Skip to main content

From left: Artist Kurumi Wakaki, artist Tomoko Aso, artist Akiko Takeuchi, Japan Ambassador's wife: Kaoru Ishikane, Japan Ambassador: Kimihiro Ishikane, artist Tsubomi Yonekura , artist Mami Yonekura and Tony Girardin.

Handout

The donor: Tony Girardin

The gift: Founding the Go-Somewhere! Japanese Art Tour

The reason: To promote Japanese art in Canada

Story continues below advertisement

A few years ago, Tony Girardin was on a world tour promoting his documentary about a Montreal bicycle maker, Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame, when he made a stop at a film festival in Nasu, Japan.

Mr. Girardin, who was born and raised in Montreal, had never been to Japan and was mesmerized. “I’ve never lived such a special experience in my life,” he recalled from his home in Montreal. “It was just beyond words.”

The film festival was held in association with a local art gallery, and Mr. Girardin got to know some of the artists. Over time the connections strengthened, and after a couple more trips to Japan he invited five artists to visit Canada to show their work.

The event, the Go-Somewhere! Japanese Art Tour, has been under way for most of the summer, with stops in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Tadoussac, Que., Wakefield, Que., and Almonte, Ont. The artists are painters Tomoko Aso and Akiko Takeuchi, along with print maker Kurumi Wakaki, folk artist Mami Yonekura and silversmith Tsubomi Yonekura. None of them had been to Canada before or shown their work outside Asia.

Mr. Girardin received some financial support from the Japanese embassy, but he has covered most of the expenses. “It’s been a good year for me and I’m footing the bill,” he said, adding that the artists have been working in a Montreal studio between exhibits.

He said the tour is winding down this week and has been a big success. “When you are told that these people are happier than they have ever been in their lives, it’s totally worth it,” he said.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the film festival was in Toyko when it was in Nasu Japan.
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter