Planning Underway for Japanese Canadian Interpretive Centre at Hastings Park
November 23, 2021
The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) today announces a partnership with members of the Japanese Canadian (JC) Hastings Park Committee, an organization formed with the goal of securing a Vancouver based JC Interpretive Centre to chronicle the history and honour the Japanese Canadians interned during World War II in British Columbia.
“I have personally been working on the development of a permanent interpretative centre for more than a decade and more than seven decades have passed since the incarceration of Japanese Canadians at Hastings Park. This partnership announced today is an important step towards finally achieving a permanent interpretive centre,” says JC Hastings Park Committee spokesperson Daniel Tokawa. “Given the direct connection between Hastings Park and the Canadian Government’s incarceration program during WWII, we believe this location is the right place for such a facility.”
Hastings Park, home of the Pacific National Exhibition, was the site of the internment of 8000 Japanese Canadians during World War II. The PNE will dedicate a portion of the Livestock Barns, one of the structures used in the internment, to a Temporary Centre while funds for a permanent facility are raised.
“Creating a space to recognize and educate British Columbians about the injustices done to Japanese Canadians during and after World War II is an important part of ensuring such things never happen again,” says PNE Board Chair and Vancouver City Councillor Lisa Dominato.
“The internment which happened here at Hastings Park is a dark period of British Columbia’s history, but by bringing it to the forefront and giving it a special place to educate visitors to our site is an important part of healing,” says PNE President and CEO Shelley Frost. “We’ve been working with the Japanese Canadian community for a numbers of years on this idea, so it is very exciting to see the concept move towards fruition.”
Previously the PNE dedicated a park area called Momiji Gardens as a first step towards recognizing the role the site played in the detainment of Japanese Canadians by the government. The Temporary Interpretive Centre will be housed in the PNE Livestock Buildings with a preliminary goal of opening within five years.
About the Japanese Canadian (JC) Hastings Park Committee:
The JC Hastings Park Committee is a decade old ad hoc group of Vancouver residents dedicated to the formation of a permanent Japanese Canadian Interpretive Centre to chronicle the thousands of Canadians, including naturalized citizens and Canadian-born citizens who were interned or died at Hastings Park during World War II. The centre would be designed to educate future generations about ethnic based injustices so they can never happen again.
About the PNE:
Owned by the City of Vancouver, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is a healthy and vibrant non-profit organization dedicated to delivering over 2 million visitors a year with memorable experiences through access to first-class cultural, music, sporting and family entertainment events, as well as access to public space for passive recreation. Founded in 1910, the PNE’s home is Hastings Park, a multi-facility venue in Vancouver where the organization manages four activity streams: the annual PNE Fair, Playland Amusement Park, Park Care and Facility Maintenance and an expansive portfolio of year-round events. All revenues generated are invested back into park space, community programs and non-revenue generating educational and entertainment experiences.
PNE Media Relations