Haruko Okano

Photo by Joyce Majiski

Photo by Joyce Majiski

Haruko Okano believes affordable housing for everyone, is a key component to a healthy community. “I am against ghettoizing according to what your income is or your abilities are. I think diversity is really important. We have a real diverse mix of incomes, age, culture, religious belief. We have it all.” She said in a Vancouver Sun article (May 2013) when speaking of her own co-op. She has worked tirelessly as an advocate for social housing representing both her housing co-op, and others in ongoing negotiations on provincial and federal levels.

Haruko is a multidisciplinary artist who has been an avid supporter of young artists; mentoring her juniors to reach their full potential by maximizing their skills and resources. She also helps emerging artists in finding the resources to acquire the missing skills that might hold them back from reaching their desired creative goals. Haruko has also been very involved in the creation and running of Britannia Gallery, providing a community gallery that acknowledges the importance of paying exhibiting artists while highlighting local creative endeavours.

Her own artwork currently reflects her concerns for the natural environment and our impact on the future of this planet. Collaboration is an earmark of her practice, whether that be in community developed art, working in tandem with other artists or in partnership with animals in their natural habitat.

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