Cherry Jam Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Festival kicks off with concert under blossoms

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off today with Cherry Jam, a noon-hour concert at downtown’s Burrard SkyTrain station featuring memorable performances.

After a word from the festival’s creative director Linda Poole, Zimbamoto took the stage with contemporary African music.


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Katari Taiko featured a battle of taiko drums.


Sporting pink socks, the newest member of the festival’s executive team presented the Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver and introduced the next performers, NoriNori. The duo performed an energetic rendition of Sakura Sakura on the shamisen and taiko.

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MNGWA surprised the audience by starting with a very lively adaptation of The Simpsons TV show.


On the concourse, vendors were providing information and tea samples.

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And, of course, the blossoms were there.  The green leaves had started to come out, which means the petals were falling gently on the crowd who was gathered to admire the blossoms.  This was a perfect beginning, considering the  the theme of this year’s festival is ‘Petal by Petal’.

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Check the festival’s community events page which list tons of activities to enjoy the blossoms such as a Big Picnic, Sakura Days Japan Fair, Bike the Blossoms, a haiku contest, and more!

Happy cherry blossom viewing!


Cherry Jam Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Jam Downtown Concert

The 12th annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off today with a noon-hour concert at the Burrard skytrain station in Vancouver.


Tetsu Taiko started the show, accompanied by Alcvin Ramos. The performance was amazing, very high in energy.


The performance was followed by an original collaboration of Chinese er-hu player Ji Rong Huang with a tap dancer.


The Cherry Jam concert host read the 2017 Haiku Invitational winning poems including:

the gasp
before the sigh . . .
cherry blossoms

Terri L. French
Huntsville, Alabama

VCBF Haiku Invitational 2017 Winner (United States)


Kathryn Nicholson lead the Sound Eclectic Vocal Ensemble. The choir performed “Cherry Blossoms For You & Me!” a new song inspired by a haiku by poet laureate Oz Hershfield created especially for the Vancouver Sings One Song event. I’m sure we’ll have the chance to hear it again during the festival and sing it together.


At the end of the concert, VCBF Director Linda Poole invited people to check the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website for more information about the many activities (big picnic, tree talks and walks, Sakura illuminations, etc.) and wished everybody a good festival.


It was a quite a rainy day in Vancouver.  Luckily, the exhibitors tables were in a covered area.

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Due to the rain, it was pretty quiet under the canopy.  Where you would usually find dozens of photographers and a crowd of people admiring cherry blossoms, there were only a few people hanging under the cherry trees.

Burrar skytrain station blossoms

The reason there were so few people under the canopy was clear when you got closer. Turns out half the pathway was flooded. The petals were floating in four inches of water!

Burrard canopy Burrard floating blossoms

For those who were not afraid to brave the rain today, the blossoms were there.

Burrar skytrain station blossoms wet petal

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from April 3-29, 2018. Check for information about the festival activities. Happy Cherry Blossom Viewing!

Burrar skytrain station blossoms

Cherry Jam Merchandise Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Jam concert at Burrard skytrain

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off today with the Cherry Jam, a free concert held at the Burrard skytrain station in downtown Vancouver.

This year, several artists teamed up to offer a multidisciplinary experience: The Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra performed first, then stayed on stage to accompany two dancers and a Japanese singer.

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Chinese musician Ji Rong Huang played the er-hu while Dayna Szyndrowski performed tap dancing. I was blown away that someone had thought of mixing these two different art forms together. And they worked perfectly!


Japanese artist Yayoi Hirano from Yayoi Theatre Movement performed haiku in mime while accompanied by the flute music of Holly Burke. (No pictures, but I took a video.)

Vancouver Okinawa Taiko group closed the show with powerful drumming and dancing.

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All performances were wonderful and memorable!

Festival volunteers at the VCBF table were handing out the 2016 Cherry Blossom guide which you can also find in this week’s The Vancouver Courier Newspaper and WE | The Westender.

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Spring came early, so all cherry blossom were gone at the Burrard skytrain station, but there was a birthday blossom tree at one of the kiosks, so I was able to take pictures of the blossoms.


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Akebono cherry trees are losing their petals, but there are plenty of cherry blossoms elsewhere in the city: Shirotae, beni-shidare, and soon Kanzan will bloom.  Are you ready to celebrate spring?

Don’t go cherry blossom viewing without these essential items: the VCBF guide, a cherry petal mat and a guide to Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver.


Happy Cherry Blossom Viewing!

Cherry Jam Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Activities


Celebrate spring with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (April 3-28 2014):




Cherry Jam Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival banner

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2013 banner at Burrard skytrain station

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival banner is up at the Burrard skytrain station.

We have so many activities planned for the festival from April 4-30 2013!  Mark these dates to your calendar:

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2013 banner at Burrard skytrain station

Come celebrate spring with us!

Cherry Jam Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

A Ukulele Celebration – beginners workshop

Ukulele Celebration of cherry blossoms

The event “A Ukulele Celebration of Cherry Blossoms” is a partnership between the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and Ruby’s Ukes.

On Saturday March 9, I rescued my ukulele from the back of my closet and headed out for a beginners workshop at Ruby’s Ukes. My objective: learn to play Sakura Sakura on the ukulele in just two hours!

At the Seymour Building, I was greeted by Ruby with a big smile.  She asked if I ever played the ukulele and I was too shy to admit I had bought it as a decoration piece many years ago.  Ruby tuned my ukulele and I was surprised (and relieved) to hear it sounded just like a real music instrument.

The beginners’ workshop was two hours. In the first hour, we learned how to play the ukulele. Our teacher Guido Heistek cracked a lot of jokes and made learning ukulele really fun and easy. We learned how to tune the ukulele by ear (a simple melody that goes “My dog has fleas”), how to hold the instrument, how to read the music sheet, play some chords and finally play some songs. In just an hour, we went from complete beginners to budding musicians!

Ukulele Celebration of cherry blossoms

After a snack (tea, cookies, fruits and almonds), we tackled the second part of the workshop: learningSakura Sakura (a traditional japanese song celebrating cherry blossoms). That went really smoothly now that we all knew how to play.

The melody Sakura Sakura sounds really good played on the ukulele. The sound is very similar to the koto, the string instrument traditionally used to play Sakura Sakura.

Cherry Ukuleles by Rubys Uke

Now, all we have to do is practice and rehearse for the Ukulele Celebration of Cherry Blossoms concerts which will take place at Cherry Jam (April 4th) and Sakura Days Japan Fair (April 6-7).  Don’t miss it, it’s going to be amazing!  The beginners will play the melody while intermediate and advanced students will play the chords. We’ll also have a singer!

If you know how to play the ukulele, sign up for the rehearsal on Saturday March 23. For only 5$, you will learn the song Sakura Sakura, get a copy of the music sheet, have lots of fun and get a chance to play on stage during Cherry Jam and Sakura Days Japan Fair.

Cherry Jam Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura bento

Pick up your sakura bento box at the Cherry Jam.

Doesn’t that look yummy? Pre-order your Sakura bento box now for pick-up during Cherry Jam Downtown on April 4 between 11:00am to 1:30pm inside the Burrard SkyTrain Station.  Holding a feast under cherry blossoms is one of the most popular activities during hanami (flower viewing).

There’s actually a funny proverb that says “dumplings rather than flowers” which means that people are more interested in the food and drinks during a hanami party than viewing the flowers themselves.  But, hey, with a bento box that looks that good, could you blame us, really?