Photo of Darius Maze, VJLS-JH's Executive Director.









Message for the New Year 新年に向けてのメッセージ

-Darius Maze, Executive Director   常任理事 ダリウス・メイズ

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.   明けましておめでとうございます。

The year behind us was a long and challenging one that has impacted families and loved ones and fundamentally changed how we work, play, and come together as a community. While we must continue to be mindful in order to keep everyone safe, the news of COVID 19 vaccines is one of many reasons to start 2021 with feelings of hopefulness.

Our Children’s World team, led by Haga Sensei, have been doing a fantastic job helping to keep children and families safe and connected to one another and we look forward to building on this work in the New Year. Safety has never been more important and we are investing in a number of health and safety upgrades to our buildings including the installation of more outdoor lights to brighten the playground during the winter months. We are also applying for an additional childcare license and hopeful that we can provide up to 25 more daycare spots at a later date.

Similarly, VJLS starts the year with a talented team of teachers under the leadership of our new Education Manager & Principal, Mark Batt. Like you, they are eager to return to the classroom and we are hopeful that this could be possible in September and will be sharing more information with parents and students in March and May. With such experienced and knowledgeable staff we will be upgrading and improving our classroom materials to ensure our students continue to receive the best possible education in both Japanese language and culture.

We are excited to bring both of these communities closer together through the development of a Parent’s Advisory Council and we will continue to seek feedback on what this will look like. Please stay tuned for updates based on our last meeting with parents using Zoom.

Although we miss meeting with all of you Face-to-Face, Zoom has allowed us to reach out to many of our community members and we appreciate all of your input and feedback on our Interpretive Centre. We will be calling for more input on the library side of the project soon and look forward to sharing updates on the plans and project timeline that incorporates what we’ve heard from parents, staff, and the community.

We hope to create many more opportunities for our community to come together to share and practice and learn the history, language, and culture of Japanese Canadians. We have recently hired a community programming coordinator who will support us in both reimagining community events for the COVID 19 era as well as developing new ones that will engage the unique history of our community, organization, and neighbourhood. 

Thank you again for your ongoing support, we look forward to working with you in the year to come to strengthen our community and support the sharing of the rich knowledge, history, and experiences it contains.