Event Details

2017 Sakura Gala
Nikkei Place Foundation's signature fundraising gala

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
The Pan Pacific Hotel, Suite 300-999, Canada Place
Black Tie Optional

Program Details:
5:00 pm  Registration & Cocktail Reception
6:00 pm  Dinner

Programme includes Awards Presentation, Silent Auction, Live Auction and Live Entertainment.

Reserve Your Tickets Now

To purchase your tickets with a credit card, please click here. If you wish to pay by cheque, please email gifts@nikkeiplace.org for a reservation invoice.

Individual tickets: $225  |  Table of 10:  $2,000
Partial tax receipt issued after the event.

Contact us for more information:

Yvonne Kong
604.777.2122  |  gifts@nikkeiplace.org

 Keynote Speaker

Dr. Santa Ono, 15th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia

Professor Santa Ono became the 15th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia on August 15, 2016. As a professor of medicine and biology, Professor Ono’s research encompasses the immune system, eye inflammation and age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness.

Before coming to UBC, Professor Ono was the president of the University of Cincinnati, becoming its first Asian-American president. Previously, he served as the University’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and also held appointments at Emory University as the Senior Vice Provost and Deputy to the Provost. He was recently recognized by the American Council on Education with an award that honours individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment on a national level to the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education. Inside Higher Education also named him America’s most notable university president in 2015. Professor Ono works tirelessly to enhance the student experience, and is a strong advocate of student health and well-being.

Photo Credit: Paul Joseph/UBC

Thomas Shoyama Lifetime Achievement Award

Mr. Henry Wakabayashi, P.Eng, C.M., O.B.C.

Henry Wakabayashi is a highly successful consulting engineer who has dedicated over 50 years to developing and improving some of BC’s most important and largest private and public sector infrastructure projects. He co-founded Pacific Liaicon in 1970, which went on to become one of the most successful management and consulting engineer companies in BC.

His work includes heading the development, project management, and implementation of the Northeast Coal Development, the Vancouver Sky Train, the expansion of the Vancouver International Airport and the Metro Vancouver drinking water treatment program. He was also involved in the expansion of the Vancouver Convention Centre, and has provided senior advisory services to EXPO 86, BC Ferries, BC Transit, VANOC, 2010 Olympics, and BC Hydro Site C.

Henry has been particularly dedicated to his charitable work in the Japanese Canadian community; he was an active Vice-Chair on the Vancouver Redress Committee, and Chairman in charge of funding and construction of the Momiji Gardens (in co-ordination with the Japanese Gardeners Association and the PNE). Since the early 1990’s, he has been lending his support to both Nikkei Place and Tonari-Gumi as an ongoing supporter and fundraiser. Henry was instrumental in helping create Nikkei Place, where he headed project management of it’s design and construction, alongside Sam Yamamoto.

Awards & Recognition:

  • 2003 – Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2004 – Meritorious Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia
  • 2009 – Order of Canada
  • 2008 – Order of British Columbia
  • 2012 – Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2016 – Dean’s Medal of Distinction – University of British Columbia, Faculty of Applied Science


Yvonne SchalleYvonne Schalle, Meteorologist - Global News BC 

Meteorologist Yvonne Schalle brings you your weather forecasts weekends on Global News Hour at 6, Global News at 10,Global News at 11, and BC1.

Born and raised in Burnaby, Yvonne is happy to be back home in BC. Before joining the Global BC team, Yvonne spent more than five years working in both Toronto and Calgary. She has reported on weather all over the country, including in Toronto, at CityNews and The Weather Network.

With a strong background in hosting, producing, and reporting on shows ranging from entertainment news magazines to local newscasts, Yvonne realized that broadcasting was her passion while she studied communications at Simon Fraser University. Her energetic personality took her to Toronto shortly after graduation, where she took her first on-air position as an entertainment reporter and producer at Rogers TV Peel Region. Yvonne then moved to Calgary where she became a producer at a local production company, and later held host and producer roles for a local arts and entertainment show on Shaw TV Calgary where she also began weather forecasting for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Off the air, Yvonne enjoys travelling, running, skiing and golfing. She also speaks Cantonese and Swiss German.

Sakura Gala's 2017 Community Partner:
The Canada-Japan Society of BC
Media Sponsor: