For the month of February, JET Programme alumni members in Manitoba/Saskatchewan kept busy in February by holding Japanese language classes for its alumni and participating in an anime convention.
JETAA Prairies held Japanese language classes for its alumni members in downtown Winnipeg. What did we do? We reviewed/practiced our vocabulary, grammar, and actively applying it in casual conversation. This was a good opportunity to refresh our Japanese skills – especially in a city like Winnipeg where there’s limited chances to use Japanese.
Winterfest: Aikon’s Little Sibling
On Saturday, February 22nd, 2020, JETAA Prairies members had a table setup at Wintefest (the mini-version of Aikon) at the RBC Convention Centre. Meanwhile, in the spirit of the convention, a few of our members cosplayed during the day-long convention. For example, one of our members dressed up as one of the characters from the cartoon, Gravity Falls, and another one dressed up as one of the characters from Game of Thrones. Unsurprisingly, the anime map of Japan was in huge demand. Unfortunately, we only had one copy left (i.e. the display copy) as we didn’t get new copies of the maps in time. Well, next time.
Annual General Meeting: March 7th, 12pm, at Brazen Hall
Our next event will be our Annual General Meeting, It will be held at Brazen Hall Kitchen and Brewery at 12pm, March 7th, 2020. See you all there!
Event: Annual General Meeting/AGM
Date: March 7th, 2020
Location: Brazen Hall Kitchen and Brewery, 800 Pembina Highway
Do you like Japan?! How about Japanese food?! Are you genki for some trivia?! Why not all three?!
JETAA Prairies is hosting its second annual Japan Trivia & Networking Night (sponsored by The University of Winnipeg East Asian Languages & Cultures Program). Interestingly, this year, it will be at the local favourite, Dwarf no Cachette Cafe & Gift, on Provencher.
How To Prepare
Above all, this event is open to the public and not just exclusively for JET Programme alumni. In the meantime, please check out last year’s Trivia & Networking Night. To prepare yourself, we suggest you to check out news sites like The Japan Times, blog sites like SoraNews24, and of course, good ol’ Wikipedia. But remember, this event is for fun and nothing is really at stake. Just a good excuse to unwind after a busy week and get ready for the weekend.
After a year-long absence, JETAA Prairies (the local JET alumni for Manitoba and Saskatchewan) returned for this year’s Folklorama. The Japanese Pavilion is one of the most popular pavilions. This year’s iteration took place at the large Petrus Hall on Inkster from August 11th to August 17th. Out of the Japanese Pavilion audience who attended the week-long festivities, over 400 patrons visited the JETAA Prairies table.
What’s New at the JETAA Prairies Table?
Coupled with the traditional brochures and pamphlets, we brought back the Japan map and invited the public to place stars on where they’ve been. We also had an ema made of paper and cardboard. An ema is a small wooden plaque found at Shinto/Buddhist shrines. People write their wishes and hang them at a specific place at the shrine. We asked people to write down their wishes. Here are some of their wishes:
The Entertainment and the Food/Refreshments
In terms of entertainment, this year’s Japanese Pavilion provided folk dancing performances, martial arts demonstrations (judo and karate), and even an idol dance group. After those performances, the final act of the show is the thunderous sounds of Hinode Taiko. Also, the Pavilion offered Japanese food like sushi, Japanese beer, and kakigori(shaved ice flavoured with syrup).
A Diverse Group of People
Interestingly, we met a diverse group of people who have Japan as part of their lives. Firstly, we met people who are planning to apply for the JET Programme this year (or the following year). Secondly, we met people who had lived and worked in Japan via a private teaching company and we also met a former JET from the late 90s! Lastly, a teen stopped by and explained that her parents were both JETs! For the most part, JET alumni enjoyed their interactions with the crowd.
By the end of the week, the people filled our Japan map with stars and ema. We even ran out of JET pamphlets towards Friday! Good thing we’ve found a pile of them in one alumni’s home. Above all, JETAA Prairies would like to thank JCAM (Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba) for allowing us to have a presence at the Japanese Pavilion. Likewise, thank you to all the JETAA Prairies volunteers who administered our table.
We need JET alumni to be present at our booth at the Japanese Pavilion for Folklorama. Here’s the information below: Location: Petrus Hall | 2624 Inkster Blvd. Dates: Sunday, August 11 – Saturday, August 17, 2019 (Folklorama week 2) Times: 5:30pm to 10:30pm *Show times are 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm Sunday to Friday and 5:15, 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm on Sat. If we can get more than 2 volunteers per day, we can split the time up as only 2 staff are needed at a time. Japanese Pavilion link: https://www.folklorama.ca/find-a-pavilion/54?pavilionId=54
Over 150 people stopped by at the JETAA Prairies desk over the past weekend at Ai-Kon at the RBC Convention Centre. People of all ages and backgrounds asked questions and picked up free swag. (Also, it does help that a couple of the JETs cosplayed, too.)
In addition, we held a panel/Q&A regarding our wonderful/wackiest stories from Japan. We gave our presentation at the JCAM room and each JET took turns telling their stories. Likewise, at the end of the panel, we invited the audience to share their stories. For example, one member of the audience told a story about when she was in Japan for a school trip, the class accidentally took a wrong turn and found themselves in the red light district.
Interestingly, we met several people who are close to or have already graduated from university. We encouraged them to apply for the JET Programme. More importantly, we only hope that they can apply and we see them at Pre-Departure Orientation. We wish them the best of luck!
Yes, we’re planning for our much-anticipated Wild and Wonderful Stories from Japan panel for Friday, July 26th at 7:30pm. The above image is one of our slides for the upcoming panel. Likewise, there will be more material to cover.
In the meantime, we will also try to trend Twitter by inviting people to ask questions before and during the panel by using “#AskaJET”. For example, a potential tweet might be “Hey @jetaaprairies, what are the coolest spots in Japan? #AskaJET”. If you have questions, feel free to give @jetaaprairies a shoutout!
With Folklorama on the horizon, we are looking for volunteers to staff the JETAA Prairies table at the Japanese pavilion. This is a great place to meet people who have been to Japan, who want to go to Japan or who may be interested in the JET Programme. As this is a multi day event, we are hoping to get many volunteers as we can. At least 2 volunteers are needed each day. Even if you can only help out for one day, that would be great!
FOLKLORAMA: Location: Petrus Hall | 2624 Inkster Blvd.
Dates: Sunday, August 11 – Saturday, August 17, 2019 (Folklorama week 2) Times: 5:30pm to 10:30pm
*Show times are 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm Sun to Fri and 5:15, 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm on Sat. If we can get more than 2 volunteers per day, we can split the time up as only 2 staff are needed at a time. Please let us know via our Facebook Group or our Contact Form if you can help out and what day/days you are available.
Do you see that dotted red circle in the above image? That is the JETAA Prairies panel + Q & A called Wild and Wonderful Stories from Japan. It will take place at Room 15 at the RBC Convention Centre, Friday, July 26th, at 7:30pm. More importantly, our alumni will be present to share their wacky stories from the Land of the Rising Sun. Also, for those who are thinking about applying for JET Programme some time in the future, this is the perfect opportunity to ask your questions.
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.