Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ghost town

I had the good fortune to be involved with a creative installation at the Nikkei Centre yesterday.

Steve Nunoda created hundreds of scale models of the internment shacks that Japanese Canadians were moved to during WW2. He had an old box company create the templates out of tar paper, a durable, flexible material that the buildings were roofed with.

A scale model 

based on one of the original shacks.

Many hands make light work. For me, this was the best part, touching and smelling the tar paper while Steve and some of the Japanese elders recalled stories about the internment.

We made 98 models.

The models were moved to the beautiful Kohan Reflection Garden.

We placed rocks inside each building so that they wouldn't be blown away.

Momoko Ito, our Nikkei internment museum director helps with placement.

Momoko and Steve do some fine tuning.

And voila, a ghost town commemorating the 220,000 Japanese Canadians that were displaced during WW2. There were several camps in the West Kootenay. Now hardly any trace is left. 

If you are interested in more about this historic event, check out:

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