On Saturday, July 13th, JETAA Prairies alumni hosted the newly-selected JETS to a karaoke party. Everyone brought snacks and drinks. At the start of the evening, the new JETs asked questions about Japan and JET alumni advised the new JETs and shared more stories. The night continued by singing our favourite songs.
Next up for the JETAA Prairies: we will host a panel talking about our first-hand hilarious stories in Japan for Ai-Kon on Friday, July 26th at 7:30pm in the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg. See you there! (Please check Ai-Kon’s official website to make sure of final date and time)
JETAA Prairies held its first family picnic event at Assiniboine Park this past Sunday. Alumni enjoyed food, drinks, and (Japanese) games (such as kendama and bamboo-copter) on a perfect sunny day. More importantly, alumni and their children were able to enjoy this event together. Also, a newly selected JET came and the enjoyed listening hilarious stories from alumni.
This year, the JET Programme selected three people from Manitoba and six from Saskatchewan for the 2019-2020 year. JETAA Prairies alumni held an orientation at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba for the new JETs. Alumni brought the doughnuts, coffee, and lunch for everyone involved in the full-day event. Above all, alumni brought a lot of vital information about Japan and what’s to come.
Alumni talked about what to bring to Japan, how to get involved with the community, and an interactive time-capsule activity where the new JETs wrote their goals for Japan and current emotions (subsequently, alumni will mail these worksheets to the new JETs in December). More importantly, there were surprises for the new JETs. The new JETs tried on yukatas/jinbeis (brought by alumni). Next, alumni Michelle brought her photo albums about her experience on JET in the late 90s and talked about how JET affected her career path. Following that, everyone chowed down on Chosabi sushi burritos.
After that, alumni talked via Appear.in with a current JET, Jenna, who departed Winnipeg last year. She talked about her JET life so far. Interestingly, one of the new JETs is friends with Jenna.
Yes, you read the right! We will hold our first ever picnic near the Lyric Theatre at Assiniboine Park, Sunday, June 23rd, 2019, 11am-3pm. Please bring some snacks to share. Certainly, if you have some Japanese clothing like a yūkata or jinbei, you are more than welcome to wear it. We will have some (Japanese) games for the kids, too. More importantly, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Is there a better way to spend time with individuals who have lived in Japan than eating dessert in a popular Winnipeg neighbourhood? Soon, we will meet next Tuesday, May 14th, at 6:30pm at Baked Expectations, 161 Osborne Street. Furthermore, the main points on the agenda are:
We will discuss planning for the Pre-Departure Orientation (happening on June 15th)
Ai-kon (July 26th – July 8th)
Folklorama 2019: Winnipeg’s largest multicultural festival
Likewise, if you are a JET alumni, are willing/genki to help out (even for just a little bit), and are hungry for some dessert, let us know via our Contact Form or Facebook Event.
By the way, this is our first monthly meeting under the Reiwa Era! We hope to see you all soon! (Side note: we have moved our monthly meetings from the second Thursday to the second Tuesday of every month)
On April 14th, 2019, JETAA Prairies members, met at Izakaya Edokko in Downtown Winnipeg for the Annual General Meeting. JETAA Prairies is the local Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) alumni chapter representing Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Indeed, nine members showed up. We briefly introduced ourselves, and enjoyed the delicious food while talking about Game of Thrones and the Winnipeg Jets.
Afterward, the members reflected on past JETAA Prairies events/activities. For example, we reflected on last year’s National Conference at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, our info booth/panel at Ai-kon/Winterfest, the Japanese language classes for alumni, and the inaugural Japan Trivia Night. Truly, JETAA Prairies had an eventful year.
More importantly, we also voted for the 2019-2020 Executive. The results are:
Ali: Cultural Ambassador
Roger: Senior Advisor
Alastair: Legal Attaché
For the rest of the year, we have upcoming events lined up. For example, we will hold our Pre-Departure Orientation for the new JETs, we will return to Folklorama this year, and many others. Hence: stay tuned. By the way, if you are interested in helping out, even for a little bit, please let us know via our Contact Form.
We will be holding our Annual General Meeting on Sunday, April 14th, 2019, 12pm at Izakaya Edokko, 190 Smith Street. This is your opportunity to voice your opinions/suggestions for events that JETAA Prairies should get involved in. Also, we will also be creating the 2019/2020 executive! This event is open to all JETAA Prairies alumni. You don’t have to be a regular volunteer of the JETAA Prairies community to attend. If you can only attend the AGM, that is ok, too. If you are planning to go, please let us know via our website or our Facebook events page on what you want to order by April 12th. We can cover the cost of appetizers for everyone, however, each member is responsible for his/her own meal (here’s the link to Izakaya Edokko’s menu). We won’t do omakase because it requires an $80 minimum per person.
Tonight, JET alumni of JETAA Prairies attended a presentation of the Kakehashi Project at Vincent Massey Collegiate. Firstly, The Kakehashi Project is a youth exchange between Japan and Canada. This year, the Project finally selected schools outside of Alberta to participate. Secondly, the two participating schools were Vincent Massey Collegiate and Miles Macdonnell School. These students did a homestay in Nagoya. Tonight, the two groups of Canadian students gave their respective presentations about their experiences in Japan. Thirdly, a group of students from Nagoya’s Toho High School are currently doing a homestay in Winnipeg right now, and will do their presentations once it is over.
In addition to JET alumni in the audience, also in attendance were the Consul-General of Japan in Calgary, Mr. Shigenobu Kobayashi, representatives from the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (who co-administers the Kakehashi Project), the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba (JCAM), the University of Winnipeg, and the University of Manitoba. As JET alumni, we hope that one of these high school students, who participated in the Kakehashi Project, decides to participate in the JET Programme.
We will be holding her next meeting on Thursday, March 14th, 2019, at 6:30pm at Naru Sushi, 159 Osborne St. Above all, if you want to help out (eg. pre-departure orientation, Ai-kon, returners’ meeting, etc.) or just hang out talk about Japan things, we hope to see you there! Let us know by contacting us.
We held our first meeting of the new year at Chosabi’s in Winnipeg. We have a couple of events coming up in the next couple of months: namely, we are planning to have a Japan panel at next month’s Winterfest (a.k.a. Ai-kon Lite), and a March screening of a documentary commemorating the Great Tohoku Earthquake. If you are a JET alumni who would like to get involved, please let us know!
Afterward, via Skype, JETAA Prairies members talked to a JET alumni in Saskatchewan and would like to contribute to JETAA. One of the challenges for JETAA Prairies is to connect and work with JET alumni living in Saskatchewan. However, the distance and transportation costs are always a barrier. As a result, JETAA Prairies don’t have an enough presence in Saskatchewan. Hopefully, we can slowly change this in the upcoming future.
A Piece of History
Lastly, after we concluded our Skype teleconference, we went through this bin of old JET Prairies materials. Most materials looked like they are mostly from the early 2000s. Then we found this disc that said “JET Video”. Our curiosities peaked. What was this? We popped it into a player. We were not disappointed.
It looked like an informational, yet casual, video of JET Program life, particularly in the southern island of Kyushu. The fashion was definitely early 90s and in one of the scenes, there was a timestamp of “1993”. All of us were in awe. The best way to describe the video: combine JET informational content with the aesthetic of 90s skateboard videos done in 8mm.
There were nice sceneries of Fukuoka and a shot of an ice hockey game. There were also some strange scenes in the video. The most hilarious part was when a JET participant and her Japanese friend were talking about their art exhibit. The JET participant tried to explain the theme of their art but couldn’t explain very clearly. Her Japanese friend also made an attempt….and said the art being “something sexual”. Then for some reason, the editor of the video decided to loop that sound clip three more times.
All of us were so enamoured by this video that we decided to reach out to one of the hosts. Hopefully, we can get the complete story (or a sequel). This video made our night, at least, made my night. To all of our JET senpais: WE SALUTE YOU!