Joy Kogawa and Naomi's Road opera go to Lethbridge Alberta: report from Ann-Marie Metten


Joy Kogawa and Naomi's Road opera go to Lethbridge Alberta:
Report from Ann-Marie Metten

Metten is the Vancouver coordinator for the Save Kogawa House
committee.  She and Joy Kogawa have  travelled to Lethbridge
Alberta to attend the Alberta premiere of the Naomi's Road opera, by
the Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble.

Ann-Marie is a wonderful person with many literary connections and dedicated to
the cause.  She first contacted me in early 2005, after I posted a
message suggesting Obasan could be nominated for Vancouver Public
Library's One Book One Vancouver program.  She then contacted me in
September, when the City of Vancouver recieved an inquiry about a
demolition permit for Kogawa House.

The following message is from Ann-Marie:

Just want to report several small
donations received at the reception following the performance of Naomi’s
Road in
Lethbridge yesterday.

The Vancouver Opera troupe ended their
evening show to a standing ovation, with many Japanese Canadians in the
audience – those interned and their families. Joy spoke strongly about
the need for forgiveness within the community and within
Canada as a nation, and I got
to say a few words at the reception about Kogawa House and invited questions
and discussion. Lisa Doolittle of the University of Lethbridge Theatre
Department was generous in her publicity of the campaign to rescue Kogawa
House, including a summary of the project in the programme for the evening,
posting notices of the project around the reception area, speaking about it in
her introduction, and displaying pledge forms at the buffet and book sales
tables. Lisa also arranged press coverage with the Lethbridge Herald, which ran our story on the cover of today’s
edition, along with a photograph of the troupe and a photo of Joy inside on
page 2. Global TV was expected to run the story not only at
noon today but also on their
evening news report.

Many friends and relatives came to support
Joy, with 25 Japanese Canadian seniors traveling from Calgary to attend the noon performance and many,
many others attending the evening performance. Joy and I also drove out to the
communities of Coaldale, the model of Granton in Obasan — and Vauxhall, where I spent some childhood years –
and connected with people there. We visited the
Galt Museum, which houses the Kogawa
Collection of furnishings and pieces from the Marpole house. What topped
everything, though, was our walk through the coulee and the thrill of the prairie
after snowmelt, just before spring.

It was a trip well worth the effort.
Photos to come this evening . . .

Ann-Marie Metten

Save Kogawa House Committee


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