Heiwa Garden

  • Heiwa Garden Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    photo by Bob Rogers

Welcome to Heiwa Garden, created in honour of the Japanese-Canadian pioneers of Salt Spring Island. Founded in 2008 by the Japanese Garden Society in co-operation with the Salt Spring Island Parks & Recreation Commission, the garden forms one part of the Peace Park, previously established by the local chapter of the Voice of Women.

Heiwa (pronounced HAY-wa) means ‘peace’ in Japanese. While providing habitat for wildlife, the garden offers visitors a tranquil space for the contemplation of peace, reconciliation and cross-cultural unity in a Japanese-inspired landscape.

Location of Heiwa Garden in Ganges Village

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Japanese-inspired gate and rammed earth walls

Based on an architectural plan drawn by Mana Nakata, Michael Dragland built the gate with beautiful yellow cedar harvested in northern BC. Many volunteers got involved in the construction process. John Herda from Ontario is worth a special mention for working together with the head carpenter Michael Dragland for more than a month.

A team led by Clifton Schooley created very special walls for the garden. A 'rammed earth' construction method was used for the wall, an ancient technique for building walls using natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime or gravel.

We feel fortunate to have had Michael and Clifton working on the signature structures in the Heiwa Garden.

  • Japanese Garden Salt Spring

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Interpretive panels were created with the support of many dedicated people

The interpretive panels tell the story of the Japanese-Canadian community of Salt Spring Island - their achievements, their hardships, the tragedy of their internment during World War Two, and their starting again after the war.

With a grant received from the National Association of Japanese Canadians and the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, Maggie Ziegler and Caffyn Kelly conducted historical research for the panel content, Phil Vernon designed informative visual panels, Michael Dragland built a beautiful wooden frame, and Colin Beamish built a roof to give a nice finishing touch.

The unveiling ceremony of the interpretive panel was held on January 15th, 2010. Peter Levitt, who leads the island's zen circle made a heartfelt speech and Rose Murakami shared her own experience of the internment.

  • interpretive panel Japanese Garden Salt Spring

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Stone plaza smooths the entry of Heiwa Garden

Stone mason Damien Barstead installed a stone plaza at the entrance of the garden. The project was completed with a BC 150 Grant and a donation from the Rotary Club of Salt Spring Island for purchasing the material.

  • Rotary Club Japanese Garden Salt Spring
    Damien Barstead, representatives of the Rotary Club,
    and board members of the Society celebrate the
    completion of the project.
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Heiwa bench of Hannah Brown

Hannah Brown donated a bench beautifully crafted by Luke Hart-Weller in memory of her grandson. The bench was installed on April 30th, 2009, just in time for the official opening of the Heiwa Garden.

  • Hannah Brown Japanese Garden Salt Spring
    Hannah Brown poses beside Luke's
    bench.
  • Hannah Brown Japanese Garden Salt Spring
    Japanese character in the back is 'wa' for peace.
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Memorial stone donated by Warren Langley

Local artist Warren Langley created a beautifully carved stone marker for the Heiwa Garden on January 13th, 2010.

  • Warren Langley stone marker Japanese Garden Salt Spring
    Inscription on the stone says 'Peace'
    and 'Heiwa Garden' in Japanese.
  • Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    From left, Clifton Schooley, Warren Langley, Patrick
    Normal, Aki Otsu setting up the stone in the rain.

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Weeping maple tree donated by the island's Zen Circle

A beautiful Japanese weeping maple, donated by the Salt Spring Zen Circle, was planted for peace. The interpretive panels are in the background.

  • Zen circle, Japanese Garden Salt Spring

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Two black pine trees from Tak Yamaura of Japan Bonsai

Two mature Japanese black pines were planted on February 28th, 2010. Tak Yamaura, President of the BC Bonsai Society, kindly donated these trees to the Heiwa Garden in support of our aim to create a garden of unity and reconciliation. His exceptional generosity is greatly appreciated by the people of Salt Spring Island.

  • Tak Yamaura Japanese Garden Salt Spring
  • Tak Yamaura Salt Spring Japanese Garden
  • Tak Yamaura Japanese Garden Salt Spring
    T.Yamaura, M.Ito, P.Oro loading the trees
    at Japan Bonsai in White Rock.
  • Tak Yamaura Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    Landscape architect Masa Ito planting
    the trees with volunteers; Aki Kikuchi,
    Peter Oro, and Aki Otsu.

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Our thanks to the Salt Spring Foundation for a beautiful bench

Marshall Heinekey presenting a cheque on behalf of the Salt Spring Island Foundation to Japanese Garden Society President Mearnie Summers on December 18th, 2009. The Society very much appreciates being part of the tremendous support shown by the Foundation for the Salt Spring community. The bench was created by Luke Hart-Weller.

  • Meanie Summers, Salt Spring Foundation, bench, Japanese Garden
    Marchall Heinekey presenting the cheque
    to Mearnie Summers.
  • Salt Spring Foundation, bench, Salt Spring Japanese Garden
  • Luke Hart Weller, Japanese Garden Salt Spring
    Luke Hart-Weller installing the bench.
  • Luke Hart Weller, Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    Fine detail of the bench.

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Marlene Rice donated a bench created by Lloyd Klassen

A third bench was donated to the Heiwa Garden on January 13th, 2010. The bench was made by local woodworker Lloyd Klassen and installed with the help of Clifton Schooley.

  • Marlene Rice, Salt Spring, Japanese Garden
    Rose Murakami sat
    with Marlene Rice (left)
  • Marlene Rice, Salt Spring, Japanese Garden
    Lloyd Klassen (left) and Marlene Rice

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Pam will be rememberd

Paul Boatman donated a weeping cherry tree in memory of Pamela Booth of Admiral's Specialty Food, who loved Japan. The tree was planted on November 4th, 2009 on a beautiful sunny day.

  • Pamela, Salt Spring, Japanese Garden
    Paul Boatman with Pam's tree.

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Heiwa Garden Official Opening on May 2, 2009

We were welcomed to the garden by shakuhachi master Takeo Yamashiro, then with singing by the students of the Salt Spring Centre School. The final honours and ribbon-cutting by Garden Society President Mearnie Summers and Board member Joan McConnell marked the official opening of our ceremonial gate and the Heiwa Garden.

  • Takeo Yamashiro Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    Shakuhachi master Takeo Yamashiro
  • Salt Spring Centre School Japanese Garden
    Students from the Salt Spring Centre School
  • Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    Mearnie Summers and Joan McConnell
    cut the ribbon
  • Salt Spring
    Takeo Yamashiro, Mary and Tosh Kitagawa

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Construction During December 2008 & January-March 2009

The two 'wings' of the ceremonial gate made of rammed earth. Construction of the main gate and the two small roofs over the rammed earth walls took place in December through February. On a sunny day in late March, a volunteer crew oiled the yellow cedar to protect the wood from the weather. The finished gate is now on view. The official opening of the Heiwa Garden took place on May 2nd, 2009.

  • rammed earth wall Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    Clifton Schooley and his team
  • Salt Spring gate Japanese Garden
    Yellow cedar harvested in northern BC
  • Japanese Garden Salt Spring
    Michael Dragland working on the gate
    on a cold winter day.
  • Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    Volunteers oiling the gate
  • Salt Spring Japanese Garden
    Planting team of volunteers

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The design for Phase I of the Heiwa Garden on Salt Spring Island by Peter Oro may be viewed by clicking on the Link below:
Heiwa Garden design showing ceremonial gate, benches, trees & plants (pdf: 5MB)
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The design drawings for our Ceremonial Gate by Mana Nakata may be viewed by clicking on the links below:
East elevation(pdf: 38kb)
West elevation(pdf: 38kb)
Cross section(pdf: 78kb)
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If you would like to join the Japanese Garden Society or make a donation, please complete and mail the form available at the link below. Thank you.
Membership and Donation Form (pdf: 259kb)
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