plant2 Documenting the west coast Nikkei experience [and beyond] from the viewpoint of a hapa Nikkei graphic designer, editor, photographer, taiko player & teacher.


Open Conversation on Roy Kiyooka


Tomorrow (Sunday) at 4pm, I will be at the Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Centre 1895 Venables Street) taking part in an open conversation about Roy Kiyooka’s life and work with family and friends. The (non)event runs from 4pm until 5:30. There will be a group of us who knew/worked with Roy. This is a photo of Roy taken by my father in Roy’s Calgary apartment, circa 1952. It appeared on the cover of the cover of the February 1994 issue of The Bulletin.

It’s really my Father, Tod, who knew Roy far better than I did. He knew him through all those early years. We used to stay at their play in Montreal when we were living in Toronto. I remember we stayed there during Expo 67. Roy was responsible for bringing us out to Vancouver shortly after that. This is part of what Tod wrote in that February issue:

“Roy had grown up in the city, even though his family had had to move to a farm because of the wartime hysteria. So to me, a small town boy, he seemed rather sophisticated with his natty beige sports jacket and loafers and his curious handwriting – all capital letters transformed into a flowing cursive. His ambition at that time was to become a cartoonist. His model was Milton Caniff who drew Terry and the Pirates.”

Roy never did fulfill that ambition, but he left his mark on a lot of people, including me.

and don’t forget:
February 20 – 23 2008, 8pm
re-visioning Roy Kiyooka
Vancouver East Cultural Centre, 1895 Venables Street

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