First Rising Sun

This is the image of the "First Rising Sun of 2012" the picture was taken in Matsushima an area devastated by the Japanese Tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The Sun rise is so beautiful and stands a beacon of hope and promise for 2012.

Meet A/JTMA Executives!

A/JTMA Executive June 14, 2014
Derrick Campbell, President; Dr. Roy Kariatsumari, Vice-President; Edie Yuill, Secretary, Jerry Madsen, Treasurer; Missing Robert Twerdoclib, Past President.

Resulting from the 2014 Annual General Meeting an addition was made to the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association Executive Members.

Derrick Campbell was elected as our Association President at the Annual General Meeting in Rocky Mountain House on June 14, 2014.

Derrick is a Technician for Distribution Operations with AltaGas Utilities Inc. based in Hanna, Alberta. He currently sits on the Town of Hanna Community Services Board, as well as the Hanna/Wake Twinning Committee.

He was an exchange student in 1999, and travelled to his sister city, Wake Japan for 5 life-changing weeks. That experience has driven him to help breathe life into the town's dormant exchange program this year with the help of his committee members. He hopes to apply this sense of hope and purpose to the A/JTMA organization.

Personal E-mail: Derrick Campbell

Robert Twerdoclib took the position as Past-President for a term of one year as a result of resigning his position as President at the Annual General Meeting in Rocky Mountain House on June 14, 2014.

Robert is a Councillor for the Town of Stony Plain and active on their Japanese Friendship Committee and has visited their sister city Shikaoi, Hokkaido, Japan on numerous occasions. Robert is a teacher in Stony Plain and has served in many capacities for the Alberta Teachers' Association as well as serving on a secondment with Alberta Education.

He is an internationally recognized speaker and has received a number of awards - provincially, nationally and internationally. He was awarded the National Geographic Literacy Award in 2008, and, with the award's financial endowment sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the Twerdoclib family established a scholarship for graduating students from Stony Plain Memorial Composite High School. .

Personal E-mail: Robert Twerdoclib

Dr. Roy Kariatsumari was re-elected as our Association Vice President at the Annual General Meeting in Rocky Mountain House on June 14, 2014.

The position is a two year term. Dr. Roy and his wife Betts reside in Rocky Mountain House and have been very avid members of the Rocky Kamikawa Friendship Society as well as active in A/JTMA events, conferences and functions. Dr. Roy is instrumental in sustaining their excellent relationship with Kamikawa, Japan. In June, 2012, a very successful fundraiser was held to raise donations to be sent towards the Japanese Tsunami relief efforts.

Dr. Roy brings significant experience, wisdom and foresight to the Association.

Personal E-mail: Roy Kariatsumari

Jerry Madsen was re-elected as our Treasurer at the Annual General Meeting in Rocky Mountain House on June 14, 2014.

The term of the Treasurer is for two years. Jerry and his wife, Connie reside in Rocky Mountain House. Jerry is an active member of the Rocky Kamikawa Friendship Society.

Jerry and Connie have supported and contributed greatly towards Japanese relations. Jerry and Connie have also participated in many A/JTMA functions, events and conferences.

Jerry brings a wealth of experience along with wisdom and insight to the Association.

Personal E-mail: Jerry Madsen

Edie Yuill was re-elected as our Secretary at the Annual General Meeting in Rocky Mountain House on June 14, 2014.

The term of Secretary is two years. Edie had previously been Treasurer from 2008 to 2011 and has been Secretary since 2012. Edie currently resides in Athabasca but has been an active member of the Barrhead & District Twinning Committee and was President of the committee for a number of years.

She has also been an active member of the A/JTMA for a number of years. Edie has traveled to Hokkaido, Japan to visit Barrhead's former Twin Town Tokoro and since the merger, Kitami City. She has assisted with and hosted many annual delegations to visit in Barrhead.

Personal E-mail: Edie Yuill


2015 A/JTMA Conference and Annual General Meeting

Is being hosted by the Municipality of Jasper on Friday and Saturday, June 26 & 27, 2015.

For more information e-mail Beryl Cahill or call 780-852-3356.

Memorial Dinner Reception

On March 08, 2012, Consul General for Japan, (Calgary) Susumu Fukuda and his wife Alicia invited a number of guests to their official residence. This was a special and memorial dinner reception in remembrance of the Great East Japan earth quake of March 11, 2011. A delicate, compassionate display of pictures was tastefully arranged in the living room reception area. This display provided graphic images of the devastation and the subsequent revival of the eastern coastal region of Japan subsequent to the disaster of March 11, 2011. This presentation will be on display at the Calgary Municipal Building Atrium, 800 Macleod Trail SE on March 12 – 16 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM.

The reception was highlighted by a presentation by Consul General Fukuda followed by a heart felt message from The Honourable Donald S. Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

The meal that followed featured rice and wines from the Tohoku Region of Japan. The hospitality of Consul General Fukuda and his wife, along with their staff, was second to none. It was an incredible evening, one filled with compassion and understanding for the people of Japan and the suffering and anguish that this catastrophic earth quake event caused.

We were honoured to be invited and to participate in such a memorable evening.

Hon. Donald S. Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and Consul General for Japan (Calgary) Susumu Fukuda.
Hon. Donald S. Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and Harold Pereverseff.

Consul-General for Japan – Calgary – Susumu Fukuda

On March 05, 2012, Duane Bratt, President of the Calgary Branch of the Canadian International Council hosted a forum by featuring Consul-General for Japan – Calgary , Susumu Fukuda. Consul-General Fukuda's presentation centered on the March 11, 2011 earthquake in the Fukushima region of Japan . The quake is now referred to as the "Great East Japan Earthquake".

Harold Pereverseff, President of the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association was accompanied by a delegation from the Lethbridge Twinning Society to the presentation. Various other organizations and invited guests (including a Dr. in Nuclear Physics) were in attendance as well.

Consul-General Fukuda expressed his sincere gratitude on behalf of his country for the world wide relief efforts following the event. He mentioned the 5 Million Dollar donation made by the Province of Alberta, and the other donations received by his office from various sources. We know that many of the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association members contributed to the relief as well.

The presentation highlighted several of the astonishing developments in the reconstruction of the ravaged regions. The infrastructure is practically rebuilt and a strategies are in place to encourage resettling along with incentives for building in the area. Taxes have been relaxed and visa requirements are being lighted with extended periods of stays being allowed.

The presentation, questions and response from the audience were all positive, it was an encouraging evening.

Lethbridge Twinning Society delegate, Jeannie Goossens rises to ask Consul-General Fukuda a question regarding the floating mass of post tsunami debris that is scheduled to reach the North American coast line this year.
Canadian International Council (Calgary Branch) President, Duane Bratt and Consul-General Fukuda.

Cultural Forum - 2012

On February 24 and 25 Cultural Forum 2012 was hosted in Red Deer by Alberta Culture and Community Services Minister Heather Klimchuk. Minister of International Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations, Cal Dallas was in attendance and spoke during the opening ceremony. It was certainly encouraging when Premier Redford spoke, she had stressed the importance of all the Government Departments and Ministries working together in collaboration. A forum of this magnitude was the first ever, with nearly 400 community leaders from across Alberta representing a wide spectrum of cultural interests.

Harold Pereverseff was invited to the forum representing the Lethbridge Twinning Society, however there were information tables set out. Information on the Lethbridge Twinning Society as well as the A/JTMA was displayed. (Picture of Hon. MLA Klimchuk was taken in front of the A/JTMA display.)

The plenary sessions and networking during the two days permitted excellent opportunities for sharing the "Twinning Vision and Mission ". There was a lot of interest in twinning relationships and for many it was the first time they became aware of our existence.

It was an honour and a pleasure to be invited to the forum. To be able to participate in such a dynamic environment was amazing. The key elements of the forum, "Explore, Educate, Evolve and Engage" were certainly timely and challenging.

Huge kudos to Hon. MLA Klimchuk and Alberta Culture and Community Services!

A/JTMA welcomes the City of Brooks

On January 20, 2012 A/JTMA President, Harold Pereverseff met with Brooks City Councillor, Norm Gerestein at the Brooks City Hall.

The City of Brooks, "Alberta's Centennial City" have a long standing relationship with the City of Hiroo, Japan. This relationship is sustained through the excellent student program/exchange administered through Principal Grant Jensen and the Brooks Composite High School.

The City of Brooks is our newest member to join the A/JTMA following in the footsteps of the Okinawa Cultural Society from Lethbridge.

Okinawa Cultural Society (LOS) Reception

On November 09, 2011 a send off dinner reception for a group of students from Haebaru Town, Okinawa was held at the Buddhist Temple in Lethbridge. The Lethbridge Okinawa Cultural Society (LOS) hosted a very pleasant dinner and program for the students and host families.

Vice Mayor of the Haebaru Township Government, Shinsyo Kuniyoshi along with two representatives of the Haebaru Town Board of Education, Minako Matsumoto and Yukie Shimoji had accompanied the eight students during their visit to Alberta.

It was heart tugging to hear the Japanese students relate their wonderful experiences in Lethbridge with their host families and at their school. They were very appreciative of their organizing hosts, (LOS). President of LOS, Yoshitaka Kinjo "Taka" has consistently worked with the Haebaru Town to make the connection with Lethbridge very close and sincere.

During the reception, Vice Mayor Shinsyo presented the Town of Haebaru flag to Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association (A/JTMA) President, Harold Pereverseff. LOS are members of A/JTMA and the flag will be used at A/JTMA events recognizing the relationship of LOS and Haebaru Town.

Hands of Friendship

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Alberta /Japan Twin Relationships. This memorial gift was presented to Ms. Kate Rowe of the Alberta Government Department of International and Intergovernmental Relations during the 2010 A/JTMA Conference held in Stony Plain, July 13 - 14th 2010.

The A/JTMA is proud to present such a meaningful monument to not only recognize the past three decades of twinning relations, but to also look to the future as we continue to build strong and meaningful assocations between communities in Alberta and Japan.

Recent events:

March, 2011, the world was (and still is) in shock as the devastating earthquakes struck off the eastern coast of Japan causing the enormous tsunami in the Fukishima area.

The long distance from here to Japan seemed so much closer as we all hoped and prayed for normality to return to the lives of the Japanese affected by this disaster. Many Alberta communities, particularly member communities of the A/JTMA rose up to the instant and did something/anything they could to provide assistance. We, the A/JTMA Executive, commend these communities for their timely and compassionate efforts.

True we too suffer our own misfortunes at the hands of nature (Slave Lake for example) we most certainly rally together for support there as well, not withstanding our efforts at home, the A/JTMA is proud of our membership who have reached out! Keep up the good work! We hope that at this year's conference, we might hear, first hand, from the represented municipalise how your Japan relief efforts went.

It will be wonderful to meet this year at the conference, those communities who have considered joining the A/JTMA, this is your moment! Please contact Shiho Hayashi at: 1(780)865-2363 e-mail:

Harold Pereverseff,
Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association

Luncheon in honour of Consul General of Japan

Picture: L to R - Mr. Brian Manning, Mrs. Alicia Fukuda, Consul General Susumu Fukuda, Minister of Alberta International Intergovernmental Relations, Hon. Iris Evans, Mr. Kyo Oshima, Mr. Harold Pereverseff and Mr. Kent McMullin.

On June 14, 2011 Hon. Minister, Iris Evans hosted a luncheon in honour of the recent arrival of our new Consul General of Japan, Susumu Fukuda. The luncheon was held in Edmonton.

The luncheon provided the opportunity to get to know the new Consul General and his lovely wife. Consul General Fukuda has served in postings in Los Angeles, California, the Dominican Republic and was also Counsellor of the Japanese Embassies in Chile, Guatemala and Norway. His most recent posting was that of Consul General of Japan in Lima, Peru. Consul General Fukuda and his wife, Alicia have two daughters, Mie and Reina who are both studying in the USA. The Consul General enjoys golf and karaoke while his wife enjoys art and is honing her painting skills.

It was a great pleasure to meet and welcome the Consul General and his wife. We wish them a successful and enjoyable tenure in Alberta.

Information Meeting, September 08, 2009

Please, download the Word file about Information Meeting in Calgary, Alberta.

New Alberta-Japan twinning agreement

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Japanese Consul General - Minemura
On April 28, 2009 a very special reception was held in Didsbury to commemorate the official signing of a twinning agreement between the Town of Didsbury and Miki Town, Japan. The key note speaker at the reception, Japanese Consul General Minemura, expressed his delight in yet another Alberta, Japan twinning relationship being officially established. The relations between Miki Town and Didsbury have been ongoing since 2005 with the start of the "Maple Leaf " program and the arrival of the first delegation of students to Didsbury from Miki Town.

Japanese Memorial Garden Dedication - Legislature Grounds
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Edmonton, Alberta - October 08, 2008: The 17 Downy Cherry shrubs planted this week on the east grounds of the Alberta Legislature are just babies, each about a foot tall. But in a few years, the saplings will grow up to 10 times their size, and springtime blooms will fragrance the air, bringing a touch of Hokkaido to Alberta.

The ornamental trees, native to Japan, represent the 17 Alberta municipalities and 15 high schools twinned with Japanese counterparts in the prefecture of Hokkaido. Centred around a stone lantern, the garden was officially unveiled at a ceremony Wednesday celebrating the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Canada. More >>>

Read the full story in Edmonton Journal.

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press-releases, current events, latest news, statistics, and much more about
Alberta's International and Intergovernmental Relations!