Members of our Kyudo club represent this philosophy admirably in their dedication to training and bringing people together through cooperation. As one of many clubs that make the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre a home, we try to contribute to the cause through volunteering at the annual Bazaar, as well as contributing to the Family Winter Festival.
In 2011, we placed 2nd with a gingerbread Kyudojo, falling just shy of the ultimate prizes: Gift coupons to local restaurants. This year, we chose Carl's house from the Pixar movie "UP". A whimsical display, requiring moderately difficult engineering, that would hopefully put us over the top.
Planning started a few weeks prior to the event with project manager, Aleem, building his team and organizing the purchase of materials. Our tireless baker, Mos, prepared each and every shape and size of gingerbread we would need to construct the house; and with all the materials ready for assembly, we gathered the day before the competition at Mie sensei's house and laid out the plans.
A brief pizza, pop, and chips break, courtesy of Tane, provided additional energy, but some "other snacks" were available too.
Aleem, Mos, Nanik, and Tane had done a wonderful job assembling the major pieces and took a well-deserved break as we stepped into our shift. Ray returned a few minutes later with McDonalds, providing the last burst of sustenance for completing the project.
The next day, we submitted our entry to the JCCC in Shokokai Court as one of seven participants. Throughout the day, families walked by and were given the option of voting for:
- Best Overall
- Most Original
- Children's Choice (only votes by kids)
Best Overall - #5 Carl's house from Up (WE WON!)
2nd Overall - #7 A Canadian Christmas
Children's choice - #1 Our Dream Cottage
Most Original - #2 Whoville
Congratulations go to everyone who worked on and supported the project from start to finish. It was a tiring eight and a half hours of construction, but the sense of accomplishment made the whole endeavour worth while.
There's really no limit to what a team of dedicated and committed individuals can accomplish. Perhaps a proper Kyudojo for our club isn't as improbable as previously imagined. As long as we stick together, I, for one, believe it can happen.