Twinning With Other Countries

Twinning With Other Countries

"A twinning is the coming together of two communities seeking, in this way, to take action with a unique perspective and with the aim of facing their problems and developing between themselves closer and closer ties of friendship.” -Jean Bareth
Twinning is a wonderfully flexible instrument.  It can take place between small villages, towns, counties, big cities. It can focus on a whole range of experiences and can involve a wide range of participants from two or more twinned communities. A good twinning partnership can bring many benefits to a community and the municipality.  By bringing people together from different parts of the world, it enables young people to get involved with their counterparts from a different country and to gain self-confidence.


Equally important is the dual commitment required for twinnings to be successful: that of the local authorities, but also that of the citizens. In a few words, there can be no twinning without the active participation of the citizens! This dual nature often requires the setting up of a twinning committee bringing together local officials and citizens.

Barrhead & District Twinning Committee

Cultural activities are popular with The Town and County of Barrhead. On a regular basis, the Barrhead & District Twinning Committee organizes and supports visits and cultural exchanges with our "sister towns" - Tokoro, Japan, Drouin, Australia and Chapala, Mexico. Anyone interested in participating as home-stay families or would like to join the Twinning Committee, please contact Cheryl Callihoo at or 780-674-3301.


The Town of Tokoro is situated on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido has a long and interesting history. The Town and County of Barrhead twinned with the Town of Tokoro in 1991. Since that time fourteen visits have been arranged between our communities.


Twinning Ceremonies with the Town of Tokoro, Hokkaido, Japan

On July 4, 1991, the County of Barrhead, jointly with the Town of Barrhead, entered into an Agreement with the Town of Tokoro, in the Province of Hokkaido, Japan, for the establishment of sister relationships between the communities. The official Twinning Document was signed by Mayor Kazuo Inoue (Tokoro), Mayor Bill Stutchbury (Town) and Reeve George Visser (County). Barrhead representatives travelled to the Town of Tokoro to sign the 1991 agreement. In July 1995, the 5th Anniversary celebrating the Twinning relationship was held in Barrhead.


2001 Delegation to Tokoro for the 10th Anniversary of Twinning

The 2001 delegation to Tokoro for the 10th Anniversary of Twinning was attended by: Town of Barrhead Mayor Sid Gurevitch, Councillor Gerry St. Pierre, Councillor Edie Yuill, County of Barrhead Deputy Reeve Bill Lee, Tyner Lee, Barb Dawson, Dr. Charles Godberson, Karen Lumsden and high school students - Tino Driessen, David Driessen, Caroline Lyster, Caitlin Lyster and Steven Forest.

25th Twinning Anniversary for Canada and Japan

On July 4, 2005, Debbie Bender and Carol Lee were in Sapporo, Japan representing the Barrhead & District Twinning Committee and our community, as the Provinces of Alberta Canada and Hokkaido, Japan celebrated the 25th Anniversary of their Twinning. Representatives from Stony Plain, Wetaskiwin and Bon Accord were there as well. Honourable Rob Renner, Minister of Municipal Affairs gave greeting from our Province and a gift of an Indian headdress and tanned coat. Following the official ceremonies on July 4, 2005, our representatives (Debbie Bender and Carol Lee) were treated to a wonderful authentic Japanese supper and the sites of Sapporo.

On July 5, 2005, the duo headed for the Town of Tokoro, which is twinned with Barrhead. A barbecue was held in their honour to meet and greet people who had been to Barrhead over the past 14 years of Twinning, plus dignitaries from the Town. Tours of the area and neighbouring sites, home-stays with four different families and meals of delicious locally grown veggies, fruits and seafood were enjoyed. The hospitality of the people was number one!


2006 - 15th Anniversary of Twinning

2006 marked the 15th Anniversary of Twinning between Barrhead and Tokoro. A delegation from Tokoro represented by Deputy Mayor Ihara, Mr. Suzuki, Mr. Sawaai and Mr. and Mrs. Kuse came to Barrhead and celebrated the anniversary.  2006 marked the beginning of our very own Japanese Park, located behind the United Church on 60 Street.

2008 Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Conference

The Barrhead and District Twinning Committee were proud to host the Conference September 12-13, 2008. For complete Conference details please click here to see the 2008 Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Conference.


2016 - 25th Twinning Anniversary - Barrhead and Tokoro, Japan

The Barrhead and District Twinning Committee were proud to host the 25th Twinning Anniversary on August 10-15, 2016. A delegation from Tokoro Branch of Kitami City represented by Kitami Deputy Mayor Mr. Shinichi Watanabe, Vice-Chairman in the City Council Mr. Shuuji Iida, General Director Mr. Kiyoshi Ogasawara, Mr. Yumiko Tabuchi, Mr. Nobuyuki Tadatsu, Mr. Kuniaki Satou, Mr. Atsushi Kuse, Ms. Yoshiko Mizutani and Miss Eri Mizutani,came to Barrhead and celebrated the anniversary. 


Drouin, Australia

The Town of Drouin is situated in Baw Baw Shire in the southern part of the state of Victoria. The year 2004 was the 15th Anniversary of the Twinning of the Town and County of Barrhead with the Town of Drouin, so we planned and commemorated it an exciting trip.

2014 was the 25th Anniversary of the Twinning. A delegation from the Town and County left in February for a visit.



Reeve Lawrence Miller (front-left) signs the formal Twinning Agreement with the Town and County of Barrhead and Chapala, Mexico. Finished signing are Presidente Garardo Degollado Gonzalex (centre) and Mayor Brian Schulz. Looking on are (left to right) Sgt. Randy Hindy, Chapala City Councillor Jaime Mexia and Vice Presidente Oscar Espana.

Twinning Ceremonies with the Town of Chapala, Mexico

On Wednesday, September 3, 2008, at the Senior's Drop-in Centre, the County of Barrhead, jointly with the Town of Barrhead, entered into an Agreement with the Town of Chapala in the State of Jalisco, Mexico for the establishment of mutual friendship and goodwill relationships between the Municipalities. The official Twinning Document was signed by Presidente (Mayor), Gerardo Degollado Gonzalez (Chapala), Mayor Brian Schulz (Town) and Reeve Lawrence Miller (County). The agreement stated that "We shall work for the development of our respective communities to expand educational, cultural and industrial exchanges. In pursuit of this joint understanding towards world peace through enhanced relations, the Town of Barrhead, the County of Barrhead and the Town of Chapala, do hereby pledge to cooperate one with the other as sister municipalities".