Friendship Ceremony at the Tramore Gardens

Lafcadio Hearn

Click of a ‘like’ button spurs new transatlantic ties between Canada and Waterford

TWO Japanese gardens located over 6,500km apart are forging an exciting new relationship over the coming days and adding a whole new meaning to the term ‘click and go’!
A Canadian delegation will visit the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Tramore, Waterford, on Thursday and Friday 26th and 27th July. It’s the first step in what all involved hope will be an exciting new tourism initiative between Waterford City and County and Alberta, Canada for generations to come.
The visit all sprang from the click of a ‘like’ button between the facebook pages of two Japanese Gardens’. Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens Marketing Manager, Janet Carey, explained.
On Thursday, July 26th and Friday 27th July, Tramore and Waterford will be visited by a delegation from Lethbridge City, Alberta Canada for a Friendship Ceremony at the Tramore gardens. Events will also be attended by His Excellency Ambassador Kevin Vickers, Canada’s Ambassador to Ireland.
Lafcadio Hearn
“As a community-based voluntary organisation, we very much rely on the power of social media and other affordable ways to get our message out there. Attracting a delegation from Canada through a click on a ‘like’ button very much affirms our use of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Our spectacular Azumaya  (Japanese Pavillion)  should be almost completed by the time our visitors arrive. It now stands proudly over the landscape and we hope it will be a place to be enjoyed by many more visitors and friends from around the world,” she said.
Initially planned as a simple exchange of friendship scrolls through the Embassy, the visit by the group from the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge, Alberta has now become a much bigger event, which both gardens hope will spur greater transatlantic ties for many years to come between both regions.
“We now want to develop an ongoing relationship between the two communities and to encourage visitors to come to the regions of Ireland and Canada which are traditionally outside the most popular tourism routes.”
On Thursday morning the delegation will visit attractions in Waterford City Centre, followed by a tour of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens. On Friday the 27th July, newly-appointed  Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Declan Doocey, will hold a Mayoral Reception for Ambassador Vickers and the Alberta based group, here it is hoped valuable contacts will be made and ideas exchanged to enable the cross promotion of the two regions.
Later on Friday evening at 5.45pm The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Tramore will hold a free event in the Gardens for the public, which will see the exchange of Friendship Certificates, Tree Planting, Music and Japanese Martial Arts Display by members of Dragon’s Lair, in the presence of Ambassador Kevin Vickers.
On Saturday, the delegation will continue their sightseeing of the Waterford region and will meet with the managers and directors of other local attractions and gardens.
Lafcadio Hearn