PORT HARDY, B.C. – Later this month, the District of Port Hardy will welcome visitors from its Japanese sister city, Numata.

Nine female students, ranging from 13 to 15 years old, along with four adults, are a part of the exchange.

Leslie Driemel, Chair of the Port Hardy Twinning Society, said they have a variety of activities planned for the guests.

“We have three schools confirmed right now that they’re going to visit. We’ll be taking them to the Quatse (Salmon) Stewardship Centre; we’ll be taking them around town and probably to a pumpkin carving. We’re still finalizing all the details on it,” she said.

Driemel explained that Port Hardy and Numata signed a sister city relationship agreement in the early 1990s.

“Right now the setup is that Numata sends a group one year, and then we send a group the next year.”

Driemel said there have only been a couple of years where the exchange did not happen, however she’s hoping a group from Port Hardy can be sent to Numata next summer.

“The size of delegations has varied over the years depending on everybody’s economic status and this and that. Numata is very good at sending groups of students. They want their youths to come and participate, and see what Canada is all about,” she said.

Driemel noted that for this year’s exchange, they have enough host families, but the society is always looking for residents to help out for future visits.

“It’s a great experience. They are here for a very short time. They arrive on (October) 23rd at nine-thirty in the morning and leave October 27th at eight a.m.,” she said.

“A lot of (the activities) will be weather dependent, if we can get them out to Stories Beach we will.”

Driemel has made the trip out to Numata five times, and said the exchange program is a unique experience where students can learn about culture, sharing and international relationships.

More on the Port Hardy Twinning Society can be found through Facebook.