Jeannine and Bob Nishiguchi beside the Harmony Project mosaic representing Ashcroft’s Japanese community. Their likenesses are featured in the centre of the mosaic, far right. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Jeannine and Bob Nishiguchi beside the Harmony Project mosaic representing Ashcroft’s Japanese community. Their likenesses are featured in the centre of the mosaic, far right. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Harmony Project moving ahead in Ashcroft

New mosaic project will celebrate the different cultures that built the town.

Close to 50 people attended a special Rotary Club “brown bag” lunch on November 30, to learn more about the Harmony Project and see the mosaics which will make up the heart of the project, which is planned for a site on Railway Avenue beside the Heritage Park.

The four mosaics depict and celebrate Ashcroft’s cultural diversity over the decades, commemorating the First Nations, Chinese, Japanese, and settlers who have contributed to the town.

Many of those at the lunch had brought in photographs of family members, which artist Marina Papais used as a basis for portraits in the centre of each mosaic, and attendees spent much time reminiscing as they spotted friends and family members.

Funding for the mosaics and the structure that will house them was obtained from the New Pathways to Gold Society, and David Durksen announced that a $15,000 grant from the Anglican Foundation of Canada has been received for the construction of a labyrinth around the site.

However, Durksen noted that so far there has been more than $70,000 in in-kind donations to create the Harmony Project, for things such as planning and the labour.

The Harmony Project is the brainchild of Papais and her husband Daniel Collett.

“We had the idea years ago,” says Papais. “We became intimate with the community after we moved here, and we knew we were going to be here forever.

“We wanted to know how to tell the world we can all live as one. We heard people’s stories, and realized we’re all the same, we’re all related. We wanted to bring that fact out.

“And we need more reconciliation. We’ve overcome the residential schools, the head tax, internment, and settlers coming here from war-torn countries for better lives in Ashcroft for themselves and their children.

“The Harmony Project will be a tie binding us together as a community.”

“We wanted to make a positive change and a difference in the world at a local level,” says Collett, noting that the project will include a bell. “We know if the harmony bell is there, people will ring it.

“This is what reconciliation looks like: people putting something into action. It respects all the traditions and communities in our town, and says ‘May our community, our world, be as one.’”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
BC Wildfire service tackling blaze at 16 Mile

Two hectare wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 and is listed as out of control

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read