Paul Fujimoto-Pihl (he/him) is the Director of Production and Operations at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, where he started as Technical Director in 2012. He recently served as Project Manager for their recent $9 Million renovation. Prior to the Grand, Paul was Technical Director at Tarragon Theatre and the Blyth Festival.
Paul is Chair of the Ontario Section of CITT/ICTS, is Director of PMArts, and serves on the PAC for the Theatre Arts – Technical Production program at Humber College and the PAC for the Technical Production for the Performing Arts Industry program at Sheridan College. Paul is passionate about provide learning opportunities for all levels of professionals working in production, and is a champion of the apprenticeship programs at the Grand.
My Bachan (grandmother) taught classical Japanese dance in a studio in my grandparents basement, which was a tradition handed down to her by her father. I remember every year travelling to the JCCC in Toronto for the recital, which was one of the infrequent times I was surrounded by Japanese culture and people growing up. My Jichan (grandfather) taught classical western ballroom dancing, and was a avid amateur Karaoke singer (so much so that he would bring his own microphone).
When I was in school, I was taught that the US was considered a Cultural Melting Pot, and Canada was a Cultural Mosaic, and I belived it and was proud to live in a country that celebrated our difference, and made space for everyone’s culture to be practiced. Now, I realize that we’ve lost a lot between my parents generation and ours, and even more between ours and our children’s.
What I’m left with is to carry on my grandparents performing arts legacy by supporting other Asian-Canadians in our industry however I can, to encourage students and emerging professionals to choose this as a career, to support the production and presentation of traditional and contemporary Asian shows, and look for opportunities to sing Karaoke.