TONARI GUMI’S BACK IN FULL SWING!

TONARI GUMI’S BACK IN FULL SWING!

                                                                        By David B. Iwaasa, Tonari Gumi Chair

                                                                             Martin Kobayakawa, Tonari Gumi Director

David B. Iwaasa

Martin Kobayakawa

 

 

 

 

 

A year ago, some people within the community were concerned that Tonari Gumi was encountering some difficulties.   There appeared to be considerable turn-over in staff and Tonari Gumi was missing an executive director for several months.  Since June of this year, things at Tonari Gumi have changed dramatically in the following ways:

  • Election of an innovative and dynamic Board of Directors.
  • Appointment of a dynamic duo as TG’s new Executive Directors
    • Masako Arima as our Community Service Manager, and
    • Kumi Kakinuma as our Administrative Manager
  • Launching of a groundbreaking new TG publication by our Garden Club called, “Our Edible Roots: A Japanese Canadian Kitchen Garden”, which instructs how to grow and forage 26 traditional Japanese vegetables; provides 40 recipes on how to serve these vegetables; and recounts the historical background of many of those vegetables in Canada.
  • Reaching Out to provide some of Tonari Gumi’s signature programs and activities for Japanese Canadian seniors in other locations throughout the Lower Mainland–in Steveston, Surrey and Maple Ridge.
  • Expanding our inter-generational reach by restoring TG activities for parents and pre-school children, and new workshops for elementary school-age children.
  • New Programs for English-speaking Nikkei:
    • To address the changing demographics of our community, Tonari Gumi is considering introducing new programs for English-speaking Nikkei. We will be striving to make Tonari Gumi a “home away from home” for these members of our community.
    • Specifically, with many Sansei’s, 3rd-generation Japanese-Canadians, reaching retirement age and beyond, there is an increasing need for a place to go and more programs for this key part of our community. Over the years, Nisei’s and Sansei’s have been among our strongest supporters.
    • Possible new program areas could include cooking classes, conversational Japanese classes, sessions on Japanese Canadian history and readings and music by Asian-Canadian creators.  We would welcome ideas and suggestions from Nisei’s, Sansei’s and Yonsei’s regarding possible new program areas or initiatives. Please send your ideas to Martin Kobayakawa at mkobayakawa@shaw.ca or Masako Arima at services@tonarigumi.ca.

Check out the new Tonari Gumi at www.tonarigumi.ca or come visit us at 42 West 8th Ave. in Vancouver.  We look forward to receiving your inputs and your assistance going forward.


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