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Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Honours Seiji Ozawa With the Sakura Award

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iconic Japanese conductor, Seiji Ozawa, is the recipient of the prestigious Sakura Award, presented annually by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC). The award presentation will be held at the Fifth Annual Sakura Gala, taking place on April 20, 2013, the JCCC's 50th anniversary year.

The Sakura Award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the promotion and exchange of Japanese culture and enhancing awareness of Nikkei heritage within Canada and abroad.

Mr. Ozawa has achieved international acclaim in his long and distinguished career leading the top orchestras and opera companies in North America and Europe, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Music Director from 1965-1969) and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Music Director from 1973-2002).

Mr. Ozawa holds a special place in the hearts and imaginations of the Japanese Canadian community in Toronto, as he directed the city's most important music organization at the same time the Japanese Canadian community had just opened the JCCC. Mr. Ozawa's achievements reflected the growing visibility and confidence of the Japanese in Canada and he was a great source of pride among the Japanese Canadian population of Toronto.

As a Sakura Award winner, Mr. Ozawa joins the ranks among other Sakura recipients: the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, celebrated architect Raymond Moriyama, award-winning scientist and educator Dr. David Suzuki, and internationally recognized actor and activist George Takei.

The Fifth Annual Sakura Gala, an elegant social evening, is the JCCC's largest annual fundraising event. Bringing together the best of Canadian and Japanese entertainment, cuisine, culture and style, the Sakura Gala is a showcase for the Japanese Canadian community. Proceeds from the gala will support the creation of the Nikkei Heritage Centre, a permanent Japanese Canadian heritage exhibit, in the heart of the JCCC.

Contact:

Sarah Burd

sarahb@jccc.on.ca

416-249-0788

About the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is a not-for-profit organization that offers programs, services and a gathering place to celebrate Japanese and Japanese Canadian culture. The JCCC serves 4,500 members province-wide, almost half of which are of non-Japanese ancestry. It attracts over 200,000 people to its festivals, concerts, martial arts tournaments and special events, annually. Promoting harmony, friendship, and understanding in Canada's diverse society since 1964, the JCCC is recognized as an important, vibrant community institution.

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The following pictures are available for download:

[Image] Seiji Ozawa Shintaro Shiratori

Source:Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre