Dr. David Suzuki - Winner of the 2011 Sakura Award

TORONTO, March 21, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Award-winning scientist; broadcaster; one of the world's greatest environmentalists, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, Dr. David Suzuki, is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Sakura Award, presented by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC), at the annual Sakura Ball gala to take place on April 9, 2011.

Dr. David Suzuki is honoured for his contributions to the promotion of Japanese and Japanese Canadian culture and heritage. Dr. Suzuki is renowned for his radio and television programs that explain the complexities of the natural sciences in a compelling, easily understood way.

Awarded once a year by the JCCC, the Sakura Award recognizes exceptional contributions made by individuals to the promotion and exchange of Japanese culture and enhancing awareness of Nikkei heritage within Canada and abroad.

The first recipient of the Sakura Award was the Right Honourable Martin Brian Mulroney, the eighteenth Prime Minister of Canada, recognized for his participation in the Japanese Canadian Redress settlement on September 22, 1988. In 2010, Japanese Canadian architect, Raymond Moriyama received the award. His stories of being interned during the Second World War because of his Japanese heritage and his rise to become one of Canada's most respected architects continue to inspire the community.

"This year we are very excited to recognize Dr. David Suzuki with the Sakura Award. Dr. Suzuki is a figure who inspires great pride among not only the Japanese Canadian community but all Canadians." says James Heron, Executive Director of the JCCC.

The Sakura Award will be presented at the Third Annual Sakura Ball, an elegant and social evening which will be held on April 9th 2011 at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Bringing together the best of Canadian and Japanese entertainment, cuisine, culture, and style, the Sakura Ball the largest annual fundraising event the Japanese Canadian community. Stephen Page formally of The Bare Naked Ladies will entertain guests with the keynote speaker Dr. David Suzuki. Last year, the sold-out event set a new record for the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre's Legacy Campaign, which supports ongoing cultural and heritage programming, exhibits, events and capital projects.

About the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre:

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is a not-for-profit organization which offers programs, services and a gathering place to celebrate Japanese and Japanese Canadian culture.

The mission of Friendship through Culture creates a lasting tribute to the unique history and contributions of past generations; to bridge the generations as the means for the continuing evolution of the community and demonstrating the importance of tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity for the benefit of all Canadians.

Serving the community since 1964, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre's 114,000 sq. ft. facility is now one of the largest and most vibrant Japanese cultural centre's in the world.