Reflecting on 2022
The new year allows us to space to reflect and consider how we want to move forward in the upcoming year. Please join us as we walk back through the year that was, 2022!
Tokara International POP-Up
Our first event of the year was April 10, where three of our members joined Wadaiko Tokara of Japan, for their International Pop-up concert. We performed their composition POP live alongside Tokara and other groups from across the globe. This was an exceptional event on a few fronts - 1) the concert was LIVE in JAPAN, so we participated live virtually on Zoom 2) we were honoured to be apart of Tokara’s anniversary concert and 3) due to the nature of the live concert in Japan, we were performing at MIDNIGHT! Our dear founder and President, Ben graciously allowed us to perform this concert at his Aikido dojo, allowing us a space where we didn’t disrupt our sleeping neighbours. All around, we had a ton of fun AND it was Midnight Taiko’s first concert at MIDNIGHT.
The Who Knows Variety Show
This was an incredibly fun show we performed alongside many other talented acts at the Ironwood Stage & Grill. The other entertainers included folk singers, clowning and puppeteering. This show marked our first indoor performance since the re-opening after the pandemic.
We were very pleased to perform for the Calgary Marathon - one of our annual favourites! This 3 hour taiko-thon is always a timely event for us, as it starts whipping us back into shape in advance of show season. And we always have a blast cheering on the runners!
Canada Day at the Journey to Freedom Park
Well this was an extra special Canada Day celebration. We were honoured to be a part of the Journey to Freedom Park and Vietnamese Boat People Monument Inauguration ceremony. This was an historic event and one of great importance to the Vietnamese-Canadian community in Canada. Some members of Calgary’s city council along with the Premier of Alberta were in attendance at this important event. Thank you again to the organizers for inviting us to participate.
The Calgary Stampede Parade & Calgary Japanese Community’s (CJCA) Stampede Breaky
The Calgary Stampede was back in full swing this year which meant we were able to join in on the Stampede Parade adventure with our friends Yosakoi Soran YYC. This year, we managed to get our float set up with enough time to enjoy some pancakes at the breakfast that the Stampede hosts for participants in the parade. The very next morning, we were able to spend some time performing for our neighbours at the CJCA’s Stampede Breakfast. We always enjoy this show as it is an opportunity for us to connect with both our fellow members of the CJCA and members of the community in which we call our taiko-home.
Taiko Gathering in Calgary!
Calgary was host to an exciting Canada-wide Taiko Gathering in July. We were thrilled to help volunteer, plan and participate in this event alongside our taiko friends from across Canada. We were fortunate to have instructors from the US and Canada over the 3-day event. It was such a great opportunity to connect with new and old taiko friends, especially after the hiatus of in-person events during the pandemic. The final afternoon of the event included a trip to Canmore to enjoy the scenery of the rockies and a relaxing dinner to hang and chat after an action-packed weekend. A special thanks to Yamo no Oto, Kita no Taiko, Kaede Cultural Society, Taiko Community Alliance and all of the volunteers for your tireless work in making the event such a success!
It is not everyday that we get to perform at a wedding. It was an honour to be a part of such an intimate and important event on such a lovely August day in Calgary. Thank you again to the bride and groom for having us!
Side note: if you are thinking of something a little outside-of-the-box for entertainment at your wedding or private function, give us a shout!
It was so nice to be back in person for Calgary’s Japanese Festival. It was lovely to connect with CJCA members and volunteers and to perform for members of the public who enjoy Japanese culture as much as we do! It was an incredibly hot day, but we played hard and loved every second of it. This marked the first live performance of ‘Calgary Ondo’, alongside Yukichi Hattori. It was so nice to see folks trying out the dance in person for the first time.
We had some fun performing as a trio at Global Fest this year. We were able to bring out some repertoire that we don’t often play and connect as a small ensemble, which gives us the opportunity to consider different aspects to our playing and performance. The audience was very engaged and they powered us with their energy!
Taiko Family Fun
After enjoying our Taiko Family camping trip last year, we decided to make it an annual event. This year, we enjoyed a Labour Day long weekend camping in Kananaskis Country. It was a chill weekend where we enjoyed lounging in hammocks, making fun campfire treats and hiking in the area. It was another great opportunity to unwind and enjoy each other's company. We are already looking forward to our 2023 camping trip - wherever that might be!
Finally after 2 years, we were able to convene our public workshops again! It was so exciting to invite members of the public back to share our love of taiko with the community! We are now hosting our Taiko Hour’s again and managed to sneak in a Beginner Workshop Series before the year was out. We start in 2023 with our Intermediate Workshop Series in January. Keep your eyes on our social media and Eventbrite for upcoming workshops!
We had such a wonderful time teaching an introductory taiko workshop at the Calgary Buddhist Temple. We were so excited to be invited and had such a great time with the participants! Thank you again to Susan for the invitation!
We want to extend the Calgary community and surrounding area a huge THANK YOU for your continued support. We love sharing our passion for taiko with the community and would not be able to do so without you. Here’s to an intention-driven 2023 where we take a moment to pause in gratitude every now and again.
We’ve got some exciting projects in the works for 2023 and we can’t wait to see you there!
- Midnight Taiko Kai