If you want to catch a show, take a workshop, or add taiko to your event, contact us!

About Us

Moving to the beat of our own drums

The members of Kita no Taiko came from a variety of backgrounds, but we all have something in common….a love for our art!

Who we are




















The Drums

Kita No Taiko was formed in 1986. Six people began with a passion to play Japanese Drums (Taiko) but had no drums, no costumes and only two very short songs. Initially, practice consisted of playing on spare tires and were based on self-discovered techniques for playing.

Frustrated with playing tires, the group dedicated 6 months to building a few crude drums using a feta cheese barrel, a wine barrel and plastic sewer pipe. We were pleased with having the beginnings of a real Japanese drum troupe. As well, we constructed drum stands and costumes, and added a few more pieces to our repertoire. Our goal was to debut at Heritage Festival, an annual event in Edmonton.

We were very nervous the day of our first performance, and were surprised that we were so well received. From there, our performances increased and spread to other cities. We have been honoured to play at festivals in Edmonton like the Fringe, K-Days, Heritage Festival and First Night, and at venues like the Jubilee, Winspear and Citadel theatres. We have done collaborative performances with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Citie Ballet, Shumka Ukranian Dance, Firefly Theatre and many others. In 1998 we participated in an international award winning film project by Mieko Ouchi called “By This Parting.” We have been thankful to have the opportunity to travel to Japan twice as a group and study with masters there, and to attend conferences such as the North American Taiko Conference where we learn from a range of teachers from around the world.


We had no idea what the results of our efforts would be when we started back in 1986. Today we are as excited about what has happened so far as we are for the future of Kita No Taiko.


About Us
Kita no Taiko is a non-profit, volunteer based Japanese Drumming group located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We give performances, workshops and classes throughout the year. Our performing members come from different musical and cultural backgrounds. We are associated with the Edmonton Japanese Community Association. Founded in 1986, we are the original taiko group in Alberta, and one of the oldest in Canada. We have helped groups get started across the Prairie Provinces, and enjoy a long history of performing locally for communities.


Our Mission
Kita no Taiko is always learning and growing. Taiko is such a wonderfully diverse and adaptable artform that we constantly have new things to absorb and new ground to break. Our goal is to continue to improve and challenge ourselves within our art. We also strive to share taiko with our community, through performances, workshops and classes. Taiko encompasses music, discipline, athleticism, movement, and Japanese culture. These are things Kita no Taiko values and wishes to share with others.


Our Philosophy
Taiko is a very special artform in that it connects so many aspects that can better a person, and provide challenge and satisfaction to them. Some people enjoy learning the music and the songs, some people enjoy the exercise they get, and some are strengthened by the community and the friends they make. Taiko is good for the mind, the body, and the soul. Kita no Taiko members strive to improve their drumming, their performance, and their relationship to the art. Even though we are individuals with separate challenges, we operate as a group and are there to support one another. Together we become a living, changing entity that celebrates a culture of taiko.


Our Performances
We have performed at a whole spectrum of events over our history! Memorable locations include playing in a movie theatre, in a parade, at weddings, and on TV. We are proud to have collaborated with other companies such as Shumka Ukranian Dance Company, Citie Ballet, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Noble House Kenjutsu, the Edmonton Police Pipe Band and others. Annually you can find us at the Kurimoto Spring Festival in June, and at the Heritage Festival in August.


Our Community
Kita no Taiko thrives because our community supports us. We practice in the Edmonton Japanese Community Association’s hall and are pleased to have an ongoing partnership with them. We also have contacts within the larger global Taiko Community, which is growing everyday! And, of course, Kita No Taiko is very appreciative of the support and friendship of the vibrant Arts community in Edmonton.


Our Future
Our group has been around for nearly 30 years, since 1986. That is no small feat! Our longevity is largely due to our drummers’ cooperation, dedication, and hard work, and the support from our friends and family. Over the years, Kita no Taiko has produced many exciting projects, performances, and collaborations. The future holds limitless opportunities for us to further pursue and extend our art through performances, teaching, and volunteering. We very much look forward to what our future holds.

Thinking about joining taiko?

Every Kita no Taiko member started out just like you…liking what they see and wanting to try it out! All potential Kita no Taiko members must complete three levels of workshops, and then apprentice for a year. You can also take workshops without the intention of joining the group, they’re great to try out for fun!
To sign up for a workshop, email us at info@kitanotaiko.ca to join our mailing list. You will then be informed when the next workshop is coming up.
Arigatou Gozaimashita

February 2017
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