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Private Coevorden group receives municipal support to rejuvenate castle

Vancouver castle replica part of plan

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

COEVORDEN, the Netherlands – The newly organized foundation Stichting Coevorden 2010 has been granted seed money from the eastern Dutch border municipality, among others, to promote ties with the Western Canadian city of Vancouver, the 2010 winter Olympics host.

Coevorden which presents itself as a sports, recreation and cultural community, values the connection with Vancouver, which first manifested itself during Expo 86 when it built a replica of its historic castle in Downtown Vancouver. The castle replica is playing an important role in the foundation’s plans. A small delegation visited British Columbia recently to explore the group’s plans and to make the required contacts. It returned home with very positive impressions of the visit.

A private initiative which relies upon municipal and Coevorden-area business community support, the foundation sees a potential role for the castle replica in local plans to showcase international involvement in winter Olympic sporting events. The city of Richmond, which is adjacent to Vancouver, is currently building an Olympic speed skating oval. The building has bicycle lanes in its access route plans. Speed skating and bike racing are popular sports in the Netherlands.

The delegation also was relieved to find that the castle replica had been relatively well maintained. The structure which was built in 1986 on a scale of 80 percent of the original castle in Coevorden, is part of the Fantasy Garden World theme park. The Chinese-owned complex, which is located in Richmond, has been for sale for some time.

The Coevorden – Vancouver connection dates back to Kings’ Lynn in Norfolk, England, where in ca. 1758 explorer George Vancouver was born to John Casper van Coeverden. The eastern coastal town was home to a Dutch community for ages, including dike builders and peat workers from the Coevorden area and beyond. Vancouver was named after the explorer who charted much of the coastline of British Columbia.