“Japanese Canadians were banished from Powell Street in 1942, uprooted from their homes and dispossessed of their community, their human and civil rights, their sense of belonging to a place that they had created and inhabited with hope and vitality and determination. Today’s relict landscape still bears the tragedy of the uprooting and dispossession of the Japanese Canadians who were its major architects. It is possible, through careful reading of that landscape in conjunction with archival records, to uncover a great deal of that past life.”
-Audrey Kobayashi, Memories of our Past
The Powell Street Museum and Gallery proposes to provide display and interpretation in a permanent home and study centre for the Japanese Canadian Archives, a historical house restoration, and a contemporary multifunction gallery space for temporary and traveling exhibitions.
The insertion is grafted into the typical Powell Street multi-use typology, with internal courtyard, side breezeway and an alley-front retail or service shop. The gallery makes use of visible storage within the building, and includes outdoor ‘rooms’ in the courtyard spaces.