Photo-Opportunity - Kick-off your summer and join Toronto's biggest ever community dance party

                      420 Years of History wrapped into
    the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre's Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival)
         Featuring First-time to Canada Japan's GUJO ODORI Performers

    TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - Everyone can join this free family event and
experience 420 years of Japanese history at The Japanese Canadian Cultural
Centre's 2008 Summer Festival. This largest-ever community dance party in
Toronto features the first ever full-scale GUJO ODORI performance in Canada.
Considered a Japanese cultural treasure, approximately 40 dancers, musicians
and singers from the town of Gujo Hachiman, Japan will recreate their GUJO
ODORI "dance festival". The tradition has been passed down through the
families for over 420 years and has been performed without interruption for
that time.
    There are no bystanders at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...everyone
participates in this spirited and easy-to-learn community dance. In Japan,
GUJO ODORI "dance festivals" last 33 days attracting over 350,000 people,
including four consecutive nights where over 50,000 people dance in the
streets from sun-down to sun-up. Torontonians can experience this same magical
community spirit and celebration in three hours.
    Other 2008 Summer Festival highlights include games and activities for
the kids; vendors showcasing traditional Japanese toys, handicrafts,
delicious, tasty treats; and magnificent entertainment including the popular
odori (Japanese dancing), live music and a rare Shinnai Nagashi (Strolling
minstrels) performance. This will truly be a fun and memorable event for the
whole family!

    Date:         Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Time:         3:00PM Festival Begins with Shinnai Nagashi performance
                  5:00PM GUJO ODORI community dance begins

    Location:     The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
                  6 Garamond Court, Toronto, Ontario (Don Mills and Eglinton,
                  north east of the Ontario Science Centre), 416-441-2345

    Admission:    Free

    On Friday, June 27th, GUJO ODORI will also perform live in downtown
Toronto in the small square in front of Metro Hall at King and John Streets.
The Friday event goes from 5:00PM until 8:00PM and is also free. Everyone is
invited to join the dance with the performers.

    The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is the oldest and largest
Japanese cultural centre outside of Japan. The JCCC is celebrating 80 years of
diplomatic relations between Canada & Japan by hosting various special
performances including a Koto performance in August, a Noh performance in
October and a Taiko Drumming Group in November.
    For more information on the JCCC and its activities, visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Victoria Ollers, (416)
822-2288, or Paul Tyler, (905) 235-7285,

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Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

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