The Port Hardy Twinning Society marching through the streets of Port Hardy. (Port Hardy Twinning Society photo)

The Port Hardy Twinning Society marching through the streets of Port Hardy. (Port Hardy Twinning Society photo)

Twinning society members burnt out, want District of Port Hardy to take over direction

‘The chair has acted and been responsibly involved for close to 25 years’

The future of the Port Hardy Twinning Society (PHTS) has been decided, at least for the time being.

The PHTS sent a report to council back at the beginning of September stating that “the current delivery of the twinning relationship by the PHTS does not appear to be sustainable at this time.”

RELATED: End of an era for twinning society?

RELATED: Port Hardy hosts Numata students

According to the report, which was submitted by Leslie Driemel (Chair), Mark Jones (Treasurer), and Shantel Genest (Secretary), the executive, who are all volunteers, are “burnt out after serving and working too many years without a break from their positions. The chair has acted and been responsibly involved for close to 25 years. Other members of the executive have served extended terms in positions within the society and society membership has dwindled to unsupportable levels.”

The report also states that interest and membership in twinning has “diminished significantly despite the best efforts of current twinning members. The extent of lack of interest is shown by the fact there were no paid twinning memberships in 2019 and the cancellation of the August exchange trip to Numata from Port Hardy. This cancellation was a direct result of a lack of interest from the community.”

According to the society, in its heyday it was customary to send as many as 15 delegates to Numata, at times led by a Port Hardy council representative and/or the Mayor.

“It is time to refresh the delivery of the twinning relationship as well engage alternative leadership options,” stated the report, adding that change is required to the delivery of the twinning relationship with Numata. “Council, who is signatory to the twinning agreement, must determine the next steps regarding the twinning delivery.”

The report also posed the question: Does Port Hardy desire to continue its twinning relationship with Numata?

“Should the answer be YES, then: how and who is best able or capable to deliver the twinning mandate given its current circumstances?”

Recommendation to Port Hardy council

The PHTS members stated they do not want to see the twinning relationship with Numata collapse. As such, they would like council to dissolve the current society structure, “and implement a project-based delivery, managed and led by town council and resources supported by community volunteers.”

The report was discussed at a Committee of the Whole meeting, and the committee recommended to council that the District of Port Hardy work towards “transitioning the current society structure to the district through a project-based approach under the Parks Recreation, Arts and Culture Committee (PRACC).”

What does that mean exactly?

According to PRACC Chair Fred Robertson, the transition is still in the very early stages at the moment, and the PRACC are in the middle of “looking at how we can make it work – I’m in favour of it, council sees a value in it, and we just need to figure out how exactly to approach it.”

Background on the society

The PHTS, a not for profit organization, was established in February of 2002 by members of the District of Port Hardy Economic Development Committee to manage the day to day twinning agreement signed between the towns of Numata, Japan and Port Hardy in 1994. The purpose of the Society was to strengthen and advance friendship of the two communities through the promotion of exchanges in the field of economy, culture, education and sports. Since 1994 delegations from Numata and Port Hardy have both hosted and travelled to each community, where individuals experienced local cultures and participated in local activities. Beyond these exchanges, the PHTS has promoted the Twinning relationship, raising awareness and soliciting interest of the public through events in Port Hardy, FILOMI days, regional fall fairs and establishing visual remembrances of its sister city relationship with Numata – such as the Torii Gate, the Japanese garden in Carrot Park as well as visual displays in and around Port Hardy.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The entrance to the Port Hardy aquatic centre. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Port Hardy council will decide fate of pool revitalization project at next meeting

The pool revitalization project will be on the agenda at the Dec. 8 meeting for council to vote on.

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning, offering coffee, tea, hot soup, meals and warmth. Cots were available for overnight stays. The centre had a generator, so people were able to charge their devices. Approximately 75 residents passed through during the three-day outage. (Debra Lynn photo)
Port Alice residents talk three-day power outage

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning.

Emma Garriott is releasing her second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst.’ (Emma Garriott / Facebook photo)
North Island musician releases second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst’

“When you hear it, I want you to feel like your best friend in the whole world is sitting beside you’

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Most Read