Omatsuri 2015 – by far the most memorable and challenging one since its inception. I can’t be more proud of the committee members and all the volunteers for rising to such a challenging occasion. Because of the inclement weather, we moved all the outdoor operations to the limited indoor space. Everyone in the food acted quickly and found space where there was little and improvised with whatever we had available. The admission and food ticket sales groups adjusted to the situation shortly. The outdoor entertainment and the indoor cultural demonstration worked closely together to salvage as much as they could and in the end, we had an amazing entertainment as well. That was the teamwork at its best.
Feeding volunteers became an overwhelming task, squeezing the operation tightly at the northeast corner where there was no space. The outdoor team was wet to the bones trying to save canopies from further rain damages, while trying to set up tables, chairs, cooking area etc. in hope the weather might eventually clear up. The Bowness management provided an extra room across a hall way and also allowed the kid’s corner to set up tables in a hallway. The community table folks all tried to find their own solutions in this chaos and most of them found their corners somewhere where there was no space.
In spite of the weather, there was little impact on the attendance compared to that of last year, pushing close to 5000. All the food was sold out and the vendors did very well with their sales also. In the end, we all should be proud of our achievement, the teamwork and totally selfless commitments that we made earlier in the year to make the Omatsuri happen in this city. Seeing the visitors enjoying the Japanese culture that we presented was very rewarding!
We received a congratulatory letter from the Consul-General of Japan Ryosaku Tamura that I would like to share with everyone involved.
Taken from the CJCA December 2015 Newsletter – Written by Ted Wada
In February of 2016, the Omatsuri committee was one of the several recipients of the Japanese Consul-General Ryosaku Tamura’s commendation. The committee’s outstanding contribution to the mutual understanding and friendship between Canada and Japan through the Omatsuri festival for the last 5 years was recognized by the Consul-General. A commendation ceremony was held on Feb 4th, 2016 at his residence, which the committee members attended and enjoyed a lovely evening.
Video Created by: Ryan Logan