Students from the 2017 sister city exchange between Salmon Arm and Inashiki, Japan stop at the Friendship Gate at McGuire Lake to have a photo taken. (Photo contributed)

Salmon Arm’s sister city exchange with Inashiki, Japan marks 29 years

Activities galore for students from Inashiki and their hosts including a favourite, river rafting

Nearly three decades have passed since students began travelling back and forth between Salmon Arm and its sister city, Inashiki, Japan.

Nineteen students and four adults from Inashiki are visiting Salmon Arm from today, Aug. 16, to Saturday, Aug. 24, says Pam Chudiak, vice-principal of A.L. Fortune in Enderby and one of the exchange organizers.

She says the students, who are being billeted, range from ages 12 to 18 and are in Grades seven to 12.

A fun-filled week is planned for them and their Canadian billet hosts.

On Monday morning, they’ll head to the Friendship Gate at McGuire Lake for photos, a gate that was built by carpenters from Japan 29 years ago.

From there they’re off to city hall to receive an official welcome.

Read more: 2011 – Students rally for Japan relief

Read more: 2011 – Japan’s plight touches Salmon Arm

Then it’s the Jackson campus of Salmon Arm Secondary where they’ll tour the school, followed by art activities.

“Some baking, things they don’t normally get to do in school like bake cookies and tie dye T-shirts,” Chudiak explains.

And that’s just Monday.

On Tuesday, she says they’re scheduled for Adams River rafting.

“They love that. Every year they request to go back there.”

Half the group will go down the river, while the other half will go to Quaaout Lodge and the driving range.

Then they’ll get fortified with a bannock taco buffet.

Wednesday’s destination will be Gardom Lake, where they can take part in all the activities provided like navigating the low and high rope course and giving archery a try.

On Thursday afternoon, a family barbecue, beach activities and boating, all at Canoe Beach, are planned.

As the week draws to a close, Friday will be a Sayonara Party at the SASCU Recreation Centre.

Saturday morning comes time for sad farewells as the Japanese students leave Salmon Arm and head to Banff for three nights.

Read more: Cities celebrate 25 years of sisterhood

Read more: Garden gift

“I figure in the 29 years, well over 1,000 students have gone back and forth… I think we’re very proud of our sister city exchange. We got honoured a few years back by the Japanese consulate-general for being one of three of the longest running in Canada.”

She says students from all over the district and in Grades eight to 12 are chosen to go, often those who are taking Japanese. They generally pay a fee of about $2,500. She will be taking 20 Salmon Arm students to Japan in March next year.

Asked about benefits, Chudiak points to better understanding of each other’s cultures. And then there are the friendships.

“Even though it’s a week, our Japanese students become part of our Salmon Arm families – and form long-lasting relationships. Our daughter went and she’s now 28 – she still communicates with her host.”

hr width=”75%”>


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

In Photos: CP Rail Holiday Train lights up Sicamous

The stop on the train’s Canada-wide journey came with a $5,500 donation to local food bank.

Update: Collision cleared on Highway 97B south of Salmon Arm

The crash took place at the highway’s intersection with Deep Creek Road.

Chances Gaming Centre evacuated due to ‘security issue’

Patrons were evacuated at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Salmon Arm pharmacies continue to experience flu vaccine shortage

One pharmacy has privately sourced vaccine in stock, available for purchase

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Column: Kid’s growing up fast on Old Town Road

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

RCMP officer volunteers as designated driver

Princeton’s two largest employers ensure safe rides for Christmas parties

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Kelowna RCMP officer suspended after allegedly sexting assault victim

RCMP confirm investigation but hold back details

Legendary primatologist coming to Okanagan

Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, will present in Vernon Tuesday, March 24

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

Most Read