The City of Nelson is bringing a new sister city into the family. Sandpoint, Idaho is our third sibling, along with Kaoma, Zambia adopted last year and the 25-year bond we’ve shared with Izushi, Japan.
Sister cities open the door to increased social ties. Nelson regularly welcomes young visitors from Izushi, who come here on school trips to practise their English and experience a different way of life. (Our middle school students used to take part in the exchange before the tsunami in Japan put the program on hold.)
Making the three-hour drive across the border to visit Sandpoint may not be as thrilling as an overseas flight to a country with a completely different language and culture — but it is something that the average Nelsonite is far more likely to have an opportunity to do.
Pass holders at Whitewater Ski Resort already get discounts at the mountain in Sandpoint and there’s opportunities for other local businesses to form similar partnerships. Live performance venues in both communities could team up to offer more stops for touring acts coming through the area or our galleries could exhibit artists from each other’s communities.
There’s already talk of a hiking or cross-country ski trail to connect our two cities and events to unite people from both places. Our Rotary Clubs already share the WaCanId bike ride along the International Selkirk Loop east September.
We’re looking forward to the new relationships that will grow as we get to know our new sibling to the South. We expect we’ll be seeing a lot of each other.