Town welcomes student delegation from Shikaoi, Japan
A contingent of students and chaperones from Shikaoi, Japan will experience Canadian and Stony Plain culture for 10 days, as part of the two communities’ international twinning program.
“On behalf of my colleagues on Council and the people of Stony Plain, we extend a warm welcome to our Japanese guests,” says William Choy, mayor of Stony Plain. “The genuine bond between our two communities is worth celebrating, and I am thrilled that we can spend time showcasing our community to representatives from our sister town.”
Sixty-five Grade 10 students from Shikaoi, chaperoned by a contingent of nine adults, arrived in Stony Plain on Friday, Oct. 5 and will return home on Monday, Oct. 15. Members of the delegation will stay with local host families, and students will attend designated classes at Stony Plain Memorial Composite High School.
The group’s 10-day visit will kick off with a Welcome Party, at which time they will meet their local host families. The students will participate in several pre-planned activities, including an overnight trip to Jasper, Alta., and informal or unstructured activities with their host families.
The students will also share aspects of traditional Japanese culture through cultural demonstrations three times: for local high school students; for local residents at a public performance at the Stony Plain Community Centre at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10; and for the students’ host families – as part of a formal banquet for the delegation and their host families.
Stony Plain and Shikaoi have been sister towns since 1985. Throughout the past 27 years, more than 1,500 residents from both towns have traveled to each others’ communities. These visits have strengthened the camaraderie between Stony Plain and Shikaoi, nurturing the friendships that have blossomed throughout the past more-than-quarter-decade. The two communities share much in common: both are proud of their strong agricultural roots; both celebrate their culture and heritage through annual festivals and events; and both cherish their past while embracing their future. A local adult delegation traveled to Shikaoi in May; a seven-member youth delegation embarked on a two-week trip in July.
About the Town of Shikaoi
Shikaoi is a located on the island of Hokkaido in the Kato District of Japan. In 2008, the Town had an estimated population of 5,723 (Source: Town of Shikaoi).
About the Stony Plain-Shikaoi Twinning Program
Stony Plain and Shikaoi have been sister towns since 1985. The international exchange program, which was launched in 1996, not only provides a perspective on one’s own culture, it also gives one a more profound understanding of his or her important role in the global community. The participants’ character is enhanced and their confidence expanded. They impact the world around them by embracing tolerance, accepting diversity and promoting cultural understanding.
The Japanese Twinning Program demonstrates the Town of Stony Plain’s commitment to cultural vitality, by preserving the town’s culture and heritage while strengthening its sense of connectedness by fostering community support, hospitality and harmony. Cultural Vitality is one of the four core values of the Community Sustainability Plan, which, in part, helps direct the Town in its decisions and actions.