“I think everybody should know every culture…If we know the culture of each people we would have a better understanding of their nationalities.” Joyce Oikawa, Community Awards recipient
On September 24, 2011, an inaugural awards dinner was held at the Nikkei Centre to acknowledge Japanese Canadians who were instrumental in building a strong and vibrant community at Nikkei Place over the past decade. Part award ceremony, part fundraising dinner, the evening raised $85,000 for Nikkei Place. Paul Kariya, Nikkei Place Fund-Raising Chair, said, “We exceeded our fund-raising goal at the Dinner but we still need to raise more to ensure our programs can continue. We will continue to work hard to reach our target for 2011 of $300,000.”
The more than 200 guests who attended enjoyed a cocktail reception in the Ellipse Lobby. Guests were then ushered into the Special Events hall by an invigorating taiko performance by John Endo Greenaway. Justin Ault was the charming Master of Ceremonies who kept the evening’s program flowing with clockwork precision following the keynote presentation by MLA Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education, who was introduced by Arthur Hara, past Chair of the UBC Board of Governors. VIP guests included Consul General of Japan Hideki Ito and Consul Yoichi Ikeda of the Japanese Consulate, Raj Chouhan MLA, Don Campbell, former Canadian Ambassador to Japan, and Arthur Hara, O.C. and past chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of British Columbia. View photo gallery here.
The Leadership Award
Presented to Linda Ohama
For exemplifying leadership, philanthropy or service to the Nikkei Community & beyond.
Community Service Award
Presented to Joyce Oikawa
For exceptional contributions to the well being of Nikkei Place, its peoples and/or its programs.
Special Events Award
Presented to Nobuji Hirosawa & Hiromi Kobayashi
For their exceptional contribution in organizing fundraising special events to support Nikkei Place or its capital campaign.
Quiet Endeavor Award
Presented to Tom Teranishi & Sakuya Nishimura
An individual who quietly contributed to the well being of Nikkei Place without seeking recognition.
Presented to Robert Nimi
An individual who has consistently made significant contributions to the creation and sustainability of Nikkei Place.
Award of Distinction
Presented to the Vancouver Japanese Gardener’s Association
The Award of Distinction is for an organization that has helped build a strong and vibrant community, developed capacity at Nikkei Place and maintained the spirit of good will within Nikkei Place.
Nikkei Heritage Award
Presented to Yoko Murakami, President, Gladstone Japanese Language School
For individual instructor or organizer who exemplifies promoting and preserving Nikkei history, heritage, culture or education at Nikkei Place.
Honourary Builders Acknowledgement
Nikkei Place acknowledged a group of individuals who together made Nikkei Place possible. They were volunteers who took a vision of a cultural centre, museum, health care and seniors housing located on one site, and brought this concept from vision to reality.
The Honourary Builders acknowledged: The late Eddie Ando, Robert Banno, Ruth Coles, Mitsuo Hayashi, The late Robert Iwata, Gordon Kadota, Robert Nimi, The late George Oikawa, and Sam Yamamoto.