By Mabell, Dave on June 19, 2017.
Visitors to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden enjoyed an added attraction Sunday. Members of the Southern Alberta Taiko Society, performing as the Hibiyaka drum group, were celebrating a $17,639 boost from the province’s lottery profits.
Lethbridge MLA Shannon Phillips made the announcement, on behalf of Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda. The Community Initiatives Program grant, she said, should help the non-profit group with meeting space and practice time as well as purchase of new equipment. Phillips praised the taiko group for all the time volunteered for rehearsals as well as public performances.
Sensei Bryan Perverseff, accepting the cheque, indicated much of it will go toward purchase of new drums. The group’s repertoire, he explained, come from around Lethbridge’s sister city, Towada in northern Japan.
Sunday’s selections included depictions of bone-chilling Siberian air blowing into Towada, and a festival in Tokyo.
The funds, Phillips said later, are managed by the government’s Community Initiatives Program. They’re intended to recognize the positive impact volunteers and non-profit organizations make in their home communities.
In southern Alberta, Phillips pointed out, Japanese traditions and culture have been part of the community fabric for more than 100 years.
“It’s important to recognize that,” she said.
Recent grants from the fund, Phillips noted, have also gone to Lethbridge College, the Lethbridge Public Library and an historical signage project in the Crowsnest Pass.
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