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. We are grateful for Covid resiliency funding from the BC Arts Council and Vancouver Foundation.

Logo and acknowledgement - Arts Council, Vancouver Foundation

“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

Epic Family Day Scavenger Hunt
Event Extended:

Help Joy Kogawa find lost objects in a free interactive digital tour of her childhood home. Answer riddles and solve a word search or colour a floorplan for clues to the object location, then bring your completed BC Family Day scavenger hunt for a prize on your next in-person visit!

The scavenger hunt is available until the end of March for families who cannot make it to the scheduled Zoom event or who wish to go through the activity again and share it with friends.

Download riddle and word search clues. (Ages 8+)

Download colouring sheet with more clues.  (Ages 5+)

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 the development of Core Competencies that are central to British Columbia’s K-12 curricular content and assessment system. For further information regarding curriculum connections, please visit the “Resources” section.

A field trip to Historic Joy Kogawa House may 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 life and works
  • viewing of photos and artifacts
  • a related 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 the 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.

Lindsey Pagnucco

Board Member

Lindsey is a retired children’s / teen services librarian with Vancouver Public Library who also was involved with fundraising and marketing for VPL.

Born and raised in the Marpole-Oakridge area, she not only very interested in Vancouver history but committed to addressing historic wrongs.

She is a long-distance runner so has staying power!

Patricia Stapleton

Board Member

Patricia is a retired elementary school teacher with an interest in Japanese Canadian history, having learned about the contributions of Japanese Canadians while teaching at Manoah Steves Elementary in Richmond.

She grew up in the countryside and loves to be outdoors, now running four times each week.

She also loves to be organized and has taught in Ireland, Ontario, Saudi Arabia, and BC.

Doreen Russell

Board Member

Doreen Russell brings 27 years of experience as an administrator in the workers’ compensation field. From 1989 to 2003 she worked for the Workers’ Compensation Board (WorkSafeBC) in a number of departments.

She remains active with communications and education committees and works with another NPO in a restricted capacity, building a workers’ compensation library (at minimal cost) to workers, advocates, and education purposes.


FAQ About Tours 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. Individual and small group tours of 5 people or less are by donation.

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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