The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre is a multi-use facility located in Burnaby, BC, which offers a range of attractions and services to visitors of all ages. Its triumvirate of functions includes a museum, a seniors housing complex and a Japanese restaurant, with many of its programs focusing on the ethnic and linguistic communities that call Burnaby home. Aside from its numerous activities, the building itself also possesses some impressive design features, including a spectacular Japanese garden. Among other things, the centre is the perfect location to showcase the impressive history of Japanese-Canadians in the Lower Mainland.
In the spirit of the community, the centre has a robust volunteer program, as well as several events, programs and displays that cater to its many residents and visitors. Its mission is to promote awareness and knowledge of the Japanese Canadian community’s contributions to Canada. For example, the centre hosts a series of children’s camps and martial arts lessons, in addition to a slew of free public lectures and concerts. To that end, the centre is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays, and from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekends.
Of course, the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Center is only one of a plethora of facilities devoted to the Japanese Canadian culture in the Lower Mainland. Others include the Canadian Japanese Culture and Heritage Museum, the Canadian Japanese Language Museum, and the Japanese-Canadian Historical Society. Some of these institutions are operated by non-profit organizations, while others operate as for-profit venues, such as the Japanese-Canadian Museum, which provides an educational experience to the masses. There are also various other smaller organisations, such as the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, which is one of the largest festivals in North America.
The best part of the Nikkei National Museum & Civic Centre is its close proximity to several other attractions in the Burnaby and surrounding areas, as well as the fact that the centre is entirely free for students to attend. Additionally, the Nikkei is also located in a vibrant multicultural neighbourhood, with many culturally rich individuals, families and businesses, not to mention an abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Indeed, it’s the kind of community that a city like Vancouver has been built upon, and the centre is a great place to see how things were done, in the past and to watch how things are done today. Moreover, the site is also an excellent vantage point for a prospective homeowner or apartment dweller to get a feel for what it’s like to live in the area.