As you may know, taiko has returned to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) in Toronto.
In 1983 I began learning taiko with what was then the Toronto Suwa-daiko. In the space of many years and a change in addresses, the cultural centre let the taiko go to private use by what was to become the Yakudo drummers. A few years ago and for a variety of reasons, Yakudo disbanded and in the process the drums were donated back to the JCCC.
Since about the spring of last year I have been advising the new program developing at the JCCC and its team of dedicated and talented youth, who are leading the drive to bring a new energy to taiko in the Japanese Canadian community. It has been a great privilege to work with both this energetic team to build a taiko program fitting of the JCCC and representing the needs and future potential of the Japanese Canadian community here in my home town.
The JCCC is a facility that hosts many activities and events, and historically concerns about sound volume generated when taiko are played there have hindered the availability of needed rehearsal space and time for such a dynamic and central cultural art form. A campaign is underway to build a dedicated taiko rehearsal space within the centre, a 'Taiko Dojo', to be named after early Toronto taiko pioneer and former leader of Yakudo, the late Chris Kano. The cultural centre has been trying to raise $250,000.00 CAD to fund the construction of a sound buffered space. So far they appear to have raised nearly half and the remainder has generously been supplemented by a generous donation matching campaign offered by Martin Kobayashi - meaning that until the goal is reached, he has committed to match each dollar donated.
If you would like to donate to the Chris Kano Taiko Dojo fund - please contact the JCCC here:
Your support could help to allow the taiko program to rehearse on a regular schedule and take taiko at the JCCC to a whole new era.
Thank you on behalf of the JCCC taiko program...