COVID-19 Safety Plan: While the heritage house is temporarily closed to visitors, writers-in-residence continue to live and work at the house and offer writing workshops and other programs online. Experience the house from home or take a virtual tour. Outdoor guided tours will resume in February 2021.

“It’s not like anything I’ve done before. It almost changed every single way I think about every single thing. I think saving Kogawa House is a great way of learning about history. We learned about how people were discriminated against and how we should think more about other people’s feeling.”

― Carol, Elementary School Student

Tours of the Historic Joy Kogawa House

Come and tour a site of national significance.

Historic Joy Kogawa House is one of the few remaining properties in Vancouver that has been traced back to ownership by a Japanese Canadian family, confiscated by the Canadian government and sold without the owner’s permission. It is also a site of many memories for Joy Kogawa and her family.

We run tours of Historic Joy Kogawa House year-round for elementary school groups, secondary school groups and the general public. A Historic Joy Kogawa House field trip supports Grade 5 or Grade 11 BC Social Studies curricula and can be adapted to meet other learning requirements and levels.

All tours include:

  • history and information about the house
  • an interactive video about the Kogawa family, their life at the house, their evacuation to Slocan, and subsequent years
  • tour of the house with references to relevant parts of Joy Kogawa’s works
  • viewing of photos and artefacts.

School tours may also include a postcard writing activity, a visit to Joy Kogawa’s cherry tree.

Proceeds from tours help to fund our residencies program.


Request a Tour of the Historic Joy Kogawa House

You can request a tour of Historic Joy Kogawa House up to six months in advance. No upfront payment required. 


Meet your tour leaders

Most tours are led by two board members of Historic Joy Kogawa House Society.

Joan Shigeko Young

Chair, Education Committee & Board Member

Joan has been a Historic Joy Kogawa House Society board member since our inception in 2006. A retired elementary school teacher, she spent most of her career teaching in Richmond, BC. Joan’s involvement with the house stemmed from her own experience teaching Joy Kogawa’s books to her Grade 3 and 4 students, as well as her mother’s experience of living in an internment camp during the Second World War.

Cyndy Reimer

Education Committee Member

Cyndy lived in the house as a caretaker in 2008 and is also a former board member. As a member of our Education Committee, she has helped to develop our tours. Cyndy is an English as a Second Language instructor at Douglas College and enjoys extending her love of education to leading tours of the house for groups of all ages.


FAQ About Residencies at Joy Kogawa House

Do you have a question not listed here? Please get in contact.

How many people can join a tour?
Each tour group must have between 5 and 30 members. Tours are available for individuals and small groups for a donation. Donations help with on-going maintenance of the house and support our writer’s programs.
How accessible is the house?
Please visit this link to learn about the accessibility of the house.
In what language are tours available?
For now, all tours are in English. (This may change in the future.)
How much do tours cost?
School Tours and Group Tours are charged per person. Our current rate is just $4 per person. For school groups, all accompanying supervisors can tour for free.
What's the duration of each tour?
Each tour runs from 30-60 minutes, depending on the requirements of your group and the questions that you might ask.
When do tours run?
Please check the calendar on our tour request form for our availability over the next six months.

Please note that we generally don’t give tours on weekends or statutory holidays. However, we sometimes consider special requests. To enquire about this, please get in contact.

Discover More About Historic Joy Kogawa House

Don’t forget to check out our Image Galleries of the house, Joy Kogawa’s childhood photos and Naomi’s Tree cloth book created by a Japanese craft group called Nuno Ehon.

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