North America’s Places To Travel – Lethbridge’s
The Japanese Garden Nikka Yuko is recognized by his colleagues in the North American garden industry as a place to see.
Nikka Yuko was named one of the top 10 North American gardens of 2019 at the North American Garden Tourism Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, on November 5.
The awards are presented every two years by a jury of members of the Canadian Gardens Council, the Mexican Association of botanical gardens and the American Public Gardens Association.
“This shows that we are recognized as a destination,” said Michelle day, executive Director of Nikka Yuko. “For many years, the theme has been: visit Nikka Yuko while you drive to Waterton, but now that the conversation has shifted, you need to see the Japanese Nikko Yuko garden when you drive to Lethbridge.”
Before this year, Japan’s Nikka Yuko garden was one of 150 gardens to be seen in Canada.
“It’s an incredible journey,” Day said.
The change began about four years ago when they began to focus on festivals, events and programming that could transform the garden into a world-class attraction. They developed experiences and cooperations within the community with the intention of becoming ready for export.
Mayor Chris Spearman said the award was another opportunity to improve the city’s profile.
“Visitors who come to our city, our Hotels and restaurants benefit from this, but also from our other tourist attractions.”
Nathan Neudorf, MP for Lethbridge East, said it was an incredible achievement to be recognised in the North American scene.
“For a small town of more than 100,000 people, this is a great success and we should be very, very proud of the success of Lethbridge and the garden.”
The timing of the reward could not be better. The garden is preparing for the fourth annual festival of winter light, which opens on November 29.
The event attracted almost 15,000 visitors in 2018
“This is probably the most popular time to visit Nikka Yuko,” said Melanie Berdusco, Marketing and event Manager.
She said that the festival of Light in Lethbridge had quickly become a Winter must-have and that the garden had added several new partnerships to enhance the guests ‘ experience.
The Lethbridge Lodging Association / VisitLethbridge.com continues to work with the garden to offer festival packages for out-of-town excursions in some Hotels.
Nikka Yuko is also working with California Dream Limousines to provide a unique evening, and the Little Lethbridge Opera Company will be on site to sing Mikado Songs on Saturday night, adding to the festival atmosphere.
This year will also include a public art installation, the Deep Dark, which will be installed in the green space next to the entrance to the garden. It is free for visitors to walk through.
“We continue to grow by leaps and bounds,” Day said.
The garden will be decorated with around 150,000 lights this year, but for the public one of the most notable changes will be a new Ticketing System. People can buy their Tickets Online and through the Enmax and Yates ticket shops.
The people behind Nikka Yuko hope that this will eliminate some of the long queues and allow visitors to spend less time waiting and more time with the Winter Light Festival.