What is Nikkei Matsuri?

Nikkei Matsuri: Burnaby’s family-friendly Japanese festival in the heart of Metro Vancouver

A matsuri (festival) has long been part of the cultural landscape of the Japanese community, not only in Japan but in many cities across North America. In 2013, Nikkei Place Foundation embarked on the challenge to host the first Nikkei Matsuri in British Columbia. The festival brought in over 8,000 people, and the overwhelming success laid the foundation for Nikkei Matsuri to be a highlight of the summer season. In 2014 the event was moved under the direction of Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. With the support of over 200 volunteers and staff, the 4th annual Nikkei Matsuri will be held on September 3 & 4, 2016.

Nikkei Matsuri is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings all of the elements of visiting a matsuri in Japan to our backyard here in Burnaby. Every effort has been made to ensure that the authentic atmosphere of the event will create an experience that attendees will cherish.

Nikkei Matsuri has something for all ages and will inspire the pride of the Japanese culture here in Canada.


Taking the baton from last year’s chair Akiko Gomyo, I am honoured to have been appointed the 2016 chair by the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre Board of Directors.

Nikkei Matsuri has become the premier family event in the Nikkei Centre calendar.  This year’s featured Japanese performer is Yuki Maeda, former Whiteberry band member.  For her Canadian debut, she will be performing her hit song Natsu-Matsuri (Summer Festival), which sold almost a million copies. We are anticipating a performance full of energy in celebration of the Matsuri spirit.

Back by popular demand is our focus on rising local talent with the “Matsuri Star Talent Search,” presented by Vancouver Shinpo. Former winner A.C. Bonifacio went on to appear on Ellen TV, so who knows what success the 2016 winner will enjoy.

Also featured are demonstrations of Martial Arts and Japanese Tea Ceremony. Joining the kids game zone and Hello Kitty sand picture workshop is the new “Let’s craft!” room with balloon twisting, face painting, and more.  And don’t forget to try on a Yukata!

In the garden, we will have the carrying of the Mikoshi portable shrine, Bon-odori dancing around the Yagura tower, plus popular street food and our beer garden.

We invite you to an authentic Japanese summer festival at Nikkei Matsuri and hope to see you this Labour Day weekend.

Louise Akuzawa, Nikkei Matsuri Organizing Committee Chair


On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, we extend a warm welcome to the entire community to come and join the 2016 Nikkei Matsuri Family Festival at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre for the fourth consecutive year. The food will be memorable, the entertainment will be diverse and captivating, our outstanding children’s programming will once again entertain, and wonderful workshops and crafts for all ages, all in the heart of Burnaby, Nikkei Matsuri is the exciting conclusion to everyone’s summer holiday.

Over 11,000 attended last year and the community continues to have a thirst for all that the Japanese culture has to offer.

Every single dollar of the festival’s net operating profit will be invested back into the Nikkei Centre to ensure that the cultural programming and education can continue for many years to come.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, our staff, and our army of volunteers, we welcome you to what will surely be a 2016 Japanese cultural weekend to remember Nikkei Matsuri Family Festival.

Roger Lemire, Executive Director
Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre 

This post is also available in: Japanese