KOGAWA HOUSE is being SAVED! It's REALLY happening! The Land Conservancy will purchase Kogawa House to create a Writing Centre.

KOGAWA
HOUSE is being SAVED!  It's REALLY happening!  The Land
Conservancy will purchase Kogawa House to create a Writing Centre.

It's TRUE!  It really is going to happen!

The Land Conservancy is moving forward to exercise their option to purchase Kogawa House from the owner.

Lots of happy people around the world… now to make it REALLY HAPPENING!

The Metro News called me yesterday for a comment
for a story.

Reporter Tia Able said that Bill Turner had just told her
“We're buying the house – no matter what.  It's going to happen.”

I asked her. “Did he really say that? 
Wow!!!

She
also asked why the purchase of the house was so important to me.

“Because
Obasan was the first Asian-Canadian book that made it okay for us to tell our
stories,” I explained that “as an 5th generation Chinese-Canadian, I know how
hard it was for my parents, my grand parents and my great-grandparents to find
acceptance in this country.  It was the same for the Japanese Canadians –
moreso because of the internment.

“Establishing Kogawa House as a
historical landmark for all Canadians means that we have gained acceptance and
are important.  Saving Joy Kogawa's childhoom home to share with all
Canadians is like Pierre Berton House, in the Yukon, or George Ryga's home in
the Okanagan or Emily Carr's home in Victoria.

“We can have a physical
place that says here was a home where Joy Kogawa lived as a child, until she was
interned.  It is a physical place like the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam,
or Anne of Green Gables Cottage in PEI, where people can say “This is where she
lived and played.” 

“Thousands of people visit Anne of Green Gables
Cottage, but she was fictional.  Joy Kogawa is real, Anne Frank was
real.  We need a place where we can say that racism can never do this
again.”

Bill Turner sent me an e-mail with the following:

“Yes I really said that.

“Heather and Joy will be doing a lot of media work this
morning.    They are taking the 7am ferry from Victoria to
Vancouver and going immediately to CTV where Joy will go on camera at
11am.

“Joy will then go to CBC TV for
an update filming to the segment they will show on the National
tonight.   I believe that around mid day the media release will go
out.

 
“Last night's event at Chapters in Victoria was
packed.  It was a small venue but there were a lot of people
standing.   It was an emotional and exciting event and well worth
doing.   At that event I said again that this is going to happen that
today (Friday) we will be announcing that we are moving ahead with the purchase
and will borrow whatever necessary to make it happen.  

“Of course we
have to work hard to raise the rest of the money and in particular to pay off
the mortgage.” 

So
far $230,000 has been raised in a short fundraising campaign.  A
total of $700,000 is needed to purchase the house outright.  Next
steps will be fundraising for restoration of the house, and to create
an endowment for the continued running of the Joy Kogawa Writing Centre.

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