Cherry Jam Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Jam opening concert at Burrard Skytrain

It was a gorgeous sunny day for the opening of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival at the Burrard skytrain station today.

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The Akebono cherry buds were about to open, and there were some blossoms at the top of the trees.

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First stop: the Cocktails and Canape booth where you could pick up a Blossom Bliss picnic, along with cherry blossom shake, and popcorn dessert.


After browsing the vendors’ table, it was time to pick a spot: the show was about to start.

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First, Sinfonia Orchestra took the stage for an amazing concert. A choir accompanied them on stage, and then some flash-mob singers, dispersed throughout the crowd, joined their voice for a rendition of Sakura! Sakura! I’m really glad they played it twice because that was a pretty cool to hear all the voices joining the choir from everywhere in the station.


Then, we were delighted by the sound of Son De Maple, a Vancouver based band with a latin sound and the most amazing percussionist I’ve ever seen (never thought someone could play a tambourine like this).

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The Cherry Jam concert ended with the Uzume Taiko drumming group. They were accompanied  by members of the South Asian Arts group who made us dance to the sound of Bollywood music.

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Linda Poole, the festival director, closed the festivities and wished everybody a happy spring and a great Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.


The Akebono cherry trees, which are be 2-3 weeks behind the normal blooming season, are just about to open everywhere in the city, so go visit soon!

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Leaving the station, I saw a woman taking pictures of the smaller tree planted in front of the station and realized this was probably my best chance for me to get a close-up  of the blossoms. The tree is in the sunlight. It was perfect.

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If you didn’t pick up a VCBF schedule at the festival tent, you’ll find it in this this week’s Georgia Straight. Visit our website for a complete list of activities and updates.



Akebono peak at Manitoba street (between 39th and 43rd Av.)

After my visit to Queen Elizabeth Park, I headed for Manitoba street (corner of 39th) to see two rows of Akebono cherry trees that extend up to 43rd street.

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The trees are small, but if you get the right angle, you can still get good photos.

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Since the trees are small, you can get really good close-ups:


When I reached 41st Ave., I turned to face north and was thrilled to see the peak of the North Shore Mountains at the end of the street between rows of cherry blossoms. (There are electric wires in the way, but it’s still a nice photo op).

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Use the VCBF neighbourhood map to find this location and other Akebono cherry trees in your area.

Photos: Jessica Tremblay


Queen Elizabeth Park Akebono cherry trees in bloom

Right after work, I went to Queen Elizabeth Park to see the Akebono cherry trees. It was around 5pm. There was about 25 people taking photographs.

The trees near the parking lot look amazing.

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The branches are full of blossoms.

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There’s a park bench so you can sit and have your picture taken next to the the huge trees.


Queen Elizabeth Park is a wonderful location for a picnic. There’s also a lot of photographers (wedding, fashion) and videographers (someone was filming a tai-chi video when I was there), so be prepared to share the space with a crowd.

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Past the Akebono, you’ll also find a beautiful Somei-yoshino cherry tree:

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This location is definitely worth a visit. If you walk towards the restaurant, on top of the small quarry, you can take an amazing photo of the Vancouver downown skyline.


Visit Queen Elizabeth Park within the next 7-10 days. For a guided tour, attend our Queen E Tree Talk and Walk on April 3 (date subject to change, so please visit our website for updates).


Photos: Jessica Tremblay


Spectacular rows of Akebono on Graveley street

On a sunny Thursday morning, around 11 a.m., I reached Graveley street (corner of Lillooet) to view cherry blossoms.  The location is spectacular with two rows of old Akebono cherry trees forming an arch over the street.

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The area was bustling with activities: there were about 50 people taking pictures. And more cars kept arriving.

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The view from the bottom of the street is also very nice.

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From the sidewalk,  you can snap photos of the Burnaby skyline and SFU hill.

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The street is spectacular and immediately became one of my favorite locations. The blossoms were in full bloom when I visited. This location will be wonderful when petals start to fall in a couple of days.


Visit this location within 7 days. Prepare to share the space with many photographers. When you’re there, remember the neighbours:

1) do not climb the trees
2) do not break the branches
3) be respectful of the residents who live on the street
4) do not stop in the middle of the street
5) keep your visit to a max of 15mins (cause really, how long does it take to snap a few photos?)
6) stay on city property, do not go on private property
7) try to stay off the grass, especially if you are wearing heels.
Mostly – be respectful to the environment and the residents. Remember that it is the residents who are responsible for caring for those trees.

To find out more about this location and where you can find Akebono cherry trees, see the VCBF neighbourhood map.




Akebono cherry trees outside Mink Chocolates cafe

This plaza located at the end of Hornby street (between Hastings and Cordova) is on my favorite locations to view Akebono cherry trees Downtown.

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If you didn’t bring your picnic, you can stop at Mink Chocolates Cafe (or one of the other eateries) to have tea or coffee while you look at the flowers outside.

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It’s close to the waterfront, so you can take pictures of the blossoms with some historic Downtown buildings.

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The Akebono cherry trees are in full bloom downtown and in the West-End. Join our Cherry Tree Talk and Walk  this Saturday March 12 2016  1.30-3.30pm with Wendy Culter.

Photos: Jessica Tremblay

Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Burrard skytrain station

It was cloudy when I visited the akebono cherry trees at Burrard skytrain station, but at least it wasn’t raining.

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I was surprised to find the future location of our Cherry Jam (March 24) in full bloom!

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The branches are full of blossoms.

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It was fun to take pictures of the blossoms against the surrounding downtown buildings.

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Cherry blossoms are already falling, so hurry up to visit that location.

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If you’d like a guided tour of the Downtown/West-End cherry trees, join our Cherry Talk and Walk this Saturday March 12 2016 1.30-3.30 with Wendy Cutler. Meet at Burrard skytrain station.

Photos: Jessica Tremblay

Cherry Scouts Photos

Cherry Tree Talk and Walk – Downtown, West End, Stanley Park

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A group of  40 people met at the Burrard skytrain station today at 2pm for our first Cherry Tree Talk and Walk of the season!


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The Akebono cherry trees were in full bloom at the Burrard skytrain station.

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Our second stop was the Governor’s Plaza (behind Urban Tea Merchant) where more Akebono trees greeted us.

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The group stopped to admire an art exhibit (featuring dancing umbrellas) in a window.

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But cherry trees were the star of the show, especially along the seawall.

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Wendy Cutler, the leader of the walk, brought us to see many beautiful Akebono cherry trees blooming in courtyards of downtown condos.

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Nothing more beautiful than cherry trees next to the water. We stopped there to rest a few minutes.

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We saw lots of beautiful cherry trees, including some Umineko, Accolades and  Shirotae (white blossoms with green leaves) which are starting to bloom. We walked to Stanley park and the walk finished at the heronry at 4pm. It was a lovely walk.

One of the questions that came back often was: Do cherry trees give cherries? The answer is: no. Our Vancouver trees are ornamental cherry trees.

Check out our schedule to join our next Tree Talk and Walk.

Cherry Scouts Photos

Akebono cherry trees blooming at Burrard skytrain station

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The beautiful Akebono cherry trees are in bloom at Burrard skytrain station.

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The trees will be in bloom for another 7-10 days.

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Lots of benches for a quick hanami lunch, but expect a lot of activities and photographers.

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When Akebono start blooming, you can see one of their main characteristics: some Akebono cherry blossoms have a sixth incomplete petal growing. This petaloid will fall a bit later, that’s why it’s important to visit the trees early if you want to identify them as Akebono (as opposed to Somei-Yoshino).

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Burrard skytrain is one of our favorite locations Downtown.  Because the trees are blooming earlier this year, we’ve added cherry talk and walk (Downtown and Stanley park) on Saturday March 14 2015 2-4pm





Cherry Scouts Photos

Akebono cherry trees at Burrard skytrain


The beautiful Akebono cherry trees are full of buds at Burrard skytrain station.

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Some flowers are out already.

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The location should be in full bloom within 2-3 days.

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Plan to visit soon when the blossoms will open.


Akebono at Burrard Skytrain Station


The Akebono cherry trees are blooming at the Burrard Station (and everywhere in Vancouver!)


Under the pink canopy, people are taking pictures, having lunch or doing plein-air painting.



The branches are filled with blossoms.


Akebono cherry blossoms are naturally photogenic.


A beautiful afternoon for cherry blossom viewing!


Burrard Station will be home to our Cherry Jam concert, Thursday April 3,  from 12.00-1.30! Join us for an afternoon of music, dance and poetry!

12pm              Welcome by Linda Poole and Norma Reid
12:05pm         Tetsu Taiko (20 minutes)
12:28pm         Haiku Bard by Christopher Gaze (8 minutes)
12:36pm         Michael Averill (15 minutes)
12:50pm         Yayoi Theatre Movement (15 minutes)
1:10pm           Vancity Soran (15 minutes)