History and Activities

Our organisation was officially founded on March 3, 2009, and has from the onset been striving to introduce traditional Japanese culture to the general public. Our Japanese Film Festival has become a regular cultural event in Whitehorse, eagerly anticipated by JCAY members and non-members alike.

In response to the Great Tohoku Earthquake on March 11, 2011, we staged a “Japanese Village Festival” to raise funds and subsequently sent a donation of more than $40,000 to the Japan Red Cross Society.

In 2012 we organised a concert featuring a duo performing on the Koto (traditional string instrument) and the Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) as well as a lecture/demonstration of Noh Theatre. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support we received from the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver and the Japan Foundation in Toronto for both of those events, our Film Festivals, and other activities.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Internment of Japanese Canadians (2012) and the 25th anniversary of the Redress (2013), JCAY organized a series of special events, such as the screening the film "A Sorry State", a lecture by Dr. Roy Miki, displays of historic photos of the Internment, and (in 2015) the "Film Festival of Japanese Canadian History" with the films "Kiri’s Piano" and "The Vancouver Asahi". For this last event we gratefully acknowledge financial support provided by the Yukon's New Canadians Event Fund.


This series of events helped our members, especially the younger generation, as well as the general public to better understand the history of Japanese Canadians and to appreciate our contributions to the Canadian society.

In 2016, we organised a three-day Taiko (drum) Festival with special guest Uzume Taiko from Vancouver. This festival consisted of a school concert, an open air performance, an evening concert, and Taiko workshops. The performances were well received, and we gratefully acknowledge financial and other support provided by the Yukon's Arts Fund, the Yukon Arts Centre, the City of Whitehorse, and several local businesses. Inspired by the performances and workshops we started our own Taiko group in Whitehorse - please feel free to contact us if you are interested in participating.

We also invite you to our presentations at multicultural community events, such as Chadō or Sadō (traditional tea ceremony), Origami (traditional paper folding art), Bon-odori (dance to honour the ancestors), Shodō (Japanese calligraphy), and Kendama (a ball-and-spike toy).


Other activities you may be interested in: monthly PlayCare activities, to give young children the opportunity to socialise in the Japanese language, a Japanese Language School for Children, and Japanese Conversation Classes for adults.

Back to our homepage * JCAY Contact: jcayukon@gmail.com

Page last updated: 2020-03-26

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