FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2006
HISTORIC JOY KOGAWA HOUSE GIVEN ANOTHER MONTH TO BE SAVED
VANCOUVER – TLC The Land Conservancy of British Columbia announced today that it has negotiated a 30 day extension on its option to purchase the culturally-significant Joy Kogawa House in Marpole.
“The fundraising has been very successful for the short timeframe we’ve had, but time was running out,” says Bill Turner, Executive Director of TLC. “Thanks to this reprieve I’m confident we will now be able to reach our goal. The current owner has given us until April 30th as a sign of good faith and we are grateful for this gift. All we need now is for people to show their support by donating. I know we can do this if we pull together as individuals, businesses and governments.”
The historic Joy Kogawa House at 1450 West 64th Ave. first came to TLC’s attention in early 2005 through the Save Kogawa House Committee. On November 30th the City of Vancouver granted a 120-day delay on the demolition permit for the house. In early December, TLC publicly announced they would spearhead the campaign to raise the $1.25 million needed to acquire the house, restore it and set up an endowment to secure its protection in perpetuity as a symbol of Canada’s cultural heritage. The original deadline for funding was March 30.
Phone calls, letters of support, and donations have been received from across Canada, especially within the literary community. Several primary and secondary schools in BC have also donated to save the childhood home of award-winning author and poet, Joy Kogawa. The faculty association at York University contributed $1,000 to the campaign and challenges other universities to match their donation. Special book readings and silent auctions have been held in Vancouver and Toronto. One Vancouverite has even taken it upon herself to challenge other book club members to donate.
Once purchased and protected, the historic Joy Kogawa House will be a used as a home for a writers-in-residence program, enabling new and emerging writers to create new works focusing on human rights issues and Canada’s evolving multicultural and intercultural society. It will also be open for public and school tours to educate people about the Japanese Canadian experience during World War II. “We must preserve these places so that our children and grandchildren can learn what happened. In a society that doesn’t remember and recognize its mistakes, they can continue to happen,” says Turner. “An injustice to one is an injustice to all.”
“The light in this corner of the planet continues to shine with a happy glow of hope for the campaign,” says Kogawa. Donations can be made to TLC at www.conservancy.bc.ca or by calling (604) 733-2313. Donation forms can also be picked up at select bookstores, libraries and recreational centres throughout Vancouver.
Contacts: TLC The Land Conservancy: Bill Turner (250) 213-1090; Heather Skydt (604) 733-2313
Save Kogawa House Committee: Ann-Marie Metten (604) 263-6586