Delegation to Nelson’s Japanese sister city planned

The Izu-shi Friendship Society is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017

The stone lantern in the Friendship Garden at Cottonwood Falls Park was a gift from the city of Izu-shi

The Izu-Shi Friendship Society plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year by taking a delegation to Nelson’s sister city, Izu-shi, Japan, and bringing an Izu-shi delegation here.

These trips are intended to reignite the friendship society and revitalize the sister-city relationship, the group’s John Armstrong told city council on September 18.

The group was formed when Nelson began its sister-city relationship with Izu-shi (then known as Shuzenji) in 1987. Both cities built a park in each other’s honour: Cottonwood Falls Park in Nelson and a Nelson park in Izushi that features a miniature orange bridge. The friendship society maintains the park under the leadership of Jim Sawada, with the help of the city’s public works department.

Armstrong outlined some events the society has organized in the past year in its attempt to rekindle public interest:

Traditional cherry blossom viewing, or ohanami, at the Friendship Garden in Cottonwood Falls Park in the spring.

A booth at Canada Day with children’s activities including origami and other cultural activities, and information for adults that drew a lot of interest from adults with various connections to Japan.

A mid-August obon picnic, which is a traditional time when people return to home towns and honour their ancestors, with songs and obon dance at Lakeside Park.

A moon viewing a Japanese seasonal celebration that invites people to write haiku at the September 16 full moon at the dock at the foot of Hall St.

Jim Sawada, the originator and long-time caretaker of the Friendship Garden at work in the spring of 2016. Bill Metcalfe photo.

The group’s next event will be an afternoon gathering in the Friendship Garden sometime in October to view the autumn leaves.

For many years the cities hosted annual student exchanges, but in recent years with increasing travel expenses and with the earthquake in Japan in 2011, those exchanges stopped.

Related stories:

Nelson thanks Jim Sawada for creating ‘a jewel in our city’

Izushi Society winding down, Cottonwood Fall Park in question

The society wants to take a multi-generational multi-sector delegation to Isushi in 2017.

“And we would like to work with the city to host members of a return delegation to Nelson next year during the summer,” Armstrong said.

For both trips, and for similar trips in the future, the group would like to involve community groups from both cities, he said.

“For example, Izu-shi is famous for its cycling. It has a popular biking park and velodrome and mountain biking trails. Because of this reputation for cycling, Izu-shi will host some of the events for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, so we would like to invite representatives of our cycling communities to join us in going to Japan to explore the mountain biking trails and cycling routes, and introduce our local trails to them on a return visit.”

Armstrong said Isu-shi is also known for agricultural products such as wasabi and mushrooms “and we would like to encourage connections with local food growers and market gardeners as well as food and beverage producers.”

He said that retired people are a significant part of Japan’s population and he sees the possibility for exchanges with Nelson seniors. And he said there are connections to be made at hiking trails and hot springs, and in the arts.

“I wonder about the streaming of local dance performances,” Armstrong said.

He also held out the possibility of re-starting student exchanges.

Armstrong said the friendship society would not be the main organizers of these initiatives but would like to help to facilitate them, in partnership with other groups.

 

Just Posted

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Inclusive Employer Award goes to local landscaper

Chris Holt hires people with special needs to do garden maintenance

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Most Read