The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is right around the corner as the brown branches we’ve known throughout winter turn various shades of pink. Vancouver boasts 40,000 trees that will burst with blossoms over the next few weeks and there are dozens of ways that you can enjoy the sights, from community events and walks to bike rides, picnics, and photo ops.
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
“In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.”
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival was founded by Linda Poole in 2005 and since that time it’s become a kickoff to spring for locals.
“I believe in the power of the blossoms. It’s appreciating the beauty in life that makes life worth living,” Linda told me last year. “In our universal response to their beauty, we are united. Especially during these times we must connect back to nature. The ephemeral nature of the blossoms reminds us to seize the moment and celebrate life now.” Here are just a few of the festival’s major events:
What: Sakura Night Gala
Where: Tojo’s Restaurant on 1133 W Broadway, Vancouver
When: Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 6:30pm: Cipes Brut Sparkling Welcome, 7:00pm to 9:00pm: Standing Dinner
Let the celebrations begin this spring with an extraordinary dining experience hosted by Tojo’s Restaurant, featuring sensational Japanese cuisine created by Tojo’s Restaurant, Zen Japanese Restaurant, Hapa Izakaya, The RawBar at Fairmont Pacific Rim, Miku Restaurant as well as Zakkushi and Bella Gelateria.
Cherry Jam Downtown at Burrard Station
What: Cherry Jam Downtown Concert
Where: Indoor concourse of Burrard Skytrain station
When: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Featuring Ken Hsieh conducting a Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra trio ensemble, the taiko and electric guitar duo LOUD, Langley Ukulele Ensemble, and national yo-yo champion, Harrison Lee.
Sakura Days at VanDusen
What: Sakura Days Japan Fair
When: Saturday, April 11th and Sunday, April 12th, 2015 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden
What: Poetry Competition
When: March 1st, 2015 to June 1st, 2015
This year’s cherry blossom theme is CONNECTIONS: How do you connect to people, places, and moments of experience in the context of seeing cherry trees bloom? Let the spirit of making connections help you this year in writing cherry blossom haiku.
Painting at VanDusen
What: Plein Air Blossom Painting
When: Weekends, April 12th, 18th & 19th, 2015 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden, meet inside the Visitor’s Centre (5151 Oak Street)
Petal Mat Picnics
What: Cherry Blossom Picnics
When: Saturday, April 4th, 2015 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Centre – David Lam Park (Drake St. side)
When: Sunday, April 12th, 2015 from 11:30am to 3:00pm
Where: Richmond, YVR Larry Berg Flight Path Park (off Russ Baker Way)
When: Sunday, April 26th, 2015 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Where: Kerrisdale Community Centre – Centennial Park (5851 West Blvd)
There’s also Bike the Blossoms events, the Blossom and Bollywood Kite Dance, and the BC Blossom Watch Photo Contest.
Consult the Community Events calendar and the VCBF Neighbourhood Map online for more activity ideas and follow the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival on Facebook and Twitter for the latest event and blossom-viewing information.