Historic Joy Kogawa House is situated in the former home of the Canadian author Joy Kogawa (born 1935), where she lived until age six. It stands as a cultural and historical reminder of the expropriation of property that all Canadians of Japanese descent experienced after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Between 2003 and 2006, a grassroots committee fundraised in a well-publicized national campaign and, with the help of The Land Conservancy of BC, a non-profit land trust, managed to purchase the house in 2006.

Together with Joy Kogawa, the various groups decided that the wisest and best use of the property would be to establish it as a place where writers could live and work. Following the models of the writer-in-residence programs in place at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, and Roderick Haig-Brown House in Campbell River, BC, among other writer-in-residence programs housed in the former homes of celebrated Canadian authors, the Historic Joy Kogawa House writer-in-residence program would bring well-regarded professional writers in touch with a local community of writers, readers, editors, publishers, booksellers, and librarians. While in residence, the writer would work to enrich the literary community around him or her and foster an appreciation for Canadian writing through programs that involve students, other established and emerging writers, and members of the general public.

Our Writer-in-Residence Program

In the spring of 2009, we launched our writer-in-residence program with the Montreal poet John Asfour. In the spring of 2010, the stellar Nancy Lee was in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House, where she hosted a number of events in the Writing for Social Change reading series, while working on a new novel, Born Slippy, and while assisting other writers with their work. We are most grateful to these writers for the community they have built around our writer-in-residence program at Historic Joy Kogawa House. Find out more about our author residency and about other author residencies available in Canada.

Mandate and Objectives of the Organization

The purposes of the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society are as follows:

    1. To operate and preserve the former Joy Kogawa family home at 1450 West 64th Avenue in Vancouver as a heritage and cultural centre and as a site of healing and reconciliation.
    2. To establish in the former Joy Kogawa family home a centre for writers in which they can reflect on issues of conscience and reconciliation and write about their own personal experiences or the experiences of others, past or present.
    3. To promote and negotiate the raising of funds for the pursuit of the Society’s purposes.
    4. To encourage in the former Joy Kogawa family home educational programming along themes of social justice and social history, and to provide docent services for such programming.
    5. To advocate on behalf of the continuing operation of the house in the public interest consistent with the above purposes.

Our Location

Historic Joy Kogawa House is located at 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6P 2N4
(in the Marpole neighbourhood, two blocks east of Granville Street, between Hudson and Cartier streets)

This site was created by Todd Wong,  Ann-Marie Metten, Anton Wagner, and Roland Tanglao to provide an easy-to-update site for the campaign to save Joy Kogawa's house from demolition.

After a brief but dramatic fundraising campaign, the house was purchased by The Land Conservancy of BC in 2006.

Funds are now needed to restore the modest bungalow to its appearance in 1942 when Joy lived there as a child and to continue our writer-in-residence program.