Omatsuri – meaning a “festival” in Japanese – is a traditional community celebration giving thanks for a rich harvest, good health, community harmony and respect for their ancestors. It is an important cultural festival that originates back several hundred years and continues to this day in Japan.
Our first event was held in August 2011, although it was a modest festival held at the Bridgeland – Riverside Community Centre, it attracted over 1200 guests and was a huge success. Interest in the Omatsuri Festival continued to grow in each of the following years and in 2014 we moved to the Bowness Community Association to accommodate our growth. Due to renovations in 2016, we were forced to find a new venue for our festival and moved to Max Bell Centre which will be our home again for 2017.
Our event continues to grow in size each year and has grown to entertain nearly 7500 guests, being supported by over 400 volunteers and performers from all over Alberta. Omatsuri offers something for all ages; traditional Japanese food, a wide variety of entertainment & cultural demonstrations, a children’s area & martial arts demonstrations. For the ladies, we have a market where over 25 vendors showcase their traditional and unique crafts, products and gifts and the men can stop by our beer & sake garden to sample some of the most popular brands.
The “Omokoshi” is a shrine that is carried by a team of people and paraded around a “Red Torii” (mini shrine gate) to the beat of the taiko drummers, this fun and inspiring parade is a traditional and unique feature of Omatsuri that you do not want to miss.
We are extremely pleased to bring this Festival to the City of Calgary on an annual basis and invite you to join us for this one day celebration of our Japanese heritage, culture and traditions.
Please check out our past events by clicking on any of the links below: