The Historic Joy Kogawa House is getting ready for an interior facelift. As a symbol for hope, healing and reconciliation, this 1912 Vancouver bungalow is the childhood home of renowned Canadian author, Joy Kogawa. The humble abode also plays a role in Kogawa’s award-winning novel, Obasan, which recalls the experience of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War, based on Joy’s own childhood.
After a successful campaign that brought in many donations from around the world, TLC became owner of the Historic Joy Kogawa House in 2006. Currently, the site is mainly being used as a cultural space with a writers-in-residence program being run by the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society. The modest home is often used to host events and workshops, and the time has come for TLC to breathe new life into the main floor to better accommodate these activities. TLC’s plans for these renovations are the first phase in a multi-year, multi-phase conservation and educational initiative.
The proposed project involves numerous restorations that will be historically accurate to when Joy’s family lived on site. Some of the planned changes include connecting the sun room with the living room by installing the original beautiful glass and wood double doors, and removing the side bathroom and unusable fireplace. Overall, the changes will provide visitors to the house with extra space, light, comfort and safety, along with a stronger educational experience.
The overall budget for the project is $80,000. While about half of the funds are expected to come from grants, we are looking for donors with an interest in cultural heritage. Provided all the funds are raised, the project will begin in January 2011.