An agreement was signed where both cities agreed to strive for industrial, economic, cultural exchange, and endeavour to international goodwill between Canada and Japan. On August 15, 1999, in recognition of the 20th Anniversary of the twinning of Sparwood and Kamisunagawa and as a re-commitment to our Sister City Relationship, the establishment of a student exchange program between the two communities was announced.
In Japan, Kodomo no hi, or "Children's Day," is celebrated every year on May 5th. On this national holiday, children are respected and honoured for their individual strengths and happiness is wished upon them. On Kodomo no hi Koinobori, or cloth carp streamers, are flown on poles outside of public buildings and private houses to bring luck and good fortune to the children inside. Koi fish, or Carp, are believed to be strong, spirited fish and are revered for their determination in fighting as they swim upstream and through powerful waterfalls. The Koinobori symbolize the desire for children to become brave and strong individuals.
In honour of this national holiday, the District of Sparwood has adopted the Sister City - Kamisunagawa Policy, where the District has resolved to to display, on an annual basis, the “Carp banners” during the week of May 5th.