In early 1988, Mr. & Mrs. Shintaro Yamada kindly donated a house and lot located at 160 Vernon Avenue to the KJCA to be used as a Bunka Centre (Cultural Centre). This house was used as a meeting place for our members and as a Cultural Centre until early 1994 when the house was torn down to make room for a bigger Cultural Centre.
On September 22, 1988, after many long years of struggling by the NAJC (National Association of Japanese Canadians) to resolve the injustices to Canadians of Japanese ancestry in the 1940s, a ‘Redress Settlement for Japanese Canadians’ was announced. As part of the settlement, a community fund of 25 million dollars was awarded to rebuild our communities across Canada. The Kamloops & Area Chapter of the NAJC applied to the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation for a grant towards building a larger Cultural Centre and received $285,000.
The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre was built on the property that housed our first Bunka Centre. It is owned by the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association and was made possible through a most generous grant from the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation and through the generosity of our members, and fundraising activities.
The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is committed to introducing the Japanese culture to the people of Kamloops. Workshops, classes and/or demonstrations are held in Sushi making, Japanese cooking, Japanese language, Ikebana (flower arranging), Japanese Calligraphy, Origami, Kite making, Odori (Japanese Folk dancing), etc. depending on interest and demand and availability of instructors.
As a fund raiser, and to introduce Japanese Cuisine to the public, an Udon (noodle) Lunch and Sushi Take-out is held once a month.
Meeting of our various Japanese Canadian organizations are held at the Centre, and it is also used for socials and socializing. For use of members, there is a Shuffle Board, Carpet Bowling Set, Japanese games, Wii game, big-screen TV and a DVD player.
The Centre has a small Gift Shop where members and the general public may purchase books, Japanese crafts, and ‘Things Japanese’. There is also a library with books on Japanese culture, crafts, language, Japanese Canadian Redress, books written by Japanese and translated into English, books written by Japanese Canadians plus many books written in the Japanese language.
The Cultural Centre is open daily from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. The Centre is also open at other times when there is a function, meeting, or other activity. It is also available for rent by members and the general public.
The Cultural Centre Coordinator is George Uyeda.
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