Here’s what’s happening with one of Mississauga’s biggest festivals


When the COVID-19 lockdown hit, we all knew this summer wouldn't look anything like previous ones and that many (if not all) of the major festivals that make the season even better would be cancelled or postponed. 

But even though one of Mississauga's best-known festivals won't be taking place at Celebration Square this year, it can still be enjoyed online. 

This year, Japan Fest (also known as Japan Festival Canada) will take place virtually on Saturday, Aug. 29. Organizers say this year's COVID-adapted festival, which attracted 92,000 visitors in 2019, will bring Okinawa, kawaii fashion and Japanese culture directly into peoples' homes. 

The festival will also be announcing the winner of the Virtual Talent Competition and giving away a prize.

"I think what differentiates us from other Japanese cultural events overseas is our ability to tailor Japanese art, culture, services and products to the specific needs of businesses and cities," said Terry Wakasa, Japan Fest's organizer, in a statement.

Japan Fest is one of Mississauga's more popular festivals and has grown exponentially over the past five years. In 2016, 40,000 visitors attended what was then a one-day event. By 2019, the festival more than doubled in size and has taken place over two days in August since 2017.

Last year, Princess Takamado of the Japanese Imperial Family blessed the 905 with her presence, helping commemorate the 90th anniversary of Japan-Canada relations.

Wakasa is dedicated to keeping the annual enthusiasm alive, as knows there's a great deal of appreciation for Japanese cuisine, culture and technology in the GTA and around the world. 

Anyone who wants to check out the virtual Japan Festival CANADA 2020 can visit at 7:00 pm on Aug. 29.

Will you be watching the festival from home this year?

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