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.”
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.