In celebration of Japan’s heritage, culture and traditions, the Calgary Japanese Festival, Omatsuri, is coming this Saturday, August 12th from 11-6 pm at the MaxBell Centre.


Omatsuri is the Japanese term for “traditional festival.” During this time, attendees will get the chance to witness performances of traditional music, dancing and singing, and even martial arts demonstrations.

For art enthusiasts, there will be galleries of local Japanese arts and crafts, cultural demonstrations, a market, and a kimono and yukata fashion contest.

In addition, foodies will find several food kiosks featuring traditional Japanese cuisine dishes, such as sushi, yakitori (skewered chicken), yakisoba (noodles made from wheat flour), baked goods, and also, dharma dogs and curry rice.

Sake tasting and beer gardens are also featured on the festival’s menu.

Indoors, there will be ongoing demonstrations of different types of swords, Japanese dolls and ikebana, arranging flowers.

Due to limited parking space, it is encouraged that attendees use Calgary Transit. General admission is only $5, and everyone is invited to support the members of the Japanese Canadian Community.

Omatsuri was established by the members from the Calgary Japanese Community Association, with help from members of the Calgary Buddhist Temple, Calgary Japanese Gospel Church, New Japanese Community Association and the groups within the CJCA, such as the Kotobuki Seniors Club & Japanese Youth Association.

Galen Crout

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