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History of the Edmonton Japanese Community Association



A branch of the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association (JCCA) was organized in Edmonton with definite but “loose” connections to the national organization based in Toronto.

Issei families began associating and cooperating around a shared need for a Food-Co-op to assure a supply of Japanese goods, especially food. Issei & Nisei along with their children met periodically to socialize, have fun, support one another and discuss issues.



  N e w
 l a y e r 

The community was led by Nisei as well as Issei families dedicated to preserving while enjoying Japanese Canadian life through marriage, family life, and ongoing Japanese cultural practices. In so doing, forces of cultural pride emerged through assimilation and integration within the broader Canadian cultural milieu. To address and facilitate the above interests, members felt the need to realize their growing fellowship in the form of a community organization. Thus, on July 9, 1976 the Edmonton Japanese Community Club Society (EJCCS) was born and registered as a non-profit organization with Alberta Consumer and Corporate affairs. Meetings occurred in member homes; facilities were rented for Christmas parties and picnics.

Celebration of Japanese heritage during the Canadian Centennial (1967) increased the awareness of our history and motivated further participation in community events.

In 1984, the official name of the organization was changed from EJCCS to our current designation: the Edmonton Japanese Community Association, the EJCA.




Redress Settlement (September 22, 1988)

In January 1989, The EJCA moved to rented facilities at 8760 – 50 Street (1650 square feet). Community Club programs continued to grow, hosted in this rented accommodation.

Interest in a community building as a more “permanent” home for the EJCA was driven by a new self-confidence arising in part from the nation-wide Redress Settlement and the new funding that came along with it.

A broad-based community needs-assessment study was initiated in 1989 to assess the evolving priorities within the community in preparation to initiate and pursue programs and infrastructure that would support and help to realize the emerging priorities.





Based largely on the funding provided by the Redress Settlement, a broadly based planning group chaired by George Tsuruda was established in 1989 to research, design and develop a Community/Cultural Centre as a new home for the EJCA. Over a five-year period, the work of this group in conjunction with members from the Argyll Community League culminated in the Grand Opening of the present EJCA Centre on Saturday September 24, 1994.

Since then, the Japanese Canadian community has participated with the Argyll Community League as a joint partnership in funding and operating the Centre. It was the first such joint venture to be pursued and culminated with the City of Edmonton as an official partner in a community development project. Since then, programs within the EJCA have evolved to sustain Japanese-based cultural traditions expressed within community priorities in a Canadian milieu.


これ以降、協会はアーガイル・コミュニティ・リーグと共同でセンターの運営にあたってきた。このような共同運営のコミュニティ・センターはエドモントン市では初めてであり、エドモントン市の強力な支援があって可能になった。そしてコミュニティ・センターはエドモントン市における日本文化の振興、日系カナダ人と関連した様々な活動の根拠地になった。2016年に Edmonton Japanese Community Association の日本語表記をエドモントン日系人協会からエドモントン日本文化協会に変更した。

25th Anniversary of the EJCA Cultural Centre

For a comprehensive report click here:  Report

On October 6, 2019, in conjunction with the Argyll Community League (ACL), a special commemorative ceremony was held at the EJCA celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Centre. Members of the EJCA planning committee were present along with representatives from the City of Edmonton and from the ACL. 

For a video with photos of EJCA history, October 6, 2019 click here:   EJCA 25th Anniversary





The EJCA History Project

"History undocumented fades from memory but history documented lives forever!"

“History is literally not “written in stone” and neither is the EJCA “History Project”

In 2010, the Board or the Edmonton Japanese Community Association (EJCA), concerned about the loss of many “living” historians, decided to start a history preservation project by creating the EJCA History Project Committee.

In the beginning stages, the potentially mammoth scope of the project was narrowed and it was decided that, rather than writing a book about individual family histories, our objectives were: 

  1. To gather, document and compile information about the history of people of Japanese ancestry in the Edmonton and surrounding area and to document the evolution of organizations and activities that supported those people.
  2. To collect history-related documents and photographs.
  3. To archive in a manner that makes these materials easily accessible to all interested parties. 

Then in 2013, a survey of Japanese Canadians and Japanese living in the Edmonton area was conducted in order to obtain a "snapshot" of the Japanese community.

We hope that everyone will take the opportunity to peruse the information contained in the two reports. Our hope is that the more we read, the more we’ll want to keep on reading! Such reading is to participate in the making of history. Printed copies of the Reports, appendices and related documents are available at the EJCA Library. To view printed copies, please contact office@ejca.org. Online copies follow.

Invitation to Readers

Because history is being created even as you read this, the two history reports below are already “out of date”. In other words, everyone’s experience constitutes history. So, if you would like to contribute to the ongoing recorded history of the Japanese community in the Edmonton area, please contact the EJCA here: office@ejca.org






  1. エドモントン市とその周辺にすむ日本人を祖先とする人たちの歴史に関する情報を収集して記録すること、またこの人達が関係した組織や活動についての情報も収集して記録すること。
  2. この人達の歴史に関連した記録と写真を収集すること。
  3. 収集した記録を興味のある人が簡単に閲覧できるような形で保存すること。





Phase 1 - Collect data including interviews, documents, and photos

January 2010 - March 2012


Phase 3 - Conduct a survey of the Japanese Canadian community

May 2013 - March 2016

The survey report has two sections:
Part 1 - “Snapshots” of our community in 2013
Part 2 - Individual lives






Final Survey Report published (May 2016)

For online reports, please click the following link.

Final Report (Second version: July 2016)




The following document in PDF is a Japanese version of the Tashme Internment Camp Report: www.tashme.ca

次のレポートは英語のWeb format で発表されたタシミ強制収容所の日本語訳(PDF)です。

英語は Website: www.tashme.ca


Edmonton Japanese Community Association
6750 88 Street NWEdmonton, Alberta T6E 5H6

780-466-8166 / office@ejca.org
日本語メール: nihongo@ejca.org

Web functionality:

Office hours

Monday: 9:30 am–12:30 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am–12:30 pm
Friday: 3:30 pm–6:30 pm

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