Thursday, February 15, 2007

Our Hope, Our Future?

One project I'm involved with is the upcoming KIBO concert on Saturday February 24th at the Pantages Theatre in downtown Winnipeg. Kibo ("Our Hope, our future") is a celebration of Nikkei spirit and artistry that features international performers from Japan and Los Angeles, as well as local artists. The Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association, with the combined efforts of the Manitoba Japanese Cultural Centre and the National Association of Japanese Canadians are hosting this gala event to help raise funds for the proposed Canadian Museum Of Human Rights.

If you love Taiko drums you should enjoy this show, Winnipeg's Hinode Taiko will be joined by Chieko Kojima and Kaoru Watanabe of Kodo from Japan as well as Shoji Kameda from On ensemble from Los Angeles.

Local performers include the Aurora Dancers, pianist Michael Oike, singers Brent Hirose and Shayna Paulicelli and myself on guitar. I have previously written about Brent, Shayna and Aurora in past postings on this site (August archives), while there is info about Michael on the Kibo page. I'm not totally sure about the overall format of the show, but I know there will be photo images projected in the background that follow the history of the Japanese Canadian journey from the end of WWII to the present. There will be a lot of familiar faces flashed on the screen combined with drums, dancing, music, martial arts and spoken word, so brace yourself for a complete multi-media extravaganza.

I almost forgot to mention tickets! They are available through Ticketmaster or better yet call or drop by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (180 McPhillips) as they are selling a limited number of tickets, so you can avoid the ridiculous "Ticketbastard" agency fees. As of right now, there are great seats still available and prices are $50 and $35. A quick check at Ticketmaster tells me that the first row left and right sections are still open, $35 seats are only the last three rows on the floor and that balcony is not open, this may change if they sell out the floor.

I don't know if I'm just cheap, but the ticket prices are a bit on the steep side, I don't like to even spend twenty dollars to see a band I like a lot, so to spend fifty it has to be special. I suppose people spend upwards of 40-80 bucks no problem for mid-range popular acts and over a hundred for classic rockers such as the Who, Eric Clapton or Van Morrison. This Kibo show is different though, it's a fundraiser/showcase, a reflection of the talents within our community. I'm not sure if her highness Ms. Asper will be in attendance, as I really hope she can experience in person the efforts this organization has put forth and I hope we can at least raise enough money to maybe pay for one window on that grand Museum at the Forks.

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