Update on the Hastings Park Project
By Judy Hanazawa
The Japanese Canadian Hastings Park Project continues to progress now that the redevelopment of Hastings Park has been approved and implementation has begun. Already new signage throughout the Park is being mounted and the Livestock Building—designated now as a Class A Heritage Building—will be renewed and redeveloped between 2012 and 2014. As our project includes developing a commemorative and interpretive centre in the Livestock Building, our Hastings Park Steering Committee is prepared, now and into the next few years, to work closely with City Council, the PNE Board, Hastings Park Planner Dave Hutch, and other interest groups, to make sure there is an effective educational presentation of Japanese Canadian history in Hastings Park developed and endorsed by Japanese Canadians.
On May 2 a subgroup of our Committee met with Dave Hutch, Hastings Park Planner. Dave urged us to make grant applications for our project, offered his assistance with access to recommended graphic designers, suggestions for grant funding sources, and committed to do his best to provide framing for wall mounted and free standing outdoor interpretive signage at all historic Japanese Canadian detention sites such as the Livestock Building and the Forum.
On May 31, 2011 we also met with Vancouver City Councillors Kerry Jang and Ellen Woodsworth. Councillors Jang and Woodsworth, as well as Councillor Raymond Louie who is the Chair of the PNE Board, have consistently expressed their enthusiasm and support for educational and commemorative presentations regarding Japanese Canadian history in Hastings Park.
In our May 31st meeting, Councillor Jang and Woodsworth suggested we need to establish a profile as part of the Livestock Building’s design team so that we are seen as the ‘driving force’ community group with essential knowledge about Japanese Canadian history in Hastings Park. They assured us there is clear political direction from all of Vancouver City Council to endorse our project. Suggestion was made that our group needs to approach and make a presentation about the project, including a description of concept and a start up budget outline, to the PNE Board as they are the managers for Hastings Park Redevelopment. The PNE Board may be able to provide start-up funding for developing our project design and plan. There is a need to demonstrate to the City, the PNE Board and other government funding sources, that our project is accessing other grant funding sources as well. Our group committed to continue communication with Councillors Jang and Woodsworth and include them in any correspondence about the project.
Developing the Concept
In developing our project concept we need to dialogue a little more about Hastings Park with community members. We can do this by talking to people at the Powell Street Festival as well as through hosting a Hastings Park Forum—what do community members want the public to know about our detention experience in Hastings Park? Should interpretive information include pre-detention history, and personal Hastings Park stories? Where should the commemorative plaque be displayed? Meeting with community graphic designers could also assist with mapping our story and the visioning process.
Our Workplan for July/August 2011
• Develop our project concept, and related start up budget, so that it is prepared for presentation to the PNE Board in July/August. This includes drafting our concept through establishing opportunities to meet with community members;
• Begin preparing content for grant funding applications. Many grant funding deadlines are scheduled for the fall of 2011.
• Outreach to other community groups for mutual support and endorsement of our project—includes making contact with City Community Relations Richard Saunders;
• Continue working and communicating with Planner Dave Hutch, City Councillors Kerry Jang, Ellen Woodsworth and Raymond Louie.