Thomas Shoyama Sakura Gala

Thomas Shoyama Sakura Gala

Nikkei Place Foundation is proud to host our annual spring fundraiser, the Thomas Shoyama Sakura Gala, and recognize Inspiring People on Sunday, March 11th, 2018 at Tojo's. The most rewarding part of this event is that it will support Nikkei Place Foundation’s Future Nikkei initiatives to strengthen, connect and invest in the future of the Nikkei community and the people we serve.

This year, the Foundation is proud to recognize award-winning writer Joy Kogawa with the 2018 Thomas Shoyama Lifetime Achievement Award, and twenty year-old competitive judoka Dante St. Prix with the 2017-18 Nikkei Youth Athletics Bursary.

At the same time, the Foundation also acknowledges our host Chef Hidekazu Tojo in celebrating the 30th anniversary of his acclaimed restaurant Tojo’s.

Event Details

Hosted by Jennifer Palma - Reporter and Anchor from GlobalBC

When: Sunday, March 11th, 2018   |   Registration & Reception: 5:00pm  •  Dinner: 6:00pm
Where: Tojo’s Restaurant, 1133 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6H 1G1
Tickets: $250/person - Contact 604.777.2122 or [email protected]

Joy Kogawa

2018 Thomas Shoyama Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Joy Kogawa is an accomplished poet, playwright, and author. She is celebrated for her work as a novelist and her influential contributions in the Canadian Japanese Redress Movement...

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Chef Hidekazu Tojo

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of his restaurant Tojo's

Chef Hidekazu Tojo is a critically-acclaimed chef offering the best in upscale Japanese culinary creations. His culinary genius is credited with the creation of the “California Roll” and the “BC Roll”...

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Dante St. Prix

2017-18 Nikkei Youth Athletics Bursary Recipient 

Dante St. Prix is a competitive Judoka and young Nikkei student majoring in Engineering Physics at the University of British Columbia. As a competitive Judoka, he most recently won a senior silver medal at the 2017...

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Special performance by country musician Derral Moriyama

Country musician Derral Moriyama will perform in tribute to his father "The Cariboo Kid", who never got to realize his dream of becoming a country and western singer with the outbreak of WWII.

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Your Impact

Proceeds raised for this evening will support Nikkei Place Foundation and our Future Nikkei initiatives to strengthen, connect and invest in the future of the Nikkei community and the people we serve. With the generous support of sponsors and donors, we can plan for the future of our community, and help connect people, ideas, resources, and opportunities.

If you are interested in sponsorship or donating an auction item to our event, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 604.777.2122.

Thank you for the generous support of this year's sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor

Media Partner

Silver Sponsors



Bronze Sponsor

Wine Sponsor

Jennifer Palma, reporter and anchor from Global BC will host this year's gala!

Jennifer has always loved news. As a child she would watch the news instead of cartoons.

So, her love of current affairs led to a degree in International Studies from the University of Manitoba. She also studied at the University of British Columbia. She received her TV and radio arts diploma at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

She began her broadcasting career in Edmonton hosting a segment on a cable TV show, and working as a production assistant at ITV (now Global Edmonton). She moved on to Saskatchewan where she worked in radio, as well as a reporter and anchor at Global Regina, and Global Saskatoon. She began reporting at Global BC in 2007.

Some major stories Jennifer has had the opportunity to work on at Global BC include reporting on a plane that crashed into a Richmond apartment building. She was also the first TV news reporter to cover Robert Dziekanski’s story. While in Saskatchewan, two news series she reported and produced were used as training tools by the Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Police Force.

In her spare time, Jennifer loves to be with her family, read, cook, and travel. She speaks, reads and writes in six languages.