Celebrating the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association’s 60 years of prosperity and peace
Mayor Wheeler from the City of Portland and Mayor Akimoto from Sapporo, Japan solidified their continued commitment to the Portland-Sapporo Sister City relationship by rededicating the Japanese bell gifted by business leaders in Sapporo to Portland as a 30th Anniversary gift at the Oregon Convention Center.
“The rededication of the Sapporo Bell is the first milestone in completing our 14-month nearly $40 million renovation. Last fall, we broke ground on the Oregon Convention Center plaza and interior renovation project to coincide with the opening of the Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center,” says Craig Stroud, Oregon Convention Center executive director.
The streamlined and enhanced plaza at the Oregon Convention Center will ease access and entry into the center through the primary entrance. The updates to the interior spaces from the lobbies to the ballrooms will reinvigorate the center for local Portlanders as well as will improve its national competitiveness.
As part of the 60th Anniversary of the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association, a private celebration took place at the Oregon Convention Center on June 6.
In 1986, the mayors of both cities agreed that they should cooperate in the development of programs for the promotion of tourism; the promotion of trade and mutual economic development activities and activities that amplify the feelings of friendship between the citizens of these two cities.
Sister city associations foster and promote cross-cultural understanding between the countries they unify. The Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association stewards the longest-running sister city relationship in Portland – and one of the oldest in the United States.
Portland and Sapporo are close to the same latitude, are both about 150 years old, with metropolitan populations of close to 2 million. Both cities enjoy beautiful settings and an appreciation of the outdoors. Both were established by pioneers – by loggers and fishermen – who capitalized on their respective region's rich natural resources.
About the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association
The Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association is the organization that stewards the longest-running Sister City relationship in Portland, Oregon -- and one of the oldest in the United States. With a mission of fostering and promoting cross-cultural understanding between the U.S. and Japan, the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association was founded in 1959 and celebrates its 60th successful year in 2019.
About the Oregon Convention Center
Oregon Convention Center is the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest with 255,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, two grand ballrooms, 52 individual meeting rooms, superior catering and concession offerings, and a full-time staff of over 120 professionals, making it the perfect venue to service events from 10 to 10,000 attendees.
The OCC became the first LEED-EB certified convention center in 2004, and then achieved LEED-EB Silver in 2008 and LEED Platinum in 2014. The facility has also been Salmon-Safe certified since 2007 from Salmon-Safe, a clean water advocacy nonprofit, for its innovative rain garden, responsible storm water management efforts and integrated pest management policy.
Totaling one million square feet of space, it hosts an average of 400 events and more than 500,000 visitors annually. In FY 2018, the Oregon Convention Center generated $528.4 million in economic impact for the metropolitan region, supported 4,940 jobs and generated more than $20.6 million in state and local tax revenues.
The OCC is owned and operated by Metro and managed through the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission. Visit www.oregoncc.org for more information. Metro, the regional government, crosses city limits and county lines to build a resilient economy, keep nature close by and respond to a changing climate. Representing a diverse population of 1.8 million people in 25 cities and three counties, Metro’s directly elected council gives voters a voice in decisions about how the region grows and communities prosper.