The Quesnel-Shiraoi Twinning Society recently gave a presentation to members of council at a meeting of the committee of the whole.
Member-at-large Brad Powell, was the spokesperson for the group comprised of approximately 13 dedicated volunteers. He reviewed the society’s 2013 achievements, spoke about the Shiraoi House facility and the opportunities for residents and visitors alike, the society’s financial report, and he provided council with a quick look at their goals for 2014.
This society is celebrating 27 years as a non-profit society dedicated to international goodwill and friendship. Every second year, they host a student delegation of approximately 15 students from Shiraoi between the ages of Grades 7 – 11 to home-stay with a Quesnel family for one week. These students have the opportunity to experience life in Canada, Quesnel in particular, and partake in a number of planned activities, including visiting the local schools. On alternating years, the society, together with the School District, select up to 15 students to make the trip to Japan for one week, again, staying with local families. Fund raising, grants, donations and rental income from the facility all assist with the costs associated with this travel opportunity and experience for our children.
The Twinning Society joins in on Canada Day with celebrations in the Shiraoi House in Lebourdais Park and participates in the Billy Barker Days parade. Their themed floats are always popular and last year, the theme was Tanabata, a Japanese festival honouring two lovers who may only meet once a year. They received the first place award in the Best Club Association Float.
In September, the decorations from that float were displayed in our local museum.
In 2013 we received the Shiraoi mayor’s delegation from Oct. 3 – 6. In two and a half days, starting with a warm reception at the house, the group toured the Farmer’s Market and some local businesses, shuffled through the pulp mill and the college, then, close to exhaustion, played a fun yet challenging game of soccer with some of our locals.
The society work this year is well underway. Selection for the student delegation that will visit Shiraoi in 2015 has begun. Preparation and fundraising will be ongoing until the time of departure in July 2015. An adult delegation will be going at the same time.
The10th anniversary of the official opening of the Shiraoi House is on Sept. 4. Planning is currently underway for an open house and official celebration.
The Shiraoi House is well utilized for a number of recurring events and is available for rent.
The society’s website was rebuilt and published in 2013 and offers an interactive calendar of house events and a virtual tour of the facility.
All the information you need to rent the house is available online as well. Pay a visit to www.shiraoihouse.com. You won’t be disappointed.
Thank you to the members of the Quesnel-Shiraoi Twinning Society for their valuable service to our community.
If you have a question for Mayor Mary Sjostrom, please e-mail it to us at email@example.com and we’ll forward it to the Mayor so she can answer it in an upcoming column.