Media Releases

Japan relief event with expert speakers & Japanese performers at the University of Toronto

March 28, 2011

TORONTO, ON – Join us for an evening of presentations by experts to update us on the relief efforts in Japan; there will also be performances by Japanese-Canadian musicians and dancers.  The event will raise money for the Canadian Red Cross, Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund and Ashinaga, (, a Japanese-based charity providing education and support for traumatized and displaced children in Japan.

The evening begins with remarks by Mr. Masaya Otsuka, Director Japan Information Centre, of the Consulate General of Japan. Following this, Mr. John Saunders, Director of Disaster Management in Ontario, Red Cross will update the relief effort in Japan. Ms. Kristin Kobayashi, a presenter and an eyewitness to the Japan earthquake, says “My experiences as a Japanese-Canadian in Tokyo during the earthquake gave me a unique insight into the essence of the Japanese spirit.”

The artists for the event are confident that their performances will contribute to awareness and restoration. Rachel Mercer, a cellist, says, “Bach’s music helps us ponder the fragility of humanity.” The YAKUDO Drummers offer, “You don’t just hear our drums with your ears, you feel it within your body, like a heartbeat.  We hope our performance can keep the hearts of those in Japan beating strong.”

What: OISE/UT Woodsworth student-organized Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Event.

Where: Kruger Hall, Woodsworth College, 119 St. George St. (south of Bloor St.)

When: Thurs. March 31, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm (Remarks from 7 to 8 pm, each talk followed by a brief Q&A session.)


•    Mr. Masaya Otsuka, Director Japan Information Centre, Consul, Consulate General of Japan

•    Mr. John Saunders, Director of Disaster Management in Ontario, Red Cross (expertise in the Japanese situation)

•    Ms. Kristin Kobayashi, eyewitness to the Japanese earthquake, artist and community activist.
(Note: Mr. John Saunders and Ms. Kristin Kobayashi will be available for one-on-one interviews following the formal presentation.)


Rachel Mercer, Cellist

Ayame-Kai Dance Troupe

YAKUDO Drummers

For more information, event poster and/or photographs of individual performers, please contact:

David Goldberg, Event Co-ordinator., cell: 416-357-1172