Culver City’s Sister City brings unique visitors

Lethbridge Sister City delegates were toasted by Culver City officials and hosted by Culver City Sister City Committee members this week. From left, are Ted and Tanya Stilson, Michael Bennett, former Lethbridge mayor Robert Tarleck, Dawn Leite and Adam Whitford. The guests from Canada saw the sites of the city and Los Angeles during their recent visit.



A delegation of six people from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada recently concluded their four-day visit to Culver City as part of the city’s Sister City Program.

The Sister City concept, which has been around in its modern form since the end of World War II, is meant to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures from very geographically and politically unique cities that are often literally worlds apart.

The six guests from Lethbridge, Culver City’s sister city, were in town to experience life in Culver City while at the same time, represent the business, arts, and general community of Lethbridge. Visitors were treated to an itinerary that exposed them to the local arts scene, the city government, and the local business community.

Five Culver City families opened their homes and housed the six delegates while they were in town.

“They [the Lethbridge delegation] love our relationship with Culver City because it’s a 30-year relationship and the purpose of coming this weekend was to celebrate the anniversary of that 30th year and we had a presentation that Monday night at City Hall with the council people and the mayor and there was an exchange of gifts,” said Sharlene London, chair of the Culver City Sister City Committee.

The Lethbridge special guests were greeted with a welcome party held at the home of former Culver City Mayor Ed Wolkowitz and his wife Marla Wolkowitz, a former school board president.

Last Saturday, Culver City residents were given an opportunity to meet the Lethbridge visitors at a special Sister City Committee booth at the Fiesta La Ballona before the visitors were taken on a trip to the Archives & Resource Center (ARC) of the Culver City Historical Society and the Wende Museum. The delegates also visited the Think Space Art Gallery, a gallery showcasing rotating exhibits of contemporary art by young and emerging artists.

In addition to the field trips to various museums, the six Lethbridge delegates visited the Culver City police and fire stations and were also given a historical tour of City Hall led by Culver City Historian Julie Lugo Cerra who acted as their docent.

While most of the delegates returned home on Tuesday, some delegates stayed behind to do some extra sightseeing in and around the Los Angeles and Culver City areas.

Lethbridge delegates included Michael Bennett, the Lethbridge Twinning Society’s Director for Culver City; Dawn Leite , the Executive Director, Allied Arts Council Lethbridge/AB;  Ted Stilson, the executive director for the Downtown Lethbridge BZR – Main Street Projects; Tania Stilson,  a long-time travel business entrepreneur;  former Mayor Robert Tarleck , who has visited Culver City in the past; and Adam Whitford, a curatorial and publications coordinator for the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) in Lethbridge.

On December 10, 1962, the City Council established the Culver City Sister City Committee (CCSCC) for the cultural betterment of the city and its people. Currently, the group is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.

The Sister City concept was born in 1956, during the Eisenhower administration. A worldwide network of sister city relations was established to help rebuild nation-to-nation relationships and foster global harmony. Efforts were made to create “citizen diplomats” by opening communications between peoples of the world. Out of this effort came the Sister Cities International organization.

For more information about the official delegation visit to Culver City or for general information about the Sister City Committee, please visit their website at or contact the committee via email at







Culver City’s Sister City brings unique visitors