The City of Castlegar and the Town of Embetsu have had a successful sister city relationship since 1989. This relationship was recognized that the longest and actively continuing relationship by the Japan Canada Educational & Cultural Exchange Foundation (JACEF) in 2011.
In November 2016 Japanese Consul-General Asako Okai visited Castlegar as part of her BC tour to meet officials and participants of exchanges between Japan and Canada. Consul-General Okai met with Mayor Chernoff and student ambassadors who visited Embetsu, Japan earlier that year and gained insight on the sister city relationship and the Castlegar-Embetsu Educational Exchange Program.
July 2006: Castlegar Students and Mayor Chefnoff visit Embetsu
August 16, 2008: Castlegar City Hall Grand Opening and Embetsu Japanese Garden
The Embetsu Mayor, Shigeyuki Kawashima, Town officials and ECIEA members attended the grand opening ceremony.
The Arbor, or Japanese Garden Entrance, was presented to the City of Castlegar by the town of Embetsu, in order to be a part of Castlegar’s Spirit Square. A Japanese maple tree was planted by both Mayors as part of the ceremony.
September 26th to October 2nd, 2012: the City Delegation visits Embetsu
The delegation consisted of 7 including Mayor Chernoff, Fire Chief Rempel, Councillor Heaton-Sherstobitoff and CEEEC members. The delegation toured the town and attended the Embetsu Fire Hall Grand Opening, the Embetsu Fire Department 100th Anniversary and the ECIEA 15th anniversary celebration.
September 29, 2012: Tour of the Town
September 30, 2012: Grand Opening of New Embetsu Fire Hall
Embetsu Fire Department 100th Anniversary Celebration
Castlegar Fire Chief, Gerry Rempel received an honourable Embetsu Fire Chief Title
July 2014: Sister City 25th Anniversary
A delegation from Embetsu visited to celebrate the 25th Anniversary.
2017 August: City Delegation visit Embetsu
2019 August: Sister City 30th Anniversary
The Embetsu Mayor, Koshi Sasakawa town officials and ECIEA members visit Castlegar to celebrate the 30th anniversary. Both Mayors confirmed that both communities will continue to work together to build stronger bonds as sister cities. The delegation enjoyed the tour of the city during their stay in Castlegar.
The sister city exchange activities were not only between both communities’ officials and students. There have been several private visits to and from Embetsu were made by both citizens.
In 2017, the Embetsu Chamber of Commerce purchased locally made, BC and Canadian-made products worth CA$1300 for their Embetsu Summer Festival. These products were used as prizes at the festival highlight event. Among those purchased by the Embetsu Chamber of Commerce, 80% of the products were from the Kootenay Gallery, Castlegar Golf Course and Selkirk Weavers & Spinners Guild.