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!
On Tuesday, May 14th, JETAA Prairies members were invited to have lunch with the Ambassador of Japan to Canada, His Excellency Mr. Kimihiro Ishikane. Mr. Ishikane, his wife Ms. Kaoru Ishikane, representatives from the Consul General of Japan in Calgary, and JETAA Prairies members gathered at the historic Fort Garry Hotel. Mr. Ishikane is making an official visit to Winnipeg.
Indeed, JETAA Prairies would like to send our sincerest gratitude to Ambassador of Japan, Ms. Ishikane, Consul General of Japan in Calgary, and the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa for having us. In addition, if you would like to know more about His Excellency Mr. Kimihiro Ishikane, please read his CV.
Monthly Meeting in Osborne Village
Coincidentally, the evening of May 14th was also the time for our Monthly meeting. Members gathered at the famous Baked Expectations in Osborne Village. Particularly, we discussed plans in the upcoming months. For example, the upcoming Pre-Departure Orientation in June, Ai-kon, and Folklorama. Furthermore, if you would like to help in some sort of capacity for any of these events, please let us know via our Facebook group page or Contact Form.
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.
JETAA Prairies is saddened to learn that one of the passengers on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was Canadian JET alumni, Darcy Belanger. Below is a written statement from the Consul-General of Japan in Calgary:
We have learned that one of our former JET Programme participants, Mr. Darcy Belanger from Edmonton Alberta, passed away on 10 March 2019, a victim of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
Mr. Belanger, a citizen of Canada, was an Assistant Language Teacher at Shizuoka Nishi High School in Shizuoka Prefecture from 1995 to 1997.
A construction executive by day, Mr. Belanger was a founding member and Strategic Initiative Director of Parvati.org, a non-profit organisation that focuses on eradicating global hunger and poverty. He worked on the organisation’s MAPS (Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary) initiative, a proposal to declare the Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle an international peace park. He was on his way to the UN Environment Assembly to promote this initiative.
We at the Consulate-General of Japan in Calgary are enormously grateful for Mr. Belanger’s contributions, and we offer our sincerest condolences.
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.