Omatsuri 2013

We would like to congratulate the 2013 Omatsuri committee members and all the leaders who dedicated their tireless efforts over the past six months to organize this wonderful event. Without a doubt, this was the largest and most successful festival so far. The Bridgeland Community Centre was as packed as rush hour in a Tokyo subway. Volunteers are our most important resource for the festival, and this year over 240 individuals and teams came to assist with every aspect of the festival. We truly thank all of the volunteers for their industrious efforts. We roughly counted about 4000 attendees and volunteers.

Once again, our guests were able to appreciate samples of the Japanese cuisine.  Most of the food was sold out by the late afternoon. The presence of the Shogun Food Truck was also a popular selection for festival goers.  The entertainment was well planned and orchestrated throughout the day. The Omikoshi parade, the traditional dances, the martial arts demonstrations, the Midnight Taiko group and a live Jrock band kept the crowd well entertained. We would like to extend a special appreciation to the bon odori performers from Lethbridge who regaled us with their talent and spectacular kimonos. Indoor spaces were also at capacity with vendor tables and cultural demonstrations such as the Tea Ceremony, Calligraphy and Ikebana.  The crafts, gifts and children’s games areas were fun filled areas for young families and children. Their tents were filled with high energy, fun and laughter all day long.

We very much appreciated the generous financial assistance from the Japan Foundation of Toronto and the Alberta Japanese Businessmen Association. Additionally, there were numerous contributions of goods, services and rentals from local businesses. Their support truly encourages us to continue with this festival on an annual basis.

The mission of the Omatsuri is to showcase Japanese culture and harmony. These can only be achieved through community support and participation. We witnessed amazing community spirit on August 17th, 2013! See you next year!

Taken from the CJCA December 2013 Newsletter – Written by Ted Wada

Video Created by:  Rhona-Mae Arca

 Video Created by:  Ryan Logan