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Kaiju in the Garden: Lethbridge Nikka Yuko


I have a special connection to the Nikka Yuko gardens in Lethbridge. When I was growing up, my grandma had a newspaper clipping up on her wall (actually, she had quite a collection of newspaper clippings) of my great-grandma in 1992, greeting the Prince and Princess Takamodo for the 25th anniversary of the gardens. The gardens remind me of my grandma, especially all the big peonies. My mom used to work there when she was young, and she gave me her kimono from when she worked there.

I was really excited to collaborate with my friend Marc from Marc Vantol Percussion and Lethbridge Community Taiko. While it was a challenge to put a set together given the geographic distance, we worked individually as much as possible and spent one long night rehearsing together as a group.

The event was Kaiju in the Gardens, an outdoor filming of Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth.

It poured rain as we left Calgary, but in Lethbridge it was a gorgeous hot and sunny afternoon. There were a few friends rehearsing a battle scene to entertain us while we set up our drums and other equipment. As I walked through the lawn among the huge blooming peonies, I breathed in the scent and was nostalgic for my childhood at my grandparents' farm.

The weather held out for us and it was gorgeous for the entire evening. I had so much fun performing with great friends, and I was so happy that my family was able to join us for a the event.


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