In November of 1999 Mayor Mike Pearce was elected in Penticton. Mayor Pearce took part in hosting the Ikeda business delegation of January 2002 and the Ikeda student delegation in September of the same year.
In November of 2000 Katsumaru Katsui was elected as Mayor of Ikeda.
The fall of 2000 saw the 12th visit by a Penticton adult delegation to Ikeda. Council members Dan Ashton and Gary Denton led this delegation. Students from Ikeda and Penticton also exchanged visits in the fall of 2000.
The Penticton Royalty, Miss Penticton and two Princesses, have graced many of the delegations to Ikeda, with their participation. They take part in the various ceremonies while in Ikeda and added an added positive dimension to the proceedings.
Between 1990 and 2006 the Penticton and Summerland Sister City Societies cooperated to make the exchange programs more effective. Summerland's Sister City, Toyokoro is located very near Ikeda. Citizens of the communities have enjoyed each other's hospitality during delegations each year, alternating between Japan and Canada. The 2006 joint Penticton/Summerland delegation traveling to Japan celebrated Summerland/Toyokoro's 10th anniversary as well as Penticton/Ikeda's 30th. Fifth anniversaries and multiples are important to people of Japan.
The 25th anniversary of the Sister City Association between Ikeda and Penticton was celebrated in 2002. Special recognition was given in each community to the date of the original signing May 19, 1977. A delegation from Penticton visited Ikeda from October 5 to 10th 2002, to celebrate our quarter century. Councilor Dan Ashton, Sister City President Ross Axworthy, Miss Penticton Aiden Madigan-Curtis and Princesses Jamie Robinson & Brittany Mitchell were the group leaders. Adam Eneas, hereditary chief of Penticton First Nations people and his wife Sandi played a special roll in this 2002 visit and the return 2003 visit by people from Ikeda.
In November 2002 Dave Perry was elected Mayor of Penticton. He lent support to hosting the October 2003 Ikeda delegation, led by Ikeda Penticton Sister City Society President Toshio Kurokawa.
In October of 2003 Princess Margaret and Penticton Senior Secondary Schools sent a delegation to Ikeda. This group was comprised, primarily of band students of both schools. School bandleader Don Grant and Penticton Secondary Principal Peter Corcoran were the supervising delegates. The musicians performed in Ikeda, at the Tokachi Wine Festival and other areas.
In May of 2003 Mayor Katsui and his wife Michiko made a personal visit to Penticton. The couple enjoyed the hospitality of members of the Penticton Ikeda Sister City Society and members of Penticton City council.
A delegation of 37 people traveled to Ikeda in September of 2004. Councilors Mary Storry and Dan Ashton and the Penticton Royalty were the lead delegates. A beautiful piece of First Nations Art was presented to Mayor Katsui and the City of Ikeda.
The main focus of the delegation of Ikeda people visiting Penticton during the period September 7 to 10, 2005 was to participate in the official opening and dedication the Ikeda Penticton Japanese Garden. The architect of the original garden plans, Toshio Niitsu and long time Penticton friend Masanori Kawaguchi, who represented Mayor Katsui, led the delegation of 13 people. This completion of the garden was certainly a highlight of the almost 30 years of our Sister City relationship.
A group, comprised of Penticton & Summerland people plus Secondary School Students from Penticton, Princess Margaret & Summerland secondary Schools and the Penticton Royalty departed for Japan on September 25, 2006. This trip to Ikeda and Ikeda‟s return journey to Penticton in 2007 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Sister City agreement. Mayor Jake Kimberley and his wife Kate led this delegation.
Ross Axworthy and his wife Evelyn were also lead delegates of the 2006 group. At this time Ross announced his retirement from his many years as Penticton Ikeda Society President. He was honoured with a special presentation from Mayor Katsui on behalf of the people of Ikeda.
Bob Harvey, who has been a society leader, especially as finance
chairman along with his wife Sue, was elected as Society President in
2007. Lorna Dawkins, a strong supporter along with her husband Al of the
society for many years as Vice President. Dedicated directors, including
Bob & Carol Hayhurst, Brian Remus and Kerry Younie were elected.
The Ikeda delegation to Penticton in 2007 was led by Mayor Katsui and his wife Michiko along with Ikeda Penticton Society Director Noboro Sasaki and his with Kazue. Winery visits, Home dinners and a banquet sponsored by the City of Penticton were highlights.
Councilor Rory McIvor, his wife Anna and Society director Kerry Younie and her husband Don led the most recent Penticton adult delegation to Ikeda. Another group of Penticton people were able to experience the amazing hospitality of the Ikeda people.
A Senior Secondary school delegation, made of students from Penticton
Secondary, Summerland Secondary and Princess Margaret Secondary traveled
to Ikeda as well as a visit to Tokyo in the fall of 2009. This group was
led by Penticton Secondary school Vice Principal Jeff Guy. The students
were fine ambassadors for their schools and our city.
Mayor Katsui visited Penticton in February of 2010 during the time he attended the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Keiichiro Nagashima a speed skater from Ikeda won a silver medal at the games. A great celebration was held in Ikeda on the return of Nagashima san and Mayor Katsui.
A combined adult and student delegation from Ikeda will visit Penticton in early September of 2011. A return Penticton delegation visit to Ikeda will occur at an appropriate date after the Ikeda visit. A board of directors for our Society was elected on February 28, 2011. Lester and Atsuko Patrick, are new Japanese speaking directors. Lester will become our new President at the next meeting of the executive committee.