The Twin Cities, also known as Sister Cities, concept grew out of a White House conference in September 1956. President Dwight D. 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.”
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 citizens to experience and explore other cultures through long-term community partnerships
- environments through which communities will creatively learn, work and solve problems together. Communities can build relationships through cultural, educational, municipal, business and technical exchanges
- ideas for better delivery of basic amenities such as
- land use
- sewage and garbage disposal
- water supply
- fire protection
- public transportation
- an atmosphere in which economic and community development has and will be strengthened
Through the Twin City program, trips abroad seek to showcase Victoria as one of the world's most livable cities. The trips help to promote the City's strengths and opportunities in the local economy.
Relationships with Twin and Friendship Cities promote economic development in Greater Victoria. These relationships strengthen tourism, higher education and technology sectors. Local businesses benefit from the contacts and potential partnerships provided by these relationships.
Victoria’s Twin Cities
Victoria City Council has established a Twin City relationship with the following four cities:
Organizations Responsible for Twin Cities
Canada has no formal body that is primarily concerned 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 helped Victoria to develop a water treatment project in Suzhou, China.
Get Involved with Twin City Associations
Victoria citizens interested in a specific twin city have developed local volunteer associations. Currently, there are associations for three of the four city relationships. These groups nurture each relationship through fund-raising, hosting and hospitality for visiting delegations.
- Morioka, Japan
- Napier, New Zealand
Contact City Hall
- Suzhou, China
- Khabarovsk, Russia
For more information about Twin City relationships, contact the City of Victoria's Protocol staff at 250.361.0516.
A Friendship City is less formal than a Twin City relationship, though they share a similar purpose and relationship. The designation recognizes 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 relationship provides educational, cultural and economic exchange opportunities between cities. However, there does not need to be a direct historical connection. Friendship Cities lay a foundation of goodwill 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