The Twin City program has been beneficial to Victoria and has provided:
- A vehicle for wide-ranging interactions between people at all levels of society
- Opportunities for city officials and citizens to experience and explore other cultures through long-term community partnerships
- Environments through which communities will creatively learn, work and solve problems together through reciprocal cultural, educational, municipal, business, professional, and technical exchanges and projects
- Ideas for better delivery of basic amenities such as housing, recreation, land use, sewage and garbage disposal, water supply, police, fire protection and public transportation
- An atmosphere in which economic and community development has and will be strengthened
Victoria City Council has established a Twin City relationship with the following four cities:
Missions to Twin Cities in Asia seek to showcase Victoria as one of the world's most liveable cities, and the strengths and opportunities in our local economy. From an economic development perspective, relations with our Twin Cities and Friendship Cities endeavour to promote Greater Victoria's tourism, higher education and technology sectors, leveraging the region's long-standing relationships with cities such as Suzhou and Morioka.
The City's global relations assist local business organizations interested in making contacts and potential partnerships for two-way business opportunities and also help to develop long-term relationship building for investment attraction and talent recruitment.
Organizations Responsible for Twin Cities
The Twin Cities, also known as Sister Cities, concept grew out of a White House conference called by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in September 1956. Eisenhower felt that "The Sister Cities program is an important resource to the negotiations of governments in letting the people themselves give expression of their common desire for friendship, goodwill and cooperation for a better world for all."
Sister Cities International currently runs the sister city program in the US and represents 1,200 U.S. cities, counties, and states and their 2,100 partners in 125 countries worldwide.
Canada has no formal body that concerns itself exclusively with international city-to-city relationships. However, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has done a great deal of work in the field. They provide a channel for funding of projects, mainly in developing countries. FCM has assisted with exchanges between various Canadian cities and their partners. The Federation has been of particular assistance in helping Victoria to develop a water treatment project in Suzhou, China.
How to Get Involved
Victoria citizens who are interested in a specific twin city have developed local volunteer associations for three of our four city relationships. These groups are important in nurturing each liaison through fund-raising, hosting and hospitality for visiting delegations.
Contact Information for Twin City Associations
Napier, New Zealand
Contact City Hall
For more information about Twin City relationships, contact the City of Victoria's Protocol Office at 250.361.0554.
A Friendship City is described as less formal than a Twin City relationship, though the purpose of forming a Friendship City bond may be similar to a Twin City relationship. The designation recognizes rewarding friendships and exchanges between cities without official Twin City agreements. It may be the first step towards recognition as an official Twin City.
A Friendship City is a type of affiliation that is intended to enhance greater mutual understanding and provide educational, cultural and economic exchange opportunities between cities, although there does not need to be a direct historical connection. The main goal of Friendship City contact is to create friendship and understanding between peoples and to lay a foundation of goodwill and exchange for future generations.
Nanning, Guanaxi Province, People's Republic of China
Population 6.5 million
Signed a Friendship City Agreement July 2010 between Victoria and Nanning
Changsha, Hunan Province People's Republic of China
Population 6 million
Signed a letter of intent to form a Friendship City Relationship April 26, 2010 between Victoria and Changsha