Sister City relationships between communities can foster a range of cultural, educational, recreational and economic benefits and opportunities. Kelowna currently enjoys a Sister City relationship with Kasugai, Japan.
Kelowna and Kasugai have been sister cities since 1981. The arrangement has fostered a number of cultural exchanges and business ventures. The two cities also signed an Agreement on Environmental Protection in 2001.
In 1987, Kasugai Gardens opened in downtown Kelowna as a symbol of friendship and union with our sister city. The gardens are beautiful and serene experience nestled in Kelowna’s Cultural District and features traditional Japanese elements such as stone lanterns, pine trees, waterfalls and a Koi pond.
2021 marks the 40 Year Celebration of our Sister City relationship with Kasugai. Our local Sponsor Organization has been busy celebrating the history of our relationship and all of the wonderful activities and learnings that our community has had the opportunity to experience.
With continued interest and a strong commitment to creating more interactions, it is hoped that this friendship will continue to grow and endure for years to come. To learn more about the 40 year relationship between Kelowna and Kasugai watch the video below.
Visit the Kelowna-Kasugai Sister City Association Facebook page to learn more.
Sister City Program
Review the program guidelines for more information on the management and administration of Sister City relationships through liaison, reporting and agreements with both the Sister City and sponsor organization.
Past Sister City Relationships
Kelowna was in a Sister City relationship with Veendam from 1979-2017
The BC Dragoons (an Okanagan regiment) were stationed in the vicinity of Veendam, The Netherlands, at the end of World War II, and lived and stayed with Veendam families for an extended period. The close relationships formed were celebrated through the first exchange visit in 1971, when a delegation from the Dragoons returned to Veendam. Veendam citizens continue to celebrate the Dragoons as their “liberators” and, by extension, Kelowna visitors to Veendam have been the beneficiaries of overwhelming hospitality.
The Sister City relationship with Veendam was formalized by Council resolution in 1979. This Sister City relationship recognized the important role played by the BC Dragoons during the liberation of Holland in 1945. Numerous city delegations, veteran visitors and student/teacher exchanges occurred between the two communities.
In 2017, it was realized that the Sister City relationship between Veendam and Kelowna was at an end. We’re appreciative of the opportunity that residents in both communities had to foster friendships and promote understanding.