Photo Credit: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Upcoming Event: ... Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Enters New Era with its 60th Anniversary ~ World-renowned Japanese

Tuesday, 11 April 2023 03:06.AM

- Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Enters New Era with its 60th Anniversary
World-renowned Japanese cultural centre opens Asian Heritage Month with retrospective photo exhibit and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival presentation by
award-winning Shin Sugino -

This year, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is celebrating 60 years since its founding. Called “kanreki”, this anniversary is especially important in the Japanese culture as it represents the beginning of a new life cycle that is synonymous with rebirth. To mark this milestone anniversary, and signal the start of Asian Heritage Month, the JCCC has planned a number of events that celebrate its rich history as one of the largest and most vibrant Japanese cultural centres in the world.

On May 1st, the JCCC will present the 60 Years of Friendship Through Culture exhibition which highlights the Centre’s 60-year journey to create a safe space for Japanese Canadians, champion Japanese culture and ensure a bright future for the Nikkei community in Canada.

“When the JCCC was founded in 1963, Japanese Canadians were still dealing with the trauma of being detained in internment camps in Western Canada during the Second World War,” says James Heron, Executive Director, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. “The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre was established as a means to introduce Japanese Canadian heritage and to build a society that celebrates cultural differences, rather than fostering fear of diversity. Throughout its 60-year history, the Centre has proudly served as a gathering place welcoming anyone with an interest in Japanese culture”.

The 60th anniversary photo exhibit shares its name with the Centre’s longstanding motto, “friendship through culture”. It has been carefully curated to spotlight the sacrifices, perseverance and determination of its founders, a group of 75 families who mortgaged their own homes to secure the financing to construct the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre on Wynford Drive. The founders and volunteers’ goal to build a better post-War Canada are at the core of the work JCCC continues today. This photographic journey explores Japanese heritage in Toronto including the JCCC’s start in the Wynford Drive building designed by famed architect Raymond Moriyama, through to its current location on Garamond Court, Toronto.

The 60th anniversary exhibit also includes a presentation of The Strength in Sixty Sakura, a work by Japanese Australian visual artist Elysha Rei. Rei’s bold pieces in paper cutting, public art and murals are created from personal and historical archives which embed narrative and symbolism within a Japanese design aesthetic.

The 60 Years of Friendship Through Culture exhibition will be on display from May 1, 2023 through June 2024 in the Heritage Hallway of the Japanese Canadian Culture Centre.

Also on May 1st, the JCCC joins the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in launching a presentation of Déjà Vu: Split Perception as One by Japanese Canadian photographer Shin Sugino.

A strict upbringing by French nuns in post-WWII Japan is a powerful chapter in Sugino’s life that bleeds into this collection of works. Sugino immigrated to Canada at 19 and earned a degree in photography from Ryerson University before going on to become an award-winning, sought after visual artist. Over five decades he has used his camera to remedy and explore themes of his experience which include feelings of displacement in many cultures, while finding a home in none. In search of a multiple sense of belonging, Sugino’s black and white works loom over viewers in a larger-than-life format - a raw gaze into Sugino’s memories of splintered temporalities.

Déjà Vu: Split Perception as One by Shin Sugino is open to the public from May 1st through July 28, 2023. Shin Sugino is represented by Stephen Bulger Gallery

SOURCE: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

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