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Current Exhibitions




Thinking about the weight of memory and the stories that are passed down from one generation to the next (and the stories that are lost as well) this exhibition presents a survey of series created by Emma Nishimura and focuses on the narratives surrounding the Japanese Canadian internment. Based in Toronto, Emma’s work ranges from traditional etchings, archival pigment prints, drawings, and audio pieces to art installations. 

Nishimura works with a diversity of media, including printmaking, photography, sculpture and installation. Her work addresses ideas of memory and loss that are rooted within family stories and inherited narratives. Emma received her BA from the University of Guelph, and her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including, the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON; the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; the International Print Center New York, NY; and the Taimiao Art Gallery, Beijing, China. Emma’s work is in a number of public and private collections, such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Library of Congress. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, and won awards from Open Studio, the International Print Center New York, Art in Print, and The Print Center. She is the recipient of the Queen Sonja Print Award 2018. Emma is an Assistant Professor and the Chair of Photography, Printmaking and Publications at OCAD University.


Displaced Japanese Canadians leaving the Vancouver area (possibly Slocan Valley) after being prohibited by law from entering a protected area” within 100 miles of the coast in BC. (l-r: woman holding book is Nobuko Morimoto; woman in dark cardigan is Tei Terashita; young woman leaning out of train is identified as Kazuyo Kawabata).  Image provided courtesy of NNMCC.


presented by ‘landscapes of injustice’

February 26 TO may 28, 2022 | GALLERY B

In 1942, as World War II raged on overseas, the Canadian government enacted the Defence of Canada Regulations to forcibly remove and relocate over 22,000 Japanese Canadians living on BC’s coast. At first told by government officials that their property and belongings would be kept safely, the displaced families soon found out this was not the case; properties were looted, and land was given away or sold. In 1949, when Japanese internment in Canada officially ended, tens of thousands of families were left with next to nothing.

Broken Promises examines this dark time in Canadian history through the stories of seven Japanese Canadians and explores life for Japanese Canadians in Canada before war, the administration of their lives during and after war ends, and how legacies of dispossession continue to this day.

Grounded in research from Landscapes of Injustice – a seven year, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project, this exhibit illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. Broken Promises is the product of a new, highly innovative way of learning and teaching a history of injustice that enables those with lived experiences to tell their own stories in a way that speaks to a broader, collective history. 

“Asian history and heritage, and Japanese Canadian history specifically, is important and relevant here in the Kootenays, as elsewhere, due to the pronounced but often unspoken impact of these cultures to communities that were built and informed by people who were ill-served, obscured, and devalued by settler cultures in myriad ways,” says Curator Arin Fay. “Japanese internment camps are one example of this, and the Broken Promises exhibition and educational offerings will help highlight and disseminate this history.