimo. What was initially a one-year plan evolved into a decade-long adventure. Passionate about language and culture, she has dedicated herself to community, seen in her managerial role to lead a multicultural team and active involvement in her company’s Asian Employee Resource Group. Yumiko’s commitment extends beyond work; she spent six years teaching at Victoria Japanese Heritage Language School and assumed the volunteer coordinator role at Nikkei Cultural Fair.

Outside her professional life, Yumiko is an enthusiastic rugby fan, enjoys cycling and craft beers. Grateful for the supportive community as a landed immigrant in Canada, Yumiko’s overarching goal is to strengthen connections between landed immigrants and the Japanese Canadian community and eliminate the sense of strangers in this shared journey.

Djuna Nagasaki

Djuna NagasakiDjuna Nagasaki is a Gosei, born and raised in Victoria. She is a student at UVic, working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and hopes to go on to pursue a masters in Visual Anthropology. She is currently conducting research on Yonsei and Gosei identity (4th and 5th generation Japanese Canadian) as part of the Anthropology Honours Program. Djuna also sits on the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders (JCYL) committee, and is dedicated in establishing more activities and events promoted to Japanese Canadian youth in Victoria. She wishes to sit on the board of the VNCS in order to advocate for the younger voices within the community.

Lily Yee

Lily YeeLily was born and grew up in Victoria. She has been to Japan three times, bringing local high school students to Victoria. Lily has always had a keen eye for beautiful things such as washi, kimonos, ikebana, bonsai and Japanese gardens. Her three children are now young adults which gives her the opportunity to help organizations and non profits. She is currently in her 5th year as President of Chinatown Lioness Club and sits on the Board for the Chinese Community Services Centre for the past two years.

She loves organizing, fundraising and creativity. Lily has helped out with the Japanese Cultural Festival for many years and co-chaired Japan Fest for the past three years. She is a home gourmet cook and a lover of fine cuisine, especially Japanese!