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20 January 2010

Film Night First of Series of Events to Commemorate 1910 Slide Disaster in Rogers Pass


Parks Canada's Alice Weber (right) joins Revelstoke resident Yuko Fujimura who is displaying the 1,000 origami cranes she folded as a way of bringing together the community by commemorating the 58 men who died in the Rogers Pass slide in 1910.

Revelstoke British Columbia - The Avalanche Awareness Film Night this Thursday evening is the first event in a series running through until August that will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 1910 Slide in Rogers Pass.
The event features the films Snow Wars and Disasters of the Century, as well as a video produced especially for the event called Fold the Wish:  Rogers Pass 1910 Avalanche Commemoration Origami Crane Community Project.
Fold the Wish is a co-production between Revelstoke Secondary School Students Ewan Urquhart and Connor Hale, and teacher Lori Milmine, Parks Canada's Rob Buchanan, Alice Weber, and Revelstoke resident Yuko Fujimura.
The video introduces the story of the slide, and asks Revelstokians to participate in a community project to fold thousands of paper cranes in time for the 4 Mar 2010 commemoration ceremonies.
Fujimura, who is originally from Japan, explains the meaning of folding paper cranes. The traditional activity became famous following the tale of Hiroshima atomic bombing victim Sadako Sasaki. Diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 12, which was attributed to the bombing, Sadako endeavoured to fold a thousand paper cranes using the small flaps of paper used to deliver her medicine. Traditionally, it is said that a person who folds a thousand cranes is granted a wish. Some accounts say she fell short before eventually succumbing to the disease in 1955. Others say she did achieve the goal. Regardless, school children across Japan were inspired by the story and fold the cranes in preparation for school visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leaving behind small mountains of the cranes at memorial sites.
 Link to website Fujimura says that the goal here is to fold the cranes as a way of bringing together the community, and also to commemorate 32 Japanese labourers who died in the slide in 1910.
Fujimura will be visiting all Revelstoke schools along with Parks Canada staff to introduce the activity to the students, and to challenge each school to fold 1,000 cranes. She has folded 1,000 on her own over the past months.

The 1910 Rogers Pass slide.
Parks Canada has five thousand sheets of origami paper at their offices and will be distributing them for free to school children and any other community member who wants to participate. You can also pick yours up at the film night on Thursday.
The free event takes place at the United Church Hall at 3rd and Mackenzie Ave. starting at 7:30 p.m.
A committee was formed over a year ago to work on the commemorative events, and includes representatives from Canadian Pacific, Parks Canada, the Canadian Avalanche Association, the City of Revelstoke, the Friends of Mt. Revelstoke & Glacier, the Revelstoke Museum & Archives, the Revelstoke Railway Museum as well as individual volunteers.
Aaron Orlando.

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