Monday, November 15, 2021
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New Nikka Yuko “Bunka Centre” set to open in late November

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – Just a few more weeks until the newest addition to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is open to the public.

The Bunka Centre will be opening in three phases starting with the gift shop, cafe and event space on Nov. 26th, which is also the first day of this year’s Winter Light Festival.

Architect Elizabeth Songer says it a pretty amazing building.

“We came up with something that refers to Japanese architecture in many ways,” says Songer. “The Japanese are quite humble and there’s an honour in humbling yourself in front of others. You will notice the roof actually comes down to the centre point and that’s where you enter. You enter at the most humblist point.”

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The word Bunka means culture in Japanese. This new facility aims to engage the community and guests through cultural experiences and programs.

The Bunka Centre was a project six years of strategic planning and was approved in 2017 as part of the City of Lethbridge’s 2018-2027 Capital Improvement Program as a space to facilitate the growth at Nikka Yuko.

Exhibits and programming spaces will open in early 2022 and the official grand opening is scheduled for July 14th next year to coincide with the garden’s 55th anniversary.

Japanese Garden Society President, Brad Hembroff says it is going to be one special place calling it “amazing”. He says the digital technology in this new building and everything else that goes along with it is very exciting.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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