Japanese Cultural Fair (日系文化祭)

Welcome to our Japanese Cultural Fair

 

Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion

The VNCS has been holding its annual Japanese Cultural Fair since 1999. It is now held on the last Saturday in August before the Labour Day Weekend at the Esquimalt Gorge Park & Pavilion. It used to be held in October at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre but in 2022 it shifted to August and the new location where it plans to stay! The fair is a FREE, family oriented event whose purpose is to showcase and promote local Japanese-Canadian cultural groups in Victoria and the surrounding areas.

Activities range from bonsai (Vancouver Island Bonsai Club) and tea ceremony (Urasenke Tankokai Victoria Association) demonstrations, to performances by local Japanese martial arts groups (Kongo Dojo, Kenzen Sports Karate, Sanshukan Aikido, Shoshinkai Iaido (初心会 居合道) Victoria, Victoria Judo Club, and the Victoria Kendo Club). There is also an Ikebana Gallery with demonstrations by the local Ikebana group.

In the performance area, crowd pleasing performances include singing and dancing by the Victoria Japanese Heritage Language School Youth Choir, Furusato Dancers and the ever popular Uminari Taiko. The silent auction is always a favourite as folks donate treasures they uncover during their travels to Japan.The “Things Japanese” area run by the VNCS Fujinkai (ladies group) which makes available for sale all manner of  Japanese curious curios (including but not limited to: hand made crafts, art, books, ceramics, clothing, apparel).

The Fair is also our Society’s main Fundraising event.  The funds raised through the Cultural Fair goes to support our Cultural groups (Uminari Taiko, Furusato Dancers, etc.), our cultural programs like the Japanese language class and Heritage Committee which conducts interpretive walks in various locations in Victoria with Japanese-Canadian history, looking after the Japanese-Canadian graves at Ross Bay Cemetery our Grant Program which is open to the public and our advocacy work to fight racism. In 2020, the Society donated $25,000 to the establishment of an endowed award at UVic for “innovative and creative research in Japanese Canadian history, art, culture, and/or language”.


Volunteer Opportunities

Of course an event like this is only possible when lots of people work together. If you are interested in volunteering there are many opportunities such as: setup/take down, mystery box sales, silent auction, food preparation, food sales, food distribution, parking coordinators, greeters, promoters, graphic designers, sign makers, books sales, room coordinators and many, many more. If you are interested in volunteering at the fair drop us an email to info@vncs.ca.


Sponsorship/Donation Opportunities

There is no way we would be able to hold the fair without many types of sponsors. Sponsorship comes in many shapes and sizes, from donations of $10 gift cards to local restaurants to $2000 cash donations from corporate sponsors, from personal donations to the Silent Auction and Things Japanese. Some sponsors choose a particular aspect of the fair. For example in 2023, Think Communications Inc. stepped up and sponsored the Bike Locker (bike valet) service as a gold level sponsor. Sponsorship is tiered:

  • BRONZE Level ($10 – $99)
  • SILVER Level ($100 – $499)
  • GOLD Level ($500 – $999)
  • PLATINUM Level ($1000 and up)

If you or your company/organization are interested in sponsoring the fair drop us an email to info@vncs.ca or reach out to us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, X, etc.).


VNCS Fair History

 

2024 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, August 24
Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion

(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2023 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, August 26
Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion

(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2022 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, August 27
Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion

(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)


If you missed the 2022 Japanese Cultural Fair at the new Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion you are in luck because the good folks (Sam Kirsch and team) at the Robin Hood Inn & Suites sponsored videographers Dale & Justin Baglo to come and film the fair and to compile this wonderful highlights reel. Enjoy!

 


2021 Japanese Cultural Fair

Note: There was no fair in 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

 


2020 Japanese Cultural Fair – VIRTUAL Edition

Saturday, October 24
Broadcast live from the Belfry Theatre

(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

You can now watch the recorded broadcast by clicking above.

 


2019 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 26
Esquimalt Recreation Centre

(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2018 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 27
Esquimalt Recreation Centre

(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2017 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 21
Esquimalt Recreation Centre

(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2016 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 22
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2016 VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2015 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 24
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2015 VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2014 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 25
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2014 VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2013 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 26
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2013 VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2012 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 20
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2012 Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2011 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 22
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2011 Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2010 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 23
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2010 Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)

 


2009 Japanese Cultural Fair

Saturday, October 24
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
2009 Japanese Cultural Fair Poster
(click the image to visit the fair’s page.)