Due to the announcement by the Alberta Government and the current State of Emergency, the Lethbridge & District Japanese Garden Society board has made a decision to postpone the Golden Maple Reception until further notice.

We want to thank the following for their preparation for this special annual event:

  • Mr. Uchida, Consul General of Japan
  • His Worship, Mayor Chris Spearman
  • Darrin Martens, CEO of Galt Museum & Archives
  • Elizabeth Songer, Songer Architecture Inc.
  • Dr. Darren Aoki, Dr. Carly Adams, and Elaine Toth
  • University of Lethbridge and the Centre for Oral History and Traditions (COHT) representatives Nikkei Memory Capture Project
  • And our many sponsors and garden donors
The board felt that even though the restriction exemption rules do not come into affect until Monday, we believed that it was important to consider the safety of all those involved and attendees for this event. In order to have a successful program it required people to attend in person. Given the celebratory nature of the event leading up to the opening of the Bunka Centre, it was our intent to properly recognize everyone being honoured. In light of the state of emergency an online presentation was considered however, we felt that this would have not have been a sufficient way to honour those who were willing to share their stories with us.

We look forward to Dr. Darren Aoki, Dr. Carly Adams, and Elaine Toth's address at a later date. We also want to recognize the launch of the Geisha to Diva exhibit at the Galt Museum & Archives. We will be sure to promote this exhibit throughout our Winter Light Festival, which is expected to open in late November. We would also like to thank the Yates Memorial Theatre, ENMAX, and Mocha Cabana for their time to try and make this event spectacular. We are saddened for the loss of this event at this time, but we thank you for your continued support of Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.



You're Invited...

Join Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden as we embark on a journey into the southern Alberta Japanese Canadian past. The garden’s annual Golden Maple Reception will explore the work done by the Nikkei Memory Capture Project, a long-term community-based oral history project intended to spur the narration of the history of Japanese Canadians. Guests will also have an exclusive first look at the ‘From Geisha to Diva’ exhibit that will be displayed at the Galt Museum & Archives beginning September 25 in the Yates Memorial Theatre Gallery space.

Beyond Shikata Ga Nai: Mapping Memory Capture Journeys in the New Bunka Centre

Dr.Darren Aoki, Dr.Carly Adams, Elaine Toth

Shikata ga nai – ‘it can’t be helped’. This traditional Japanese wisdom has been invoked to reconcile the turmoil of history and contain the traumas of the past. Yet, in this phrase, what is forgotten and lost? As we look towards the opening of North America’s newest centre to celebrate culture, community, and sharing, the Nikkei Memory Capture Project invites you to imagine the future by embarking on a journey into the southern Alberta Japanese Canadian past. Join us as we discuss the collaborations between the Nikkei Memory Capture Project and the Nikka Yuko Bunka Centre.

From Geisha to Diva

‘From Geisha to Diva’ will be on display at the Galt Museum & Archive from September 25th until January 6th 2022. The exhibit will tell the story of Ichimaru (1906–1997), who was one of the most famous geisha of the twentieth century, and the curator of the exhibit is expected to give a talk on Ichimaru at the Galt Museum in September. A sneak peek will be available for guests of the Golden Maple Reception to view at the Yates Theatre Gallery. 




Keynote Presenters


Dr. Darren Aoki

Darren Aoki is Associate Professor in World History and Oral History at the University of Plymouth (United Kingdom).  His research interests include gender and sexuality in twentieth century Japan, and more recently, the history of the Japanese diaspora with a methodological focus on oral history and digital storytelling. In 2011, Aoki initiated a pilot project of oral history interviews exploring the history of southern Alberta Nisei (‘second generation’). In 2017, he teamed up with Carly Adams to launch the Nikkei Memory Capture Project, a long-term community-based oral history project to spur the narration the history of Japanese Canadians (1950-present).



Dr. Carly Adams

Carly Adams is Professor, Co-Director of the Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT), and incoming Board of Governors Research Chair (Tier 1) at the University of Lethbridge. As a social historian and an advocate for oral history, she explores community and gender in her research, with a focus on sport and leisure experiences. In collaboration with Dr. Darren Aoki, she is currently working on the Nikkei Memory Capture Project, a community-based oral history project focusing on Japanese Canadian histories in southern Alberta. She is the author of Queens of the Ice, editor of Sport and Recreation in Canadian History, and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Sport History.



Elaine Toth

Elaine is a PhD student of Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Lethbridge. She is also a research member with the Nikkei Memory Capture Project led by her co-supervisors, Dr. Carly Adams (University of Lethbridge) and Dr. Darren Aoki (Plymouth University in the UK). Elaine has also been involved with the University’s Centre for Oral History and Tradition since 2011 and recognizes the Centre as having a major influence in her passion for oral history and storytelling. Her current research explores the experiences of inter-racial couples in southern Alberta, one of whose members identifies as being of Japanese descent.

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