New Year Message from Gary

The stoic Japanese expression shikata ga nai (it cannot be helped) is the best way to describe 2020. We still have this pandemic hangover to deal with for the next several months so I hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy and look forward to a much better 2021.

Hopefully new vaccines against COVID 19 are the beginning of the end and the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics are the restart button to a brighter world full of social gathering and travel.

This pandemic is the first major worldly challenge that our generation has had to endure and much like our parents and grandparents we must approach life with their lessons of perseverance and optimism.

The JCCC is resilient and has largely weathered the storm during this difficult year thanks to the generous support of so many friends and members. Looking ahead, the JCCC Foundation has provided a $1 million loan to support the JCCC through 2021.

Thanks to the ongoing generous support of Raymond and Sachi Moriyama, our newest heritage exhibit called “Maru” will be available online in Feb 2021. This new direction for our exhibitions will showcase the success of the Japanese diaspora since the late 1800’s. The content direction is to explain why so many Japanese went to live in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Peru and so many other countries around the world over the last 150 years. The JCCC exhibitions will deal with what these early immigrants encountered, and how successive generations contributed to society and achieved success in their respective countries. Whether you are a fourth or fifth generation Canadian of Japanese descent, new to Canada or just have have an interest in stories of migration, this developing series of exhibitions will be enlightening to follow.

Our goal is to provide a safe supporting environment for all of us to recover, relax, and enjoy the company of friends surrounded by culture and intellectual stimulation and we are ready to welcome you back sometime in the new year. Hopefully that will be at our Olympic viewing party in partnership with CBC Sports and at our Sakura Gala that has now been moved to the Fall.

On a personal note, 2021 marks my 12th and last year as the President of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Since joining the Board of Directors in 1993, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people and that has made this a very rewarding volunteer experience. Thankfully though, we now have a very capable volunteer ready to take over the reins and I do look forward to that.

I wish you and your families good health and vitality in 2021.

Gary Kawaguchi

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