Although Vancouver is considerably young compared to its other Canadian counterparts, our oldest Community-based festival, Powell Street Festival, celebrated its 40th Anniversary on the weekend of July 30th, 2016. It also happens to be Canada’s Largest Japanese Canadian Festival, and Hapa Collaborative is proud to be a Community Partner each year. Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS) mission is to cultivate Japanese Canadian arts and culture to connect communities.

This year, Hapa sponsored Bing Thom Architects’ & Abaton Projects PSFS Design Competition, which invited architecture students to design an interactive installation that considers civic engagement, cultural relevance, and environmental sustainability at the festival’s site in the Downtown Eastside’s Japantown. Festival goers and passersby grazing the north side of Oppenheimer Park would likely have seen a carp-shaped structure perched on the lawn. Coined by winning design students as “The Koinobori”, the temporary, rubberwood, interactive installation resembles a windsock. It was dressed with cloth “scales” that served as visual or written stories by members of the community.

In Japanese culture, the carp symbolizes strength and courage because of its ability to swim upstream and against the current of a waterfall. In a way, we felt that it fit well with the festival because it is all about bringing the Japanese community together, celebrating their culture and keeping that tradition strong. – Melody Giang, Winning Student Team Member

The winning team was awarded a $1,000 prize, a production budget and mentorship from Bing Thom Architects (BTA) and Abaton Projects. Other partners included Hapa, Haeblar Group, Heatherbrae Builders, AME Group, and RDH Building Science. Congratulations to German exchange students Kai Kattge & Sebastian Saure, along with BCIT’s Architectural Technology 3 class (Melody Giang, Emily Huser, Steven Schmidt).

 

PSFS 2016 Koinobori