Conferment Ceremony of Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays for Mr. Chris Spearman and Grand Opening of the Nikka Yuko Bunka Centre

On July 14th, Mr. Chris Spearman was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays from the Autumn Conferment of 2020. The ceremony, which had been repeatedly postponed due to COVID-19, was held at the Nikka Yuko Bunka Centre in Lethbridge, AB. Over 100 people gathered to celebrate his conferment.
Over a long career as a business owner and former Mayor of Lethbridge, Mr. Spearman has spent years fostering ties with Japan and promoting Japanese culture.
Consul General Uchida praised Mr. Spearman for his contributions to the promotion of exchanges between Japan and Canada through the sister city relationships with Towada City in Aomori Prefecture and Haebaru Town in Okinawa Prefecture. During the ceremony, congratulatory remarks were also given by Chris Spearman’s daughter Jennifer Parker. Chris Spearman expressed gratitude for those who supported him while he was mayor, as well as the staff of Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.
In addition to the conferment ceremony, a day-long celebration was held commemorating the 55th Anniversary of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden as well as the Grand Opening of the Bunka Centre. Events included a Timeline & Garden exhibit presentation by Dr. Darren Aoki (University of Plymouth) and Dr. Carly Adams (University of Lethbridge); presentation by Booming Tree Taiko and the Nikkei Cultural Society Minyo Dancers and more. During the official ribbon cutting ceremony, Consul-General Uchida delivered remarks congratulating the Nikka Yuko team on their anniversary and addition of the Bunka Centre.

Consul-General Uchida delivering remarks Conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays

Mr. Spearman delivering remarks Taiko drum performance by Booming Tree

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden Bunka Centre ribbon-cutting ceremony Dance performance by Nikkei Cultural Society Minyo Dancers