Author Archives: JCYoungLeaders

OPPORTUNITY: Suzuka University Scholarship Program

Are you a university student of 18 years or older? Studying Japanese Language at a level 3 or higher? Interested in Japan and Japanese Canadian history, culture, and education?!

The National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and Suzuka University (SU) are proud to have established a scholarship program for university students to participate in a 4-month program of study at Suzuka University in Japan to improve their Japanese language proficiency and to experience Japanese culture and education. For more information about this exciting opportunity, please visit the NAJC’s website here.

Deadline: June 1, 2017

Read about 2016 NAJC Suzuka Scholarship Winner Anne Shaw and take a look at her Facebook page.

Note: Suzuka International University was established in 1994 and has courses focused on international studies, including multi-cultural studies and business management. More info here.

New NAJC Young Leaders Committee Chair – Bryan Tomlinson

Last fall, the NAJC Young Leaders Committee sought recruits for new committee members as well as a new Chair. Bryan Tomlinson (a yonsei originally from Vancouver, currently working/residing in Ottawa) was elected as Chair, and was confirmed in December 2016. Bryan is honoured to take on the role as Chair of the Young Leaders Committee, and as a Director on the National Executive Board of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC).

Bryan looks forward to working with the rest of the Committee on the planning for this year’s Young Leaders Conference, managing the Young Leaders Fund, and coordinating other advocacy work across the Japanese Canadian communities in Canada.

A special thanks to Lisa Schoenhofer for all her amazing work for the Young Leaders Committee and for making the Young Leaders Conferences possible!

Stay tuned for more updates about new Committee Members!

Join the Young Leaders Committee!

The Young Leaders Committee is recruiting committee members as well as looking for a new Chair, starting fall of 2016.

The Chair will be a Director on the Executive Board of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC).

If you, or someone you know, is interested, please contact us –


Registration form for the 2016 JCYLC is live!

The conference will take place in Calgary, Alberta from September 9-11, 2016.

Please click the link below to register for the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders Conference.

2016 JCYLC Registration Form

For hotel room reservations please click the following link: Hotel Room Reservations


Agenda: This year’s conference will include more inter-generational programming, as the JCYLC attendees will participate in the NAJC Conference on Saturday, September 10. Sunday, September 11 will be dedicated to Young Leaders focused workshops. If you would like to attend the NAJC Annual General Meeting (AGM) as an observer, the AGM will start at 2pm on Friday (please let us know if you are planning to attend). The weekend will be a great opportunity to network with like-minded people and we have fun social events planned! Full Agenda and Schedule will be posted shortly. Further information about the NAJC Conference can be found HERE.

Venue: Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire, Calgary, Alberta

Arrival/Departure: It is suggested that attendees arrive Friday late afternoon/evening and depart Sunday afternoon. If you would like to participate in the NAJC mountain tour (Thursday) or the AGM (Friday 2pm), please let us know.

Registration Cost: $50 (Note: this is a discounted/subsidized cost for young leaders. Regular price for NAJC Conference Registration is $140).  $50 fee includes workshops and lunches on both on Saturday and Sunday. You may pay via Paypal on the NAJC main site, or pay onsite during check-in.

Subsidies: Subsidies are available to cover travel and registration costs. CLICK HERE for application steps. Please contact us for more information (


We look forward to seeing you at JCYLC 2016 in Calgary!

Save the Date! JCYLC2016 coming to Calgary



We are excited to announce that the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders Conference (JCYLC) will take place in Calgary, Alberta, September 9-11, 2016!

Save the date – more info to come shortly so check back soon!



photo of live graphic recording made by Sam Bradd for the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders Conference on September 20th, 2014

Celebrating the success of the 2014 JCYLC

photo of live graphic recording made by Sam Bradd for the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders Conference on September 20th, 2014
Live graphic recording made by Sam Bradd for the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders Conference on September 20th, 2014

The 2014 Japanese Canadian Young Leaders Conference (JCYLC) made its mark in the history of the Japanese Canadian community. This year, over thirty young Japanese Canadians from across Canada met in Vancouver, British Columbia; and the ideas that were expressed, the connections that were made, and the spirits that were raised are a true testament to the capacity of youth to inspire.

Delegates discussed the need to remember and to situate oneself in relation to the past—in relation to the internment that came as a result of the order-in-council that was passed under the Defence of Canada Regulation of the War Measures Act; in relation to the period of first-wave immigration (as Consul General Seiji Okada pointed out on Saturday, the Japanese Consulate opened in 1877); and in relation to the historical and ongoing Redress Movement. Equally important to young leaders, however, was the need to recognize the present, and to understand that the meaning behind the words “Japanese Canadian” is constantly shifting and growing with post-internment immigration and, increasingly, hybrid cultural and ethnic identities.

This need for a dual recognition of both the past and present was perhaps most exemplified in the discussions surrounding education, advocacy, and activism, wherein delegates were faced with the realities of the past and present while actively looking toward the future. Young leaders envision a future of healing, inclusive movements, solidarity with other racialized communities, collaboration, and, crucially, mentorship.

Photo of young leaders in breakout groups during the 2014 JCYLC; taken by Koichi Saito
Photo of Young Leaders during the 2014 JCYLC break-out session on Sat, Sept 20th; by Koichi Saito.

While exploring avenues of history and activism, delegates also spoke to the significance of business and entrepreneurship in Japanese Canadian communities. Given the connections made and the ingenuity that was demonstrated at the 2014 JCYLC, the extent to which we can learn from and support one another in entrepreneurial goals is huge. While business and activism are often viewed as somewhat distinct topics, this conference demonstrated that actually, celebrating our present-day inventions, innovations, and skills in the form of business is a powerful way of creating and maintaining community.

And certainly, creating and maintaining community was a priority for many young leaders, who shared everything from ideas, to values, to fundraising strategies in their respective Japanese Canadian arts and culture groups. Noting that many arts and culture organisations are volunteer-run and/or non-profit groups, delegates explored the reasons why they choose to support nikkei arts and culture in their communities. For young leaders at the 2014 JCYLC, nikkei arts and culture is a place where tradition meets evolution, where older generations meet newer generations, where “Japanese” meets “Japanese Canadian,” and where, ultimately, one can engage a community and belong.

While taking place concurrently to the National Association of Japanese Canadians’ Annual General Meeting, and supported locally by the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association, the delegates of the JCYLC were also able to engage in intergenerational dialogue that really exemplifies the type of mentorship that is so necessary for meaningful and positive growth in the Japanese Canadian community.

To all of our gracious sponsors, hosts, and volunteers, thank you! Stay tuned for post-conference details, and be sure to connect with us on social media!

—Angela Kruger

Please fill out the Survey!

Hey all you young leaders! Things are gearing up for the weekend! As Angela would say, only 3 sleeps away.

For those of you who have registered, please fill out the pre-conference survey asap:

Thanks and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone VERY SOON!