The hot and humid season is now well upon us, so here’s hoping that this issue of the magazine finds you in a well air-conditioned space — and perhaps even considering some summer holidays.
Of course, one perfect way to beat the heat is with a refreshing beverage, and there were plenty on offer at the events that brought Hansen Distillery, Strathcona Spirits Distillery and Token Bitters to Tokyo. As our cover story on these Alberta-based artisanal producers explains, changes in the way that alcohol production is being regulated in the province is allowing craft spirits and bitters companies to thrive. They’re also getting the opportunity to develop a strong fan base in Japan, which they did at a cocktail competition held at the Embassy of Canada to Japan in Tokyo and at a booth at the Tokyo Bar Show a few months back.
Equally driven to succeed on these shores is Lesley McKenzie, who went from playing for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and in two Women’s Rugby World Cups to being chosen as the new head coach of the Japanese women’s rugby 15s team. In our interview with her we learned about how she communicates with her players and her hope to lead the “Sakura 15s” to success in 2021.
Another Canadian export finding its groove in Japan is the media production duo known as Twin Brains, from Québec. Not only are they attracting attention in Japan and other parts of Asia, but they’re also collaborating with members of the thriving creative industry in their home province.
For the parents among us, one of the greatest concerns that we have for our children is that their education will prepare them for careers in demand in the decades to come. As our look at STEAM education goes to show, international schools in the Tokyo area have taken these concerns to heart and are offering a broad array of pro-grams and activities that cross disciplines, develop skills and enrich young minds.
At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s Annual General Meeting, we learned that the Board of Governors is now 40 per cent female — an impressive achievement for an organization of its size. The three new governors are women, and they took the time to share with us what they bring to the chamber and what they plan to do in the year to come.
And there’s plenty more to find between the covers of this issue. All the best, and we look forward to seeing you once things have cooled off a bit.