Greater Toronto Chapter, National Association of Japanese Canadians
A FREEDOM DAY CELEBRATION TO HONOUR SURVIVORS AND REMEMBER THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERNMENT.
The Toronto NAJC is committed to remembering the significance of April 1, 1949, each and every year. As well, in 2017, a Special Luncheon to Remember the 75th Anniversary of the Internment sold out at 300 guests. In 2019 a Freedom Day reception was held at Ryerson University but in 2020, the Freedom Day Luncheon was cancelled due to the pandemic.
In 2021 an online Freedom Day event was held at which Mayor John Tory made a video announcement declaring April 1, 1949, Japanese Canadian Freedom Day. The mayor has also indicated an interest in visiting Momiji Seniors Centre, and we are hoping that he will agree to attend the event. He gave an excellent speech at the in-person Redress & Reconciliation event held by the Toronto NAJC last month on September 22nd. This year, we are excited to plan an in-person event based on the plan for the cancelled 2020 event which sold out a month in advance.
A video of the 2017 Luncheon can be seen here:
Sadly, some of the Internment Survivors who bought tickets for the 2020 event have passed. Our hope is that the post-pandemic event will be a very special as there will be fewer still as each year passes. It is our responsibility to ensure they are not forgotten and honour those who are still with us.
We will work with the Toronto NAJC Elders Council to ensure that the event is meaningful and memorable. Our survivor community is extremely generous, but we feel it important we invite them to attend without cost. We stand on their shoulders.