Last spring, Soy Sauce Nation, a community catalyzed by Nirvana Ortanez and Andrew “AK” Kelly, brought together API snowboarders from all over the world at Mt. Hood for a multi-day boarding gathering. April 6-7, 2022, Nirvana, AK, and Max Tokunaga are building on the first event with the inaugural SSN Stir-Fry at Woodward Tahoe at Boreal. We checked in with Nirvana to hear a little about what to expect at the Stir-Fry.
Can you share some insight into what the Stir-Fry is as the second-year evolution of Soy Sauce Nation’s community gathering/event?
As we continue to evolve and to move forward in this space, our top priority is putting the community first. Having the event at an easily accessible venue was top of mind and partnering with Woodward Boreal has been the perfect fit.
This event was created to showcase people in the community that are historically underrepresented, whether it be as riders, photographers, professionals within the industry, families that partake in snowsports, and would otherwise not have the opportunity. Stir Fry also goes beyond API [Asian and Pacific Islanders]—we like to think of it as a mix of people coming together.
Last year, the event had an incredible turnout, bringing together the API community from all over the world. What are you excited about going into this year’s event, in terms of building on the first year?
Yes! We were so incredibly impressed with the turnout and what people did to make things happen. We call it the API or the Asian/Pacific Islander community since we had attendees from other countries there and we don’t want to alienate our fellow friends from Canada, Japan, Norway, etc. In addition to that sentiment we also invited people from the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community. We believe the more, the merrier. We are not trying to have an event that is exclusive to one minority; being able to create a safe space to celebrate heritage, cultures, and differences is at the forefront of the event ethos. In light of this we have added one additional Community Day to our event where all are welcome. We believe that anyone can snowboard and that snowboarding is for everyone.
Is there anything else in the works that will be happening at Stir-Fry that you can share?
100% Right now we have a couple of off hill activities planned. There will be a Woodward Bunker session presented by Burton as well as après at one of the local food venues for mingling and movie time. Also, for Community Day we are having a good ol’ fashioned parking lot hang where Kikkoman USA and local vendors will be around to chat, bond over shared experiences and stories, make new friends, and grow the community.
Who created the flyer? It is awesome.
Artwork by Clare Cho aka @godzillawearingpants.
Lastly, Kikkoman is a presenting sponsor! This is less a question and just the fact that that is awesome. 🙂
Dreams DO come true.