On January 17, 2015, JETAA Q/A held its Annual General Meeting to review the events held in 2014-2015 and elect a new executive committee for the 2015-2016 term. The event was held at Sa-Fran, a bistro in Montreal that serves both Japanese and French cuisine. Anne Takata and Mark Rostrup were thanked for their excellent work on the Executive Committee, and Ravi Jilwah was added to the team as photographer.
President: Moti Lieberman
Vice-President: Mathieu Ménard (January-October) and Adèle-Elise Prévost (October-January)
Treasurer: Nha-Thy Vo
Membership Coordinator: Nha-Thy Vo
Event Coordinator: Adèle-Elise Prévost (January-October)
Social Media Coordinator: Sally Harada
Photographer: Ravi Jilwah
Webmaster: Mathieu Ménard (October-January)
In order to enhance morale of 2014 JET participants and encourage participation in JET Desk quarterly surveys, we sent care packages to JETs who provided their Japanese address along with their survey responses. This year, there were nine recipients, and package contents included stickers, candy, sauce packets, and postcards.
As a big Thank You from JETAA Q/A, we organized a Volunteer Appreciation event on February 7. We invited volunteers to a game night at Randolph pub. Japan-themed board games, such as Tôkaidô, were the focus of the evening.
As one of our mandates is to support the Consulate General of Japan in the promotion, recruitment, and training for the JET Programme, as per every year, JET Alumni assisted the JET Desk with the interview process.
Three hardy JET Alumni volunteers braved the cold and snow to host an origami workshop at the Municipality of Saint-Valentin, near Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, for Japan Day!
TRANSITION & ORIENTATION
Meetings with the new Executive committee, including returning and new members, began. The initial focus was on developing new events and putting a fresh twist on existing events in order to keep things interesting for Alumni and to explore the wide variety of interests within the chapter.
For the first Book Club of 2015, JET Alumni met at the Westmount Public Library to discuss “The Guest Cat” by Takashi Hiraide, under the guidance of Book Club host, Moti Lieberman.
In a service exclusive to the Quebec-Atlantic jurisdiction, JET Alumni Shauna Callender, in collaboration with the JET Desk, provided 2015 JET Programme short-listed Participants with a valuable post-interview feedback session to help them highlight their strengths and find their focus for the Pre-Departure training sessions ahead.
IZAKAYA NIGHT @ KABOCHA
On May 6, JET Alumni and friends met at recently-opened Kabocha Izakaya to enjoy pumpkin-y goodness and a variety of tasty dishes and beverages.
The first Japanese class of the spring semester for JET Alumni and 2015 JET Programme Participants and Hopefuls was held on May 9 at ALI; weekly classes were held until June 18. This year, some Alumni attended the Beginner-Intermediate course along with New JETs as tutors.
After the first Japanese class, JET Alumni and JET Participants and Hopefuls met at the Faubourg Sainte-Catherine to hold an Indoor “Hanami” (due to impending thunderstorms and heavy rain). Plastic flowers and flower-print tablecloths added a whimsical touch to the event, and the JETAA-provided meal (including sandwiches, Japanese-inspired sweets, drinks, and snacks) helped create a friendly atmosphere to let Participants and Hopefuls interact with Alumni.
From miso soup and onigiri to kinpira gobo and curry rice, and to the delight of JET Participants and Hopefuls, JETAA Q/A covered several easy, comforting classics of Japanese cooking, through the guidance of cooking workshop veterans Mark Rostrup and Sally Harada.
The Canada Conference, also known as “CanCon,” was hosted this year by Ottawa. Delegates of our chapter were Sally Harada and Adèle-Elise Prévost. This year’s theme focused on the upcoming 30th anniversary of the JET Programme and the JET Homecoming initiative, improved visibility for JETAA chapters, greater inter-chapter communication and support of communities in Canada and in Japan.
In the crown jewel of the annual Montreal Pre-Departure Activity Calendar, two dozen JET Participants (including some Hopefuls) joined JET Alumni, Consulate staff, and special cultural guests at McGill’s Thomson House for a packed weekend of workshops and activities, designed to ease their transition to life in Japan. Various topics were covered by our team of genki JET Alumni volunteers, and numerous themed presentations allowed Participants and Hopefuls to interact productively with Alumni. Ms. Kayo Yasuhara of Komachi Montréal led attendees in a soh-odori dance, and a variety of delicious bento lunches was provided by KM Kitchen. Saturday night saw a fun and relaxing Senpai-Kouhai Karaoke event at Karaoke Pang Pang, an enjoyable break from the formality of the Weekend Orientation! A big WOtsukaresama deshita to all volunteers for their hard work!
After their last Japanese class of the semester, attending JET Alumni, Participants and Hopefuls, as well as some special guests, celebrated at Montreal izakaya Imadake. Otsukaresama and Kanpai!
On July 4 and 5, the Atlantic version of WO was held in Halifax, where Atlantic JETs were able to benefit from Pre-Departure training. A great Atlantic JET Alumni turnout meant more advice and sharing of experiences with Atlantic JET Participants. In addition to several workshops and themed presentations, attendees enjoyed a field trip to the Ikebana Shop to discover the many nuances of Japanese tea.
For the second Book Club of 2015, JET Alumni met at Juliette et Chocolat to enjoy chocolate treats on the terrasse and discuss “The Gossamer Years”, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
On July 11 and 12, JETAA Q/A and the JET Desk launched the first complete, two-day edition of Off-WO, with workshops focusing on classroom management, working well with JTEs, in-depth lesson planning, and cultural representation, in order to help Participants (and Hopefuls) prepare a meaningful and fun self-introduction lesson.
During the 2015 edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival, JETAA Q/A provided subsidized tickets and VIP seating to members and their friends for a few Japanese movies, including opening night’s Miss Hokusai, directed by Keiichi Hara.
On July 31, 2015, Quebec and Atlantic JET Programme Participants attended Pre-Departure Orientation in Montreal to get ready for Departure, with final advice and preparations provided by JETAA Q/A and the JET Desk.
On the afternoon of Friday, July 31, recently appointed Consul General Hideaki Kuramitsu welcomed 2015 Quebec and Atlantic JET Programme Participants, JETAlumni, and representatives of the local Japanese community to his residence for the 2015 JET Programme Farewell Reception.
INFORMAL DINNER (Let’s Poulet)
On the evening before Departure, a casual, unofficial group dinner welcomed JET Participants who wanted to enjoy a last group outing in Montreal before leaving for Japan, including recently arrived Atlantic JETs! Alumni and Participants gathered at the Resto-Bar St-Hubert at the heart of the Quartier des spectacles for a good old-fashioned time around some roast chicken. Let’s poulet!
For the first time this year, JETAA Q/A was present at Otakuthon 2015, hosting a booth in collaboration with the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal, to promote Japanese culture and the JET Programme.
On Saturday, August 15, JETAA Q/A hosted a booth at Matsuri Japon to promote Japanese culture and the JET Programme. A big thank you to everyone who stopped by, and otsukaresama to all the Alumni volunteers for their smiles and endurance!
On the evening of Friday, September 11, 2015, JET Alumni, plus-ones and friends gathered at Kabocha Izakaya to celebrate the completion of the 2015 cycle of the JET Programme (and the upcoming 30th year) over drinks and excellent food.
On September 18, 2015, JETAA Q/A welcomed back recent JET Returnees with an evening event at K Karaoke. From natsukashii songs to classic Frozen themes, we had several memorable performances!
JET PROGRAMME PROMOTION SUPPORT
From September to November 2015, JET Alumni supported the JET Desk during the JET Programme promotion period. In addition to being present at various information sessions in universities across Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, some alumni also provided a helping hand during career fairs attended by the JET Desk (such as Go Global in Montreal). Taihen otsukaresama deshita!
On October 3, 2015, JETAA Q/A organized an excursion to Oka National Park, with a quick stop at the Oka Abbey Boutique to pick up lunch boxes and shop for local goods and tasty cheese. While the leaves had not turned yet, we had perfect weather for hiking and exploration.
On a rainy October day, JET Alumni met to discuss Ryu Murakami’s “Popular Hits of the Showa Era” and explored this divisive work under the guidance of Moti Lieberman.
On the afternoon of November 22, 2015, JET Alumni and friends took part in a friendly matcha-themed Bake-Off at moitie-moitie. With matcha tiramisu, matcha mousse, matcha blondie and matcha poundcake on the menu, the winner was… everyone’s sweet tooth!