The Hanna Community Centre was a busy place on July 29 with over 250 people gathered for the Taste of Culture event hosted by the Hanna in Bloom and Town of Hanna.
The night was a chance to meet the three visiting exchange students from Wake, Japan and to meet the two women who were in Hanna to judge the town for the Communities in Bloom national competition and to celebrate the fact that Hanna is a provincial finalist in the competition.
Tables of food were set up that included sushi, a typical Japanese meal made from a combination of rice and vegetables that can also include raw fish, caviar and seaweed. There were also Canadian style cupcakes that had a maple icing with sprinkles of real bacon.
The three visiting exchange students, Honoka Kanaka,14, Maho Kiwada, 15 and Kentaro Moromoto, 14, all said that they were enjoying Hanna but out of the excursions so far the two girls, Kanaka and Kiwada said that they really enjoyed Banff saying that it was a beautiful place.
Shauna Davies who is the mother of the family hosting the three students for the 10 days they are here said that it’s been a wonderful experience. The family has taken the students to the glacier, along the Icefield Parkway and to see the hoodoos in Drumheller. Davies says they are also planning a trip to Waterton Provincial Park with the students.
Davies’s son Danny and daughter Katie are both leaving to go back to Wake with the students on Aug. 3 and will be there for three weeks.
Katie had to work but Danny said that they were both excited for the trip and he was looking forward to seeing the big cities in Japan like Tokyo.
Last year’s exchange student Emily Campbell was there to answer questions and show some of the things she got while in Japan.
She said she still keeps in touch with her exchange students and would recommend the program to everyone. She admitted that the language was difficult and that it was a bit of a culture shock, being one of the few Caucasian people in Wake.
The night also included live entertainment with piano music, singers, a Hanna Ghost Walk performance and ending with Hanna’s very own band with singer and guitarist Mayor Chris Warwick.
The night was a celebration put on by Hanna in Bloom, part of the Communities in Bloom project of Canada.
Gwen Snell, Community Services Director for the town, said that the Community in Bloom judges were quite impressed with Hanna but the town won’t know who won until the official announcement at the National Conference in Kamloops Sept. 30.
She contributes the success to the Bloom to you awards that were given out by the town during the summer season and stressed that it wasn’t about how big the display was or even that you had a display but more that you were looking after your property, keeping it clean and neat and that it was an all year round attitude of the community.
“It’s about how we view ourselves and it tells people coming into Hanna that this community must have pride in itself making them think it’s a good place to live,” said Snell.