Western Washington University and the Bellingham Sister Cities Association will host the mayors or representatives from all seven of Bellingham’s sister cities for the first Global Dialog for Community Solutions and a celebration of 60 years of the sister-city partnership between Bellingham and Tatayama, Japan on Sept. 4-6.
Mayors expected to attend the event are Kelli Linville of Bellingham; Kenichi Kanamaru of Tatayama, Japan; Tomas Häyry of Vaasa, Finland; Jamtsiin Gurvantamir of Tsetserleg, Mongolia and Ryan Palmer of Port Stephens, Australia. Representatives of other cities include Stowe Talbot for Nakhodka, Russia; Terry Carten for Punta Arenas, Chile and Hong Cheol “Jimmy” Kim for Cheongju, South Korea.
The first public event is the Mayoral Summit, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4 in the Miller Hall Collaborative Space on the WWU campus. The summit will provide the leaders and city representatives an opportunity to meet one another, celebrate intercultural understanding, and share their challenges and successes while exploring opportunities for partnerships and exchanges between Western, other schools, businesses, and the cities themselves. Free parking will be available in the 7G parking lot located on the north end of campus.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, the mayors and representatives will spend the day visiting city schools and local businesses that focus on international trade.
On the final day on Thursday, Sept. 6, after visiting the Peace Arch, the public is invited to gather at 3 p.m. along with the mayors and representatives for the dedication of a new monument at the Bellingham Public Library’s South Garden honoring the 60 years of friendship between Bellingham and Tatayama.
For more information on the Mayoral Summit at WWU, contact Chris Roselli, Western Washington University director of Community Relations, at (360) 650-2153. For more information about the monument dedication and the Bellingham Sister Cities Association, contact Ross Grier, President of BSCA at (360) 927-3687.