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Many thanks to our Business and Endowment Members for their generous support of Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors.

If you would like to advertise on this site or sponsor one of our upcoming events, please contact Bill Ishii at

Please welcome MeDiCa,
our newest Platinum Sponsor...


...along with Carlsbad Alkaline Water:

Carlsbad Alkaline Water


Tip Top Meats

Asia Getaway logo

7668 El Camino Real, Suite 104-618
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Office: 760-635-1288 / 888-288-1868


Carlsbad Inn


Jupitor President Steve Komine


Futtsu Weather:


Karlovy Vary weather:



Welcome To The Carlsbad Sister
City Ambassadors Website

Carlsbad enjoys Sister City relationships with Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and the Japanese City of Futtsu. This web site provides an easy, accessible forum in which the citizens of Carlsbad, Karlovy Vary and Futtsu can exchange and share information about their communities that will help to enrich our mutual understanding and appreciation for one another as global partners.

Mission Statement

Creating connections between Carlsbad and internationally dispersed communities to promote peace, cultural awareness and economic opportunities.

We welcome your participation!

• Student home stay exchanges

• Group travel for pleasure or business Arts and culture

• Food for thought - films and talks by visitors give a taste of Futtsu
and Karlovy Vary

• Looking ahead - envisions athletic competitions, business seminars
and related opportunities to cement and expand community and
business relations here and overseas.

Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors

Making new friends. Memories that last a lifetime! An essential part of the Carlsbad community.



The Laurel Tree Planting and Plaque at McGee Park

The Laurel Tree and Plaque in McGee Park

In attendance at the planting were: Tom Hersant, President, Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors, Vesta Rundle-Ross, Sister City Ambassador board member, Diane O'Connell, COAL Artist, Varvara Divisova, Karlovy Vary artist, Lenka Maliska Sarova, Karlovy Vary artist, Lois Athern, COAL artist, Jan Samec, Karlovy Vary artist, Sibylla Voll, COAL artist.


Karlovy Vary artists

Karlovy Vary artists Lenka Maliska Sarova, Varvara Divisova, and Jan Samec with some of their works at the COAL gallery.

And below are artists Lenka, Charles Dozer of COAL, Jacquie Thye of CSCA, Varvara and Jan at the COAL gallery.

Lenka, Charles Dozer of COAL, Jacquie Thye of CSCA, Varvara and Jan



Summer 2016 Student Exchange with Futtsu Announced:

CSCA Junior Ambassadors Futtsu delegationToday we finished interviewing seven student finalists for visiting Futtsu in June. Six were selected and time will tell if the remaining one will be ready to substitute for any of the six selected ones in the event that they are unable to make the trip. Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors is grateful that FIRA (Futtsu Sister Cities) is offering to receive our students and we look forward to ensuring that this trip is one that our students will long remember. Of all the places that they will visit on this trip, they are most excited about meeting the Futtsu families that they will stay with and experiencing the beautiful Japanese culture. Pictured above, clockwise from top left, are Rachael, Teagan, Diego, Erin, Emma (alternate), Arriana, and Emily.


And Now, Karlovy Vary Artists Will Be Feted In Carlsbad:

Invitation to a reception for Karlovy Vary, CZ artists

In Last year, the art of six members of COAL, Diane O'Connell, David Schlegel, Ellie Havel Thomas, Lois Athern, Rita Shulak, and Sibylla Voll was juried and displayed in Karlovy-Vary, Czech Republic, as part of the City of Carlsbad's Sister-City program, This year in June, the COAL Gallery will be hosting six artists (named above) from Karlovy-Vary as part of the exchange. COAL will be hosting the Reception at the Gallery on June 12, 2016, and you are invited! At that reception we will be joined by the Mayor of Carlsbad, dignitaries of the City, and representatives of the Sister Cities program. We have been assured that the Consul General of Los Angeles for the Czech Republic, will also be attending.

Carlsbad Artists Feted in Czech Sister City

Rita Shulak viewing her art submissions in Karlovy VaryAn exhibition of art work by six C.O.A.L. member artists selected in February by CSCA opened this week in Karlovy Vary. Honored artists, who each have five works of art on exhibit, are Lois Athearn, Diane O’Connell, David Schlegel, Rita Shulak, Ellie Havel Thomas, and Sibylla Voll. The opening reception in the Municipal Gallery was on July 29, according to Jacquie Thye, Founding member and Director of Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors, who coordinated this event. The exhibition of the Carlsbad artists will run through the month of August in Karlovy Vary’s Thermal Building.

Petr Kulhanek, the Honorable Lord Mayor of Karlovy Vary, and two of his deputies, came to visit Carlsbad in 2013. It was at this time he extended an invitation to have an International Art Exchange take place between our two sister cities. Karlovy Vary will reciprocate by sending their artists’ works in June of 2016 to be exhibited in the Carlsbad-Oceanside Art Gallery in Carlsbad.

See a our COAL artists with their works exhibited in Karlovy Vary.


Time to celebrate

Initially when exploring the idea of having an art exchange, we were told that to ship the winning art to KV would entail using an ATA Carnet (international customs document) and would cost around $9,000!

Searching the Internet we found an artist from Canada who used US and Canadian mail, thus bypassing shippers or ATA Carnet. The price then came down substantially - to ship one small box of art via FedEx would be over $800 and via USPS mailing of a much larger box was closer to $100. So naturally we settled on US Postal Service. Based on the packing materials the Canadian artist recommended, we bought from Home Depot boxes of shipping tape, bubble wrap, insulation panels and styrofoam boards, along with some special tools to measure and score cardboard to create custom boxes around the “sandwich” of packed paintings.

US Customs and international conventions on art shows have special exemptions. That called for visits to the US Customs office in San Diego which provided the forms and duty exemption code needed to use for international art shipments. Art cannot be for sale and may only be for exhibition. In the past, KV Municipal art gallery had only received art via ATA Carnet and shippers. This endeavor would be a first and they were a bit uncomfortable about the mailing process. After some to and fro they agreed to a test mailing.

After several awkward packing attempts we found a method that worked well enough to create a box within the USPS maximum package dimensions. It had two of the largest paintings amongst our winners. These are talented artists sending valuable art but we could only insure the entire package up to $2,499 per USPS limits. We mailed the package and it passed through US Customs with no problem. However it languished in Prague at the Czech Customs. The KV gallery director sent us an urgent e-mail saying we had to complete a Proforma Invoice on the art and send it to her ASAP or the package would be sent back to us the next day. We completed her template, e-mailed a scan of it and the package was released to her! It arrived unopened and undamaged.

Based upon this success we had the remaining five artists deliver their art to my house. CSCA’s new Board Member Joe Gieda and I arranged the 28 works into three large boxes within the USPS dimension limits. Or so we thought. It took hours and hours of work. When I brought them to the Post Office, one package went through, a second was 1/4” too large and the other was 3/4“ too large. No go, no go! Tonya and I reopened the packages and carved and cut and rebuilt the boxes properly. I succeeded in getting them mailed Saturday afternoon (June 13) at 4:00pm!!!

I would guess it probably took more than 40 hours of combined work between myself, Joe Gieda and Tonya to get those things boxed up and on the way.

As of Friday, June 26, 2015 all art was received and ready to be displayed in the Karlovy Vary Municipal Gallery.


CSCA Junior Ambassadors Set to Go to KVIFF

CSCA's Mar. 29, 2015 presentation of the Junior Ambassadors selected to go to the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and the six local artists whose works will be exhibited in Karlovy Vary was nicely recorded for us here on YouTube.

Here's a brief recap below of the memorable visit of the KV Delegates - part of our Summer 2015 Student Exchange


Six Area Artists Win Honor to Exhibit Their Art in
Carlsbad's Sister City Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

CARLSBAD – Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors (CSCA) have announced the results of choosing six members of C.O.A.L. Gallery (Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League) to exhibit five art works each in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic in August.

Winning top honors in the judging on February 9th were Rita Shulak, Sibylla Voll, Ellie Havel Thomas, David Schlegel, Lois Athearn and Charles Dozer.  Two alternates were also chosen, Christine Ames and Diane O’Connell.  The show was juried by Julie Weaverling of Front Porch Gallery.

Visitors viewing COAL artworksA collaborative venture of CSCA and C.O.A.L. answered the invitation from Petr Kulhanek, the Honorable Lord Mayor of Karlovy Vary,  to have an International Art Exchange take place between the two sister cities.

C.O.A.L. artists were invited to enter the competition.  There was an enthusiastic response, according to CSCA Director Jacquie Thye, who coordinated this wonderful cultural event. 

The art will be on display in the heart of this world-renowned spa city during the month of August.  Karlovy Vary, located near Prague, draws visitors to its many international festivals.

All of the artists were excited to learn they were chosen and hope to go to Karlovy Vary in person for the opening of the exhibition.

Karlovy Vary artists will then send their art work to Carlsbad in June 2016.  It will be exhibited at the C.O.A.L. Gallery and it is hoped several artists will visit as well.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the Carlsbad-Karlovy Vary International Sister City relationship.

Celebration of Carlsbad's Arbor Days

Arbor Day PlaqueCarlsbad Sister City Ambassadors was pleased to pay tribute to the 25th year of our relationship with Futtsu, Japan by planting cherry trees at the Carlsbad City Hall and the La Costa Heights Elementary School in April. One of our directors, Vesta Rundle-Ross, was instrumental in getting the trees from the Japanese Friendship Gardens in San Diego. Three of the trees were planted on the City Hall property as part of Carlsbad's Arbor Day at 11:00 a.m., April 26, 2014.  Also a plaque was installed at the site stating that the trees honor our Sister City relationship with Futtsu. Longtime friend and resident of Futtsu Tomiko Takenouchi and Daiji Mizota, Director, Futtsu International Relationship Association, traveled from Futtsu to attend. A fourth tree was planted in a separate ceremony at La Costa Heights Elementary School earlier on April 23. This was the school that was visited by the Futtsu delegation to acknowledge their collection of funds to help in the recovery from the tsunami damages of 2011.

Gearing Up For Sister City Visits in Spring 2015:

We are pleased to have received notice that our friends in Futtsu are preparing to send another delegation of students to Carlsbad in the spring of 2015. Members and friends of CSCA will be offered opportunities to help us greet, house and entertain them throughout their brief stay with us. More to come as it develops.

The Karlovy Vary mayoral office has contacted us to see if we are able to facilitate an arts exchange with them. This is something that their Lord Mayor, Petr Kulhanek, and our Mayor Matt Hall have agreed would be a good goal. To put on an art exchange is a major undertaking and we are exploring possible venues and supporters. If you are able to help us please contact our Arts Coordinator, Jacquie Thye at


Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic and Futtsu, Japan Visits

The Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors is pleased to have hosted the Lord Mayor Petr Kulhanek with his Deputies Petr Bursík and Jiří Klsák from our sister city Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. This was the Lord Mayor's first visit to Carlsbad. The week before, CSCA hosted the delegation from Futtsu, Japan comprised of Mrs. Tomiko Takenouchi, Mr. Shigeru Takenouchi, Mrs. Kiyoe Hasegawa along with students Woohyun An, Kana Morita, Yuuna Iwasawa, and Yuuya Matsuda.

Delegation Visits



Receives Community Activity Grant!

Another success! On the heels of two well-attended and highly acclaimed performances of “Who Put the ‘Bad’ In Carlsbad?” we were honored with one of Carlsbad’s Community Activity Grants.

At their Tuesday, March 13 meeting the City Council voted to approve their recommended list of grant applicants and that meant our request was honored!

In our application we expressed our intent to create an enduring “Winter Classic” event that would enrich our community by:

  • Honoring Carlsbad’s multi-cultural heritage and increasing its civic pride
  • Showcasing Carlsbad’s outstanding theatre community
  • Promoting tourism and our international connections

Our February and March productions appear to have nicely furthered those goals and guess what; we’re just getting started!

With this grant and the donations received from our new members we will be compiling a schedule of events with an international focus.

Stay tuned!



Why Do We Have “Sister Cities”? is an interesting article by Dan Kopf found on Priceonomics about the history of sister cities along with a current overview of world and state pairings.

If you joined and gave us your e-mail address you will be among the first to know and will receive priority to participate before the general public has access.

It pays to be a member. If you want to be included in this lucky group of international bon vivants, just click on the Join Us tab and send us the CSCA Enrollment Form.