Kogawa House: Vancouver Council votes unaminously to create 120 day delay to demolition application

Kogawa House: Vancouver Council votes unaminously to create 120 day delay to demolition application

GOOD NEWS today!

We had a good
committee presentation with good support from Vancouver Heritage
Foundation, Alliance for Arts and Culture, Writers Union of Canada and
Periodical Writers Association of Canada.

CBC Radio-Canada Television (french language) even showed up to film us
during our lunch meeting at Kirin Restaurant, as we made our
presentations, and as we shared congratulations with each other

Ann-Marie Metten of our Save Kogawa House committee wrote the following:

I'm just home from City Hall and am pleased to report a unanimous
decision in favour of staying demolition for 120 days beginning, not
today, but on November 30.

Jim Green amended the proposed motion with this delayed start date on
the basis that we have yet to receive a development permit application
from the owner, who did not attend today's meeting and did not send a

I suppose the November 30 start date also prevents any further motions
to council before the municipal election because they do not meet again
until November 28.

Excellent presentations today from the following:

* Gerry McGeough summarizing his administrative report

* Diane Switzer on the Vancouver Heritage Foundation's role as agent for charitable donations

* Heather Redfern, executive director of Alliance for Arts and Culture,
spoke on the support from Vancouver's arts community, that one of the
inaugural Vancouver Arts Awards grants was used to help develop the
opera Naomi's Road, and that is important for the Vancouver community
to recognize and give back to the Japanese Canadian community.

* Todd Wong on the history of our committee, the cultural significance
of the house and its place in Canada's multicultural society, and also
on the story of Naomi's Road as told in the operetta

* Ann-Marie Metten on fundraising strategies and the importance of the
house as a literary landmark but also as a place of significance in the

* Marion Quednau read the letter from the Writers' Union of Canada and
pointed out the irony of the city permitting demolition of the house in
the same year that Obasan was named the One Book, One Vancouver choice

* Arriving just in time after having been delayed on her return from a
presentation of Naomi's Road in the Vancouver Island community of
Ucluelet and having faced ferry delays, highway traffic accidents,
nothing could  stop her, Joy read from chapter 9 of Obasan about
the house and about history being a part of ourselves that we cannot

Next steps: broadcasting a press release; attending tonight's
all-candidates meeting on heritage issues; phoning, phoning, phoning;
and meeting withGerry McGeough on Monday to plan a workshop with
interested parties to develop fundraising strategies.

A positive step toward saving the house today. Councillor Raymond Louie
even initiated a challenge to other councillors to match his $100. I
believe Todd collected nearly $540 . . .

Ann-Marie Metten
Save Kogawa House Committee

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