Victoria opted to slash soundings on sister city celebrations this year, and to pick a favourite, despite several large anniversaries.
Victoria has four “twin cities,” established to build stronger relations internationally.
In 2020 Victoria will see the 30th anniversary of being a twin city with Khabarovsk, Russia; the 40th with Suzhou, China, the 35th with Morioka, Japan and the and the 47th for Napier, New Zealand.
Originally the draft 2020 budget had proposed $60,000 be set aside for celebratory anniversary celebrations, but in a motion put forward by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, the funds were stripped down to $20,000 for the celebration of Morioka’s 35th anniversary.
“Morioka feels like an important one – not that they’re not all important – but first of all there’s an active local society, we have an actual relationship with actual people there, and they send many hundreds of students to our region,” Helps said. “It would be very rude not to celebrate our 35th anniversary.”
The decision was agreed upon by councillors.
“I think this is a reasonable compromise,” said Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe. “Morioka is not only our most active relationship, but I know when they come in May they also partake in the parade.”
The $20,000 will go towards accommodating an invitation to Morioka delegates to come celebrate in Victoria this spring.
The remaining $40,000 is set to be reshuffled back into the 2020 draft budget for other, undetermined endeavours.