Director - Producer - Writer - Editor - Narrator - Lecturer - Visual Artist
Since the early 1970's, Linda has worked as an exhibiting visual artist, educator, and independent filmmaker.
She was born and raised in the small community of Rainier, Alberta where her parents had a family potato farm. She is a third generation Canadian of Japanese ancestry (sansei) and active member of her cultural and arts communities, locally, nationally and internationally. Initially studying political science and history at university, intending a career in law, Linda changed her course and followed her other passion: the arts. She graduated with degrees in arts (fine arts) and education, and attended the University of Calgary (Alberta), Banff School of Fine Arts, Bishop's University (Quebec), Emily Carr College of Art, and University of British Columbia. After teaching in both public and private schools in Quebec and Ontario for several years, she moved to the West Coast and turned her attention to her visual art career, and subsequently her works on film, producing/directing several award-winning documentaries. Linda's films and paintings have been exhibited and shown across Canada, USA, Europe and Japan. Today, Linda resides in Vancouver, Canada and continues to produce films, write, paint, design gardens, enjoy her family and explore her deep connection to Japan.
She currently sits as a board member with Chibi Taiko Society, Vancouver and the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund in Ottawa, after recently sitting on the British Columbia Arts Council Board.
Linda has also served on assessment committees and juries for the Canada Council for the Arts and British Columbia Arts Council.
Some of her unique projects include:
JAPAN-CANADA CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE
Since her first trip to Japan in 1998, Ohama has been actively involved in promoting cultural exchange between Japan and Canada through various projects.
In 2003, she embarked on a major film tour of "Obaachan's Garden" in Japan, with 17 screening presentations organized by the hard work of many members of the Japan-Canada Society in Japan. This highly successful tour began with a screening at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, and continued through 15 cities from Hakodate, Hokkaido to Kagoshima, Kyuushu ---including a very special 'homecoming screening' in her grandma's hometown of Onomichi which was scheduled at the heart of the tour.
For several years now, Linda has also created a series of free workshops for youth in many Japanese cities and smaller towns. She shares Canadian culture and stories in a series of hands-on projects through art, food, storytelling and crafts with Japanese young people through these popular and fun workshops. Read more...
2011 -2013 VOLUNTEER SUPPORT AND SPECIAL PROJECTS
TO AID TOHOKU RECOVERY FROM 2011 TSUNAMI-EARTHQUAKE
Linda has joined volunteer groups and projects to help support the massive recovery program faced by Tohoku and Japan.
(Please see under homepage and current projects)
INDEPENDENT FILM DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION
Ohama is an established independent producer and director, successfully producing 7 film projects. She has completed the first draft script for the feature film, "Summerhouse Dreams"(Japan) and currently producing "Tohoku no Shingestu" stories from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima" (Onomichi and Tohoku Japan).
REDRESS FOR JAPANESE CANADIANS Linda helped to initiate substantial funds in support of the national campaign for the Redress Movement for Japanese Canadians with her artwork, "Watari Dori (A Bird of Passage)". For many Canadians, this signed limited edition of "Watari Dori" became a symbol of the historic Redress campaign, which eventually led to redress and a formal Government of Canada apologyin 1988. Read more...
REBUILDING A GRANDFATHER'S DREAM Ohama's maternal grandfather (Otokichi Murakami) immigrated to Canada from Japan in the early 1900's. He settled in Steveston, B.C. where he built wooden fish boats and fished for salmon until he was forced to leave his business behind and relocate his family in 1942.
One of Linda'a dreams was to find and restore a pre-war fishboat built by her grandfather. In the 1980's, traveling up and down the West Coast, Ohama was unsuccessful in her search for a vintage fish boat built by Otokichi Murakami. Subsequently, Linda purchased the next best thing: a registered, pre-war working wooden fish boat (the Kauka Lani) built in the 1930's by another Japanese issei boat builder. Read more...
REPLANTING A GRANDMOTHER'S GARDEN TO CELEBRATE A 100TH BIRTHDAY The years of working on the 'fish boat project' naturally led Ohama to the 'other side' to this story. Linda was awarded the Heritage Award by the CIty of RIchmond for this project.
In the late 1990's, Ohama became personally involved in the city of Richmond's reconstruction of her grandparent`s original home and grandfather's boatworks, now called the Murakami Centre. These buildings were part of a designated national historic site, the Britannia Heritage Shipyards, on the banks of the Fraser River in the town of Steveston. Read more...
100 SAKE CUPS AND A 100TH BIRTHDAY During the reconstruction of the Britannia heritage site, a bulldozer unearthed a piece of raw river clay from Asayo's former garden area. After recovering this clay and having testing it for toxins, Linda turned this `clay from her grandmother`s garden`into 100 hand made raku sake cups with the help of Vancouver potter, Mas Fumo. This special collection was marked with a small turtle on the bottom, signifying her grandmother's numerous connections to turtles. These 100 sake cups symbolized her grandmother's centennial year and were gifted and distributed to family members and special friends across Canada, the US, and Japan.
LOVE OF RURAL COMMUNITIES AND LIFESTYLE Growing up on a family farm on the prairies left Linda with a deep connection to this area of Canada and rural life. This connection is a theme behind many of her films. During the 1990's, Linda embarked on an extensive community to community tour with her first film, "The Last Harvest". She traveled through the rural areas of the Peace River, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. On the tour, she met with groups and farm families, spoke to media, classes and organizations to raise awareness for the decline and tragic loss of family farms in Canada. In 1993, Linda was a guest speaker at the National Farmers Union Convention along with American Ralph Nader consumer rights advocate and writer, Al Krebs. Read more...
Presentations and classes
Love for the prairies and family based agriculture
Canada-Japan 'sister school' program
Special classes for young people
Connection to Japan and Onomichi
More film location stills and cultural exchange photos at Photos section of the menu