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Steveston Nikkei memorial project launched

Don Fennell   Sep-25-2018

Civic officials and community leaders attended the launch of the Steveston Nikkei memorial public art project Sept. 22.

Photo courtesy City of Richmond


A public memorial to honour Richmond’s founding Japanese-Canadian community is in the works.

A formal ground-breaking ceremony was held Sept. 22 for an art project to be built at Steveston Community Park. The shrine will be a tribute to the Nikkei (Japanese emigrants and their descendants) for their resilience, perseverance and community spirit.

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Led by artistic team of Hapa Collaborative, the project will acknowledge the departure of Japanese-Canadians from Steveston and their subsequent return after the period of interment during the Second World War. The artwork will be located near the Steveston Interurban Tram building, which was the departure and return point for many interned Nikkei.

A conceptual design was inspired by meetings with stakeholder groups and individuals, who shared their experiences from before, during and after internment. The design pays tribute to Issei (first) and Nisei (second) generations, and provides a metaphor for resilience.

The themes will be expressed in landscaped pathways, plantings and design elements that will include paving patterns based on hand-made origami mats created by seniors at the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. A plum tree, stone monuments and lanterns will help to complete the project which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2019.


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