HASTINGS PARK update
REPORT ON HASTINGS PARK MEETING OF MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011
by Judy Hanazawa
Guest: Dave Hutch, Plan Manager, Hastings Park/PNE Redevelopment Plan
• Julia Aoki, Powell Street Festival Society
• Donna Nakamoto, Vancouver Japanese Language School
• Alison Scott, GVJCCA Human Rights Committee
• Lorene Oikawa, GVJCCA Human Rights Committee
• Kazuho Yamamoto, Powell Street Festival Society
• Judy Hanazawa, GVJCCA Human Rights Committee, Chair, GVJCCA Steering Committe
Update on the Hastings Park/PNE Plan
The meeting at Tonari Gumi proceeded with Dave Hutch providing a brief report on the Hastings Park Plan upon its approval by City Council in December, 2010. He reported that following the Plan’s approval, priorities for immediate action are:
• Development of Empire Stadium area permanent surrounding greenways, and completing the renewal of Stadium;
• Developing Creekway Park which is the connection to New Brighton Park;
• Implementing the new Playland plan as a priority revenue generating development;
• Establishing Hastings Park greenways
• Establishing the concept of a Fair and Park and the name Hastings Park as the ‘umbrella’ name;
• Setting up the Signage for the Park which can include Japanese Canadian interpretive signage
PNE revenues have always financed and will continue to support further development of the Fair and Playland. Federal and provincial grant funding may also support future projects such as the Livestock Building renovation and new underground exhibition building. The Livestock Building is projected as a center point for festivities and cultural events in Hastings Park. Projected time for completion of the Park’s final planning and design drawings is 2012.
After his presentation, Dave also responded to some questions posed by our community participants.
Response to Questions from the Community
What are steps for the improvement of Momiji Garden and how can our community participate in the planning and implementation of the Garden’s ongoing development?
Answer: The redevelopment of the Momiji Garden area including the gateway concept is viewed as part of a future and not immediate phase of Plan implementation. Dave indicated the Vancouver Japanese Gardener’s Association continues to be involved in Momiji Garden’s maintenance and will continue to be involved with the City in its further development.
Where and when does Interpretation Programming fit in the Plan?
Answer: Interpretive programming can start in the initial phase of implementing the Hastings Park Plan. As the Park commences its development, signage is a priority and covers a number of purposes such as direction signage, building name signage, location signage, as well as interpretive signage. Interpretive signage about our history could include developing appropriate interpretive signage around areas like the Livestock Building, and other buildings connected to the wartime detention of Japanese Canadians and Momiji Garden.
What about relocating the commemorative plaque?
Answer: General agreement by all as well as Dave Hutch that the commemorative plaque should be clearly visible and prominent. It is presently low to the ground and covered by shrubbery in Momiji Garden.
How can the Japanese Canadian community participate in program development so that our Hastings Park history can be well presented for commemoration and public education purposes?
Answer: In order to ensure appropriate interpretation of our Hastings Park history, there are a number of ways our community could maintain involvement in the Hastings Park redevelopment. They can range from applying for grants to install interpretive signage about our Hastings Park history, participating in community advisory groups concerning various aspects of the Park’s redevelopment, and continuing to communicate with and maintain an ongoing working relationship with participating Vancouver City Councillors.
Dave also suggested that we develop a proposal and apply for grant funding to:
• develop and install interpretive signage regarding Japanese Canadian history in Hastings Park;
• develop a new presentation for the commemorative plaque so that it can be prominently displayed.
He provided information about grand funding sources such as the Hastings Legacy Fund, and Heritage Fund of BC.
Next Steps – Future Meeting Date
Participants further discussed making an application for grant funding to develop our interpretive signage and to ensure the plaque is more prominently featured.
Decision made to investigate funding sources particularly the Hastings Legacy Fund and Heritage Fund of BC.
Committee members can jointly consider what the proposal should contain, including its financial plan.
Decision made to have another committee meeting to discuss sources of grant funding, formulate proposal concept, and organize the budgetary and other essential content of the grant funding proposal.
The next meeting of the GVJCCA Hastings Park Project Steering Committee is scheduled for 6PM, Monday, March 28, 2011 at Tonari Gumi.