The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) is an annual spring festival held in Vancouver, British Columbia to celebrate the beauty of Vancouver’s cherry trees. Inspired by the age old Sakura festivals of Japan, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival uplifts spirits in the city, while the ephemeral nature of the blossoms remind us all to make time to celebrate life. Celebrating through dance this Spring, April 5-28, 2012.
The cherry tree is called sakura and it has a strong spiritual significance for the Japanese; the short lives of its blossoms during the beginning of spring signify the short and well-lived life of an individual.
The Festival unites Vancouver’s citizens – a citizenry with a richly-diverse cultural heritage – in happy celebration of this unique seasonal phenomenon. The Festival inspires participants to express their response to these extraordinary trees in music, poetry, photography, art, design, craft, and cuisine. Each year, there are more programs. Each year there are more participants. And while fostering community spirit and civic pride at home, the Festival is also building new international friendships and cross-cultural exchanges through the international Haiku Invitational Program.
Vancouver is known for its street trees, but particularly its flowering cherries. The majority of its street trees are the result of extensive plantings made during Vancouver’s boom years following the Second World War. Many of the trees were gifts to the City from Japan. The first were planted in the 1930s in Stanley Park at the Cenotaph, gifts of the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama, to commemorate Japanese Canadians who fought in WW1.
People can enjoy guided walking tours of ‘Festival favorites’ and participate even more actively as Cherry Scouts: locating, identifying, photographing, recording, and sharing their favorites. The result of these activities is an online, up-to-date Cherry Blossom Viewing Map covering the 23 neighborhoods of Vancouver.
Hey fellow lomographer, even if you aren’t in Vancouver, why not take a lomowalk near you to find some cherry blossoms to share with us to celebrate the beauty of our lives?