VANCOUVER, BC – TLC The Land Conservancy and Kogawa House Committee has received a 2007 City of Vancouver Heritage Award for their work in protecting the childhood home of Canadian author, Joy Kogawa.

The 28th annual City of Vancouver Heritage Awards were presented on February 19, the first day of Heritage Week, to tribute the extraordinary efforts of architects, community organization, developers, writers, artists and ordinary citizen who work to preserve Vancouver’s heritage.

Mayor Sam Sullivan conferred an award of honour to TLC and the Kogawa House Committee, for its outstanding advocacy efforts in saving the Historic Joy Kogawa House, bringing municipal, provincial, national and international attention to the effort with its theme of “Hope, Healing and Reconciliation”, thus preserving an important part of Vancouver’s cultural heritage.

Historic Joy Kogawa House is the childhood home of author Joy Kogawa, from which she and her family were removed from the home in 1942 as part of the Government’s policy of internment of Canadians of Japanese ancestry during World War II.  Located in the Marpole neighbourhood of Vancouver, Kogawa House is a symbol of the wrongs that were committed in the past.  It is this house that is featured prominently in her award winning novel Obasan, a powerful story of that internment and features the house prominently as part of her childhood recollections.

“It is an honour to be recognized among the heritage community and I’d like to thank everyone that worked on this fundraising campaign as well as our 550 donors,” says Bill Turner, TLC’s Executive Director.  “I’m pleased to say this accomplishment is a testament of what a community of concerned individuals can to do to make a change in the world.  It is important for us to ensure our stories as a national do not disappear over time.  The story of the Historic Joy Kogawa House will live on with everyone it touched.”

“This house was saved by the poets, writers, film makers, literary and heritage lovers, and the activists and visionaries of our community, “ says Todd Wong of the Kogawa House Committee. “It is a powerful gift to Vancouver, BC, Canada and the world for the voices of conscience.  That the house has survived this long is a miracle, and it took a miracle to save it.  This house was destined to become both a historical and literary landmark.  The Kogawa House committee is honoured to receive this award, and we are in debt to all the believers.”

In light of the fact TLC purchased the Historic Joy Kogawa House in early June 2006, donations are still required for restoration and an endowment to allow the house to be used both as an educational site addressing the issue of the internment of Canadians of Japanese heritage during the World War II and as a site for a ‘Writers-in-Residence’ program.  Donations can be made by calling: (604) 733-2313.

For further information:
TLC:  Bill Turner (250) 213-1090;
Save Kogawa House Committee:  Todd Wong (604) 240-7090;