Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Vancouver Japanese-Canadian Community Earthquake & Tsunami Fundraising Info

Dear Mokuyokai Members and Friends,

We sincerely wish that your loved and close ones in Japan are safe and that you have been able to contact them. 

Since the earthquake and tsunami struck, Mokuyokai members and friends have inundated us with offers and requests to help those in need; it demonstrates not only how much our thoughts and wishes are with those affected but also how close the Japanese-Canadian community in Vancouver truly is.

Mokuyokai is one of several Japanese-Canadian associations in the Vancouver area. At a community meeting on Saturday, March 12th, the BC Japan Earthquake Relief Fund was created as a means of coordinating and directing the fundraising efforts of interested community groups and businesses in BC.

Mokuyokai fully supports the two fundraising initiatives by the BC Japan Earthquake Relief Fund: direct fundraising online and a fundraising concert (March 26 or 27; location and exact date to be announced). Proceeds from both will go to the Canadian Red Cross Society.  

Further information is available at www.japanlove.ca and following this notice is a press release from Tonari Gumi (the Japanese Community Volunteers Association) in English.

In addition, Mokuyokai will honour those affected with a moment of silence at the next Donwakai (monthly pub/networking night) on Thursday, March 24th (5:30-7:30pm) at Ceilis Irish Pub. Donations will be collected and forwarded to the Canadian Red Cross Society.

Haiku prayers and donations will be collected at Mokuyokai's 27th annual ohanami (Cherry Blossom Festival) on Saturday, April 9th (12-7pm) at UBC Nitobe Gardens and Asian Centre. Details will be posted on Mokuyokai website shortly.

Please feel free to help spread the word about the BC Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.

Again, thank-you all for your kind requests and offers to help and our thoughts remain with those in Japan.


Vancouver Mokuyokai Society Board of Directors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                            Contact:  David Iwaasa

                                                            Executive Director Japanese Community Volunteers Association

                                                            Telephone:  (604) 687-2172

                                                            Email:  admin@jcva.bc.ca

Vancouver Japanese Canadian Community Unite to Help Victims of Earthquake & Tsunami


March 14, 2011 - VancouverOver 50 members of the Japanese Canadian arts, business, culture, community and student groups, representing more than 20 different organizations, met together at the office of the Japanese Community Volunteers Association (Tonari Gumi) on Saturday afternoon (March 12) in order to combine their talents and energies to help the survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck the northern region of Japan on March 11th.  The large group of interested individuals and organizations who gathered together at short notice agreed to support the creation of the "B.C. - Japan Earthquake Relief Fund" which will work out of the Tonari Gumi office at 511 East Broadway.

    The move to organize was first spurred by the spontaneous actions of Japanese students studying in Vancouver who wanted to do something tangible to help those suffering in the aftermath of this massive natural disaster. Linda Ohama, a noted Japanese Canadian film maker, spoke for many in the meeting when she said, "I cannot stand looking at all the images and hearing from so many friends about the earthquake victims and families. We need to do something".

       It was agreed to set up two committees: one to help coordinate fundraising activities and to encourage more people to contribute; and another to organize a major fundraising concert, drawing on the talents of artists, musicians and performers within the community. Once an appropriate venue is secured, the committee will begin advertising this event, likely starting sometime this week.

     The group agreed to continue encouraging individuals who wish to contribute to do so via the Canadian Red Cross through their toll free phone at 1-800-418-1111 or on-line at [www.redcross.ca/helpnow] and to designate their donations to "Japan Earthquake Relief".

    Those wishing to contribute their time and talents to mobilizing more support in the Lower Mainland and/or becoming involved in the fundraising concert can call Tonari Gumi at (604) 687-2172 or check our website at [www.jcva.bc.ca].

    The following is a partial list of those organizations united to help:  BCJSN (Japan Love); BOSS; the Canada-Japan Society of B.C.; Chibi Taiko Vancouver Taiko Society; Japanese Canadian Citizens Association; Japanese Community Volunteers Association (Tonari Gumi); Japanese Women Business Association; Kiyukai; Loud (music group); Miyagi-ken Tomo no Kai; Mokuyokai; Nikkei Place; Powell Street Festival Society; Sakura Days Japan Fair; SamaSantie.com; UBC English Language Institute; Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall; Yayoi Theatre Movement Society.