About Sister Cities

Japan National Tourism OrganizationThe Town of Collingwood has established ties and relationships with three sister cities. The twinning of cities (Sister Cities) grew in popularity after WWII as people looked for ways to promote understanding between cultures.  The benefits of sister city relationships are many and include:

Increasing Cultural Awareness
Sister City relationships can promote understanding and appreciation through projects that build cross-cultural awareness.

Supporting Economic development
This is a more business approach to twinning with the purpose of promoting common prosperity and creating a relationship where economic and community development can be implemented and strengthened.

Encouraging Capacity-building or joint learning partnerships
Generally these relationships promote an atmosphere in which communities can creatively learn, work and solve problems together through reciprocal educational, municipal, business, professional and technical exchanges and projects. 

Here's the latest news

Word Share With the Children of Zihuatanejo, Our Mexican Sister City

The Collingwood-Zihuatanejo Sister City Committee has been in existence since 2004.  This year’s project will provide English language books and English CD’s to Case del Pacifica, a program of educational enhancement for 120 of the city’s least advantaged elementary school children.

The Sister City’s idea of ‘books for ninos’ was very enthusiastically received by contacts in Zihuatanejo, who recommended the recipient program.  Casa Del Pacifica has been operating since 2001 and its graduates have begun to move on to secondary school.

English is an important asset in Mexico for further education and employment.  It is taught only in the private schools whose students are from more affluent families.  Casa Del Pacifica provides a chance for public school students to enhance their education including the learning of English.

Community support for the Project has been fabulous.  Saunders Smart Apple Media will be the primary source of new books.  CDs have been provided by Staples.  Contributions of books have come from Thrive Chiropractic Clinic and several private citizens.  Drew Wright will be supervising recording of the CDs.  Big Brothers/Big Sisters ‘Littles” will be reading some of the books onto CDs.  Wordstock welcomed our presence to publicize the Project. 

The major challenge for the Project is the transportation of the books and accompanying CDs to Zihuatanejo.  West Jet has offered to allow passengers going to Zihuatanejo, free of charge, 3 pieces of luggage with no more than 50lbs of books each.  Now we have to find the passengers.

Shipping is very expensive so we are working to find other options to get the books into the children’s hands. 

Would you like to get involved?  You could:

  • Join the Sister City Committee
  • Read a book or two onto CDs
  • Take book-filled bags on your trip to Zihuatanejo
  • Donate funds for shipping
  • Share creative ideas for all aspects of the Project, including transportation

Contact Pam McDermid at mexicoannymx@rogers.com or Alison McGillivray at akmcgillivray@yahoo.ca or call the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department at (705)444-2500 ext. 3287.

In the summer of 2011, The Collingwood/Katano Sister City Committee hosted 3 Japanese students aged 16-18

Chairperson of the Katano International Friendship Association, Yoshitaka Oku explained, "through their stay in Collingwood, the students expanded their knowledge of Collingwood and recognized the importance of the sister city relationship between the two cities.  I believe that those experiences are splendid treasures for them and they will make the best use of what they learned in their future lives."  The Committee found billets for the students and organized a fun-filled and educational itinerary for the young women from August 1-15 including a friendship dinner, hikes, a trip to Niagara Falls. 

November 3, 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the Collingwood - Katano Sister City relationship.  The Katano International Friendship Association has inquired about the possibility of sending more students to Collingwood in 2012.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico crest

Collingwood’s most recent sister city relationship was declared in 2005 with Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico.  A delegation from Collingwood including former Mayor, Mr. Terry Geddes, travelled to Zihuatanejo to sign the declaration.  The following year, an official group from Zihuatanejo visited.  From time to time, other Collingwood citizens, including Councillors have visited Zihuatanejo and discussed various initiatives and projects.  In the Spring of 2009 Collingwood citizen and musician, Drew Wright participated in the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival. 

In the summer of 2010, a new Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo/Collingwood Sister City Committee was formed.  The first initiative of the group was in honour of the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence Day on September 16th, 2010 when the committee distributed Mexican flags and activity/colouring sheets to local elementary school students and raised the Mexican flag at the Collingwood Station.

New members to the committee are welcome.  Currently, the Committee is working on an educational project to provide English language books and CD recordings to 120 children in the program at Casa del Pacifica in Zihuatanejo.  This non-profit school was founded by Pacifica Hotels in 2000.  It's mission is to assist the most disadvantaged Zihuatanejo children in Grades 1-6, gain learning skills that they would not normally have the means to obtain.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico
Zihuatanejo Guerrero

Sister city declaration
Flag of Collingwood is raised in Zihuatanejo   Celebration of sister cities relationship
2005 - Sister city declaration 2005 - Flag of Collingwood is raised in Zihuatanejo 2005 - Celebration of sister cities relationship

Boone, North Carolina, USA

Town of Boone, North Caroline Banner

The Sister City Agreement with Boone, North Carolina was signed in October 1995.  Since that time, there have been a few reciprocal visits.  Band exchanges occurred in the late 1990s with the CCI Band and students from Boone.  In 2004, a delegation which included former Mayor Terry Geddes, visited Boone and the following year, the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce hosted a group of approximately 20.  As recently as 2006, Boone received a visit from Collingwood citizens bringing greetings and gifts from Collingwood. 

Town of Boone, NC
Boone Chamber of Commerce

Town of Boone, NC Tourism

Katano, Osaka, Japan

Katano, Osaka, Japan crest

The Town of Collingwood’s longest and most established sister city relationship is with Katano, Japan.  While the twinning was officially announced in 1981 when a delegation visited Collingwood from Japan, the relationship was forged in previous years by a Collingwood citizen, who was residing in Katano in the late seventies.  Numerous exchanges, events and visits have taken place over the years, including those organized by the Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, the CCI Band and Rotary Clubs.  Collingwood’s Friendship Gardens Park honours the Collingwood-Katano relationship and for the 20th anniversary of the twinning, a bench in the park was dedicated. In the fall of 2007, a municipal delegation including Mayor Carrier, travelled to Katano to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the twinning agreement.  A delegation from Katano, including their Mayor, Jinkoh Nakata, visited as recently as the summer of 2008, to celebrate Collingwood’s sesquicentennial.

The successful relationship with Katano is due to the Collingwood/Katano Sister City Committee. The objectives of the Katano Sister City Committee are: to promote international friendship and culture between Collingwood and Katano, Japan and to encourage the sharing of language and culture.

Japan National Tourism Organization
Katano City

Sister Cities Medal Photo Gallery of Collingwood's Sister City Civic Collection
Contact: (705) 444-2500

Sister Cities International Charter of recognition (PDF)101.53 KB
Declaration of Sister City Affiliation Boone & Collingwood (PDF)75.54 KB
Declaration Ixtapa Zihuatanejo (PDF)362.83 KB
Katano Declaration and Reaffirmation (PDF)399.85 KB
Mexican Independence Day Colouring Page (PDF)3.17 MB