Hastings Park Update
Hastings Park Committee Report
By Judy Hanazawa
Since last report, the Hastings Park committee has been actively involved with steering our Hastings Park project.
On September 13 we met with the Hastings Park Redevelopment Steering Committee. It is made up of representatives of the City as well as the PNE. We introduced our committee representing various Japanese Canadian organizations, and an outline of phases of our Hastings Park commemorative plan. The redevelopment steering committee responded supportively to our plan and recommended we continue working with Hastings Park planner Dave Hutch.
On October 1 we met in Hastings Park with Dave Hutch, and PNE representatives to review the internment plaque relocation, the Livestock Building plaque location and a greenway location around Momiji garden. The 1989 Internment plaque is unable to be returned to the corner of Hastings and Renfrew as that corner will change with the proposed widening of Renfrew Street for a bike lane. We are relocating the plaque to the boulder adjacent to the rock wall facing Hastings and Renfrew. The boulder will be positioned prominently to be visible to the public. We also reviewed the site for the Livestock building plaque and signage location. The plaque will be mounted at the site of the heritage stairway and the free standing interpretive sign will be in front of the proposed new overhead door entrance. The text, developed with community input by this committee, will read:
Over 3,000 Japanese Canadian women and children, demonstrating resilience under deplorable conditions, were unjustly detained here from March to December 1942.
A public facility since 1929, the Livestock Building gained national historic significance as a federally authorized wartime marshalling site for Japanese Canadians prior to dispersal and internment. The detention, internment, confiscation of property, and expulsion from the coast of 22,000 innocent Japanese Canadians from 1942 to 1949 was officially acknowledged as unjust by Canada in 1988.
Another purpose for the October 1 meeting was to review the possibility of developing a greenway (path) at the bottom section of Momiji Garden. We have asked the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association to respond to this proposal from the redevelopment planner.
The committee met on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 and addressed the following tasks:
Review of Grant Applications
With Beth Carter, Nikkei Museum Director/Curator, the committee also reviewed grant applications which Beth has completed. These grants would fund the relocation of the 1989 Internment plaque, as well as develop interpretive signage for each of the 4 remaining Hastings Park detention buildings. Applications were made to Embrace BC, the NAJC and BC Arts Council. Beth is continuing to research other funding sources for this project. Hastings Park Redevelopment Planning has donated $6800 toward the signage for the Livestock Building. Proposed timeline for the relocation of the Internment plaque is 2012 while projected completion for the signage project is the spring of 2013. For the signage project, the Museum intends to reach out to community members over the next few months, to request and document their memories of life in Hastings Park.
Nikkei National Museum has lead responsibility for the Hastings Park Project
The committee has determined that the National Nikkei Museum is the appropriate institution to assume lead responsibility for our Hastings Park Commemoration and Education project. Our project is nationally significant. The museum is able to access project funding, and provide the necessary research, as well as professional, managerial and administrative resources. Our committee will continue to play an essential role as the project’s community advisory and steering group while Beth fulfils the role of project manager.
The committee will maintain a longer term goal to complete the final phases of the plan. This includes the establishment of a Japanese Canadian Hastings Park Interpretive Centre in the interior of the renovated Livestock Building, the presentation of detainee names, and commemorative Japanese Canadian developments around Momiji Garden. The museum’s role with these phases of the project can be reviewed at an appropriate future date.
Scheduling the Commemoration of the 1989 Parks Canada Internment plaque in its new location and the Livestock Building Vancouver Heritage Foundation Places that Matter Plaque
Our committee reviewed the timeline for commemorating the Livestock building plaque and the relocation of the 1989 Internment plaque. Our goal is to have a commemoration event within 2012 as this is the 70th anniversary of the internment and the detention in Hastings Park.
As Parks Canada will work to complete the 1989 Internment plaque refurbishment and relocation by November 20, 2012 and the Vancouver Heritage Foundation has committed to prepare the Livestock Building plaque for commemoration on December 1, 2012, we have scheduled a public commemoration event in Hastings Park on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 1PM.
Please come to the commemoration ceremony for the 1989 Parks Canada Japanese Canadian Internment plaque in its new location at the Momiji Garden Wall as well as the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Places That Matter Livestock Building plaque presentation, on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 1PM.
Come to the Hastings Room in Hastings Park, 2901 East Hasting Street
Gate #2 off of Renfrew Street, Hastings Room- attached to the PNE administration (north side).
As we will be walking to the plaque sites, please dress warmly. We will return to the Hastings Room for light snacks and refreshments. All are welcome to attend.