This past Saturday on the Japanese holiday of Tanabata (the Star Festival), Winnipeg held it’s first Bon Odori Matsuri organized by JCAM (Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba). The venue was the Burton Cummings Community Centre (Yes, the guy who sang “These Eyes” and “American Woman”). JCAM served cold drinks and beer, sold taiyaki (think of them as a cake in the shape of a fish and usually filled with azuki beans/cream), takoyaki (fried octopus covered in batter), and kakigori (shaved ice with your choice of flavour). Also, there was entertainment in the form of traditional Japanese dances, taiko drumming, and otaku dancing. This event was the perfect example of the small but burgeoning Japanese community in Winnipeg.
A few members of JETAA Prairies volunteered for the day with responsibilities ranging from setup/takedown, entertainment, security, and concessions. Our next event will be the JETAA Prairies Cooking Class and Karaoke Night for our new JETs on July 21st. To all alumni, let us know if you want participate!