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|■Tokyo celebrates the naming of the
Oscar Peterson Theatre
Amidst the blur of delicate pink created by the surrounding cherry blossom trees which burst into full bloom just a day before, the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo celebrated the inauguration of the Oscar Peterson Theatre on March 30th, 2007.
|Oscar Peterson Theatre||From Left - Mr. Oliver Jones, Ms. Yasuko Agawa (jazz artist), Ms. Celine Peterson, Mr. Sadao Watanabe and Ambassador Joseph Caron. Cake courtesy of the Intercontinental Tokyo Bay Hotel|
Mr. Peterson has demonstrated the importance of the role played by culture in building and sustaining relationships between countries as culturally diverse as Canada and Japan. For these reasons, there is no other Canadian venue more suited to the Oscar Peterson name than the theatre in the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.
A distinguished audience including HIH Princess Takamado, Celine Peterson - Oscar Peterson's daughter, and the King of Japanese jazz, Sadao Watanabe, along with representatives from the music industry and media gathered in the theatre which has remained unnamed since the chancery opened in 1991. This theatre is one of the most utilized public spaces in the embassy and plays host to over 200 events per year.
The celebration, which is now being referred to by attending guests as one of the most memorable events hosted by the embassy, honoured a man who has toured Japan over 40 times during his impressive 65 year career.
Mr. Peterson has been honoured by the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace after being awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale award by the Japan Arts Association, which is a mark of the highest international distinction for achievement in the arts.
|Previously recorded message from Minister Peter Mackay||Previously recorded message from Mr. Oscar Peterson|
Videotaped messages by Oscar Peterson and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, a virtual performance by Oscar on the Yamaha Disklavier grand piano, a live tribute concert by Oscar's lifetime friend, Oliver Jones and his band mates, and a special guest appearance and impromptu performance by Sadao Watanabe were among the highlights of this special evening.
|Mr. Eric Lagace
(The Oliver Jones Trio)
|Mr. Oliver Jones||Mr. Jim Doxas
(The Oliver Jones Trio)
Multimedia enhancements were projected on a gigantic stage screen including a visual presentation which alternated seamlessly from a video montage of Oscar's life and career to the live performance by Oliver's Trio, highlighting Canadian excellence in technology which added yet another attractive dimension to the exciting concert.
A reception followed the performances on the lobby floor where an illuminated life-size ice sculpture of Oscar playing the piano was on display to welcome all the guests.
|Mr. Sadao Watanabe performing with The Oliver Jones Trio||From back left - Ms. Celine Peterson with HIH Princess Takamado and Ambassador Joseph Caron. In front - Sayaka Prefontaine and Justin Houlahan. Ice sculpture of Mr. Oscar Peterson courtesy of the Intercontinental Tokyo Bay Hotel|
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