FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2006
HISTORIC KOGAWA HOME ONE STEP CLOSER TO RESCUE FROM THE WRECKING BALL
THE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY: “78 DAYS, AND COUNTING”
VANCOUVER – The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) announced today that it has successfully negotiated an option to purchase the culturally-significant childhood home of Canadian author Joy Kogawa. Since launching the campaign in December, TLC has been negotiating with the owner to purchase the house so that it can be protected from re-development. Now that those negotiations have been successful, the only task remaining is to raise the funds needed to buy the property.
“This is the one and only chance we have to save this piece of British Columbia’s heritage,” says Bill Turner, Executive Director of TLC. “The owner has given us this opportunity to raise the funds for the purchase and we need the public to act now and make a contribution to this significant historical site.”
TLC and the Save Kogawa House Committee have until March 30th to raise the $1.25 million required to complete the purchase of the house and property, fund required restorations, and establish an endowment to continue maintaining the property. Vancouver City Council has agreed to delay approval of a demolition permit only until March 30.
Once protected, Kogawa House will be a used as a home for a writers-in-residence program, enabling a new generation of “writers of conscience” to be inspired both by the connection with Joy Kogawa’s literary legacy as well as by the historical significance of the house itself.
It will also stand as a symbol, helping to educate the public about the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 21,000 Canadians of Japanese descent were forcefully evacuated from their homes and placed in internment camps. Their homes and businesses were expropriated. Author Joy Kogawa was one of the many children born in Canada to have their homes seized during this time. Years later she captured her experiences in the award-winning book, Obasan, a novel that describes her happy pre-War memories at the Kogawa House. As a result of the book, the house has become a significant representation of the forgiveness of historical wrongs.
“Thanks to the pre-existing work done by the Save Kogawa House Committee a lot of inroads have been made and members of the public are very supportive of the project,” says Turner. “The preservation of the Kogawa House as a cultural landmark is everyone’s first choice for the future of the property.”
If TLC is successful in raising the necessary funds, Kogawa House will be protected in perpetuity. “This is a call to action to individuals, businesses, community groups and governments who want to make a difference in the community and help reconcile past wrongs and bring hope to future generations,” says Turner.
Donations can be made to TLC through their website at www.conservancy.bc.ca or by calling (604) 733-2312. Donation forms can also be picked up at select bookstores throughout Vancouver.
TLC The Land Conservancy: Bill Turner (250) 213-1090; Tamsin Baker (604) 733-2313
Kogawa House Committee: Ann-Marie Metten (604) 263-6586; Todd Wong (604) 240-7090; Anton Wagner (416) 863-1209