North America’s biggest Japanese festival returns this summer to Mississauga


Published April 15, 2024 at 2:47 pm

Japan Festival Canada in Mississauga 2024

Organizers of North America’s largest Japanese cultural festival, which takes place each summer at Celebration Square in Mississauga, invite the more than 100,000 expected guests at the 2024 event to take a trip into the future.

“Experience the essence of Japan’s cultural evolution as we embark on a journey into the future with Japan Festival Canada 2024,” organizers said in a letter to City of Mississauga officials this week in which they touched base as they do each year to prepare for the annual festival.

Under a “Forging New Connections in a New Era” theme, Japan Festival Canada 2024 will be held the weekend of Aug. 17 and 18 at the downtown Mississauga venue. It’ll welcome visitors from noon until 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the Sunday.

Held at Celebration Square since its inception in 2016, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 when it was held virtually due to COVID-19, Japan Festival Canada took a big step up attendance-wise with more than 100,000 people in both 2022 and 2023 coming out for the two-day event.

Organizers anticipate similar if not larger crowds this summer.

“Building upon the success of our milestone achievement in 2023, where we welcomed over 100,000 attendees and embarked on a transformative path forward, our commitment to innovation and connectivity remains unwavering,” organizers continued.

“In 2024, our theme ‘Forging New Connections in a New Era’ underscores our dedication to exploring Japan’s industrial prowess, technological advancements, cultural heritage and culinary delights from a Canadian perspective.”

In addition, organizers say the festival “aims to promote and showcase Japanese culture and technology to the world through the multicultural and diverse nation of Canada. Our primary goal is to unearth and highlight the value and charm of Japan that may at times go unnoticed by even its own people and help present a more captivating ‘Made-in-Japan’ narrative.”

Specifically, they say they strive to achieve the goal by offering a diverse range of experiences, “including captivating stage performances featuring various genres of Japanese music and traditional arts, immersive video presentations highlighting the allure of Japanese tourism and initiatives to support Japanese businesses and individuals thriving in Canada.”

The theme of the 2023 festival was “Connecting Japan and the World through Festivals.”

More information on scheduled entertainers and food vendors at the 2024 festival will be available early in the summer, organizers said.

In its inaugural year in 2016, the festival, held on a single day at the time, attracted some 40,000 visitors and was a resounding success, according to organizers. They say the event “garnered significant attention throughout Canada and North America.”

For more information, visit the festival’s website.

(Photos, from 2023 festival: Japan Festival Canada)

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