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World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

The World Umbrella Dance took place at Vancouver Art Gallery on April 13, 2013.

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Hundreds of people had a great time dancing to the music of Shabop!

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

First, a warm up with Shiamak Vancouver.

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Then, the official dance.

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Tetsu Taiko was drumming to the beat of the music. A great combination!

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Two umbrellas getting cosy after the dance.  Beautiful design by Anthony Redpath.

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World Umbrella Dance

Shabop, let’s dance!

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival World Umbrella Dance 2013

Saturday April 13, 2013, the World Umbrella Dance will feature performances by Shiamak Dancers, Tetsu Taiko and our Umbrella Dancers at 12:50pm, 1:20pm, 1:50pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza .

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World Umbrella Dance

Umbrella comic

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World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance

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Arts & Crafts

Cherry Blossoms: a Textile Translation

Cherry Blossoms: a textile translation

Cherry Blossoms: a textile translation (Retrospective)

When: Saturday, April 6, to Sunday, April 21 — Saturdays/Sundays, 12 noon to 4:00pm, and Wednesdays/Thursdays, 6:00 to 8:00pm

Where: Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue

Features work from many of the 50 international textile artists represented in four previous exhibitions.

Textile Demonstrations, Sundays, 2:00 to 4:00pm

Admission by donation ($5 suggested)
Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Guild of Fibre Arts and Historic Joy Kogawa House Society, and held in conjunction with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Also:

“Sushi and Samosas” Family Reading Event

Saturday, April 13, 2:00 to 4:00pm, Joy Kogawa House will host a family reading with Jacqueline Pearce, author of The Reunion. A Sikh girl and her Japanese friend have a fight, and before they can make up, all the Japanese-Canadians are taken away. Years later, two modern girls hope it’s not too late to repair the old friendship. For ages 8 to 11. Event includes a reading from this chapter book and a related craft activity. RSVP [email protected]

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Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Illumination Tour video

Sakura Illumination Tour 2013

Check out this video of the Sakura Illumination Tour uploaded by Stuart Ward from hfour design.

The Sakura Illumination Tour is a mobile night time installation which will illuminate various cherry blossom sites in public parks and beaches while in full bloom. Using LED and patterned video lights, Stuart Ward of Hfour Design illuminated cherry blossom trees with his sensory projection artwork. The single night quality reflects the tempo of the blossoms, and their varying bloom times. The unique experience will create an intangible memory of a time and place never to be duplicated.

The light show will be a reminder that if you don’t stop, if you don’t pull over to see what is happening, you’ll miss it because it won’t be there tomorow. Life is brief and beauty does not last and life can pass you by if you don’t seize the moment.

The Sakura Illumination Tour will follow the peak bloom of our cherry trees and is dependent on the weather. Consult the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival page to learn where Sakura Illumination will pop up next and the VCBF Facebook page for latest updates!

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Arts & Crafts Haiku Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Days Japan Fair 2013

weeping higan cherry tree at VanDusen April 7 2013

Sakura Days Japan Fair took place at VanDusen Botanical Garden on April 6-7 2013.  It’s a fun festival that celebrates Japanese culture and cherry blossoms. The weeping cherry tree were so beautiful and there were so many activities. Two days were definitely not enough.

VCBF table at Sakura Days Japan Fair April 7 2013

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival table.

Sakura Days Japan Fair April 7 2013 vendors

Vendors booths.

Ikebana at Sakura Days April 7 2013

Ikebana workshop.

Sakura paper art Sakura April 72013

Paper art workshop.

Sakura Days Calligraphy Sakura April 72013

Live calligraphy (featuring the character for sakura, cherry blossoms) by Essence of Shodo.

Tree talk and walk with Ann Eng at VanDusen during Sakura Days Japan Fair 2013

Tree talk and walk with Anne Eng.

Haiku Stone at VanDusen Garden during Sakura Days Japan Fair April 7 2013

Haiku Rock (in the cherry grove).

Anime Revolution at Sakura Days Japan Fair April 7 2013

Anime Revolution.

Cherry blossom viewing during Sakura Days Japan Fair April 7 2013

Cherry blossom viewing.

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Photos

Cherry tree talk and walk at VanDusen

Weedping cherry tree Higan at Van Dusen Garden April 7 2013

On April 7 2013, I joined the cherry talk and walk at the VanDusen botanical garden. Our guide Anne Eng has been a cherry scout for many years and is also a volunteer at the garden.

First, we visited the beni shidare trees on the Great Lawn.

Weedping cherry tree Higan at Van Dusen Garden April 7 2013

This is the view of fifteen hundred years” said Anne.  In Japan, cherry trees were growing on hillsides. People thought they were beautiful so  they uprooted the trees and brought them down closer to civilization. The VanDusen garden replicated the original location by planting the cherry trees on a hill.

Weedping cherry tree Higan at Van Dusen Garden April 7 2013

The garden has several weeping higan cherry trees which are known as beni shidare (beni means “pink”, and shidare means “weeping”).

Weedping cherry tree Higan at Van Dusen Garden April 7 2013

Did you know? Cherry trees (prunus) are members of the rose family.

Bark of a Japanese flowering cherry tree

There are two major characteristics of cherry trees:

1)     Lenticels ( “Cherry bars, stop the car!”)

If you are not sure if the trees blooming on your street are plum or cherry trees, look at the trunk.  Cherry trees have horizontal lines on the bark called “lenticels”.  (Lenticels allow gas exchange between the air and the internal tissues).

All cherry trees have lenticels“, said Anne, “but not all trees with lenticels are cherry trees.”

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2)      Cherry blossoms grow in clusters called “umbels”. An umbel is when more than one flower comes out of the bud and each flower is at the end of a long stalk (like in this picture).

Great White Cherry at Van Dusen Botanical Garden April 7 2013

I was very impressed by the Great White Cherry, or prunus “Taihaku” (seen above):

1)      it has big white blossoms (5 cm)

2)      and copper color leaves (you can see the copper at the tip of the leaves in this picture)

Somei Yoshina cherry tree at Van Dusen Garden April 7 2013

On the rhododendron walk, we saw a huge somei-yoshino which is the original cherry tree from Japan.

A man from Georgia took a somei-yoshino tree back to his town, donated lots of them, and every year they have the International Cherry festival in this small town in Georgia, in March.

Somei Yoshina cherry tree at Van Dusen Garden April 7 2013

In Japan, they planted samples of somei-yoshino trees in specific location across the country. Every spring, they observe these trees. When the cherry tree has six blossoms, they declare that cherry season has begun and they report it on the news,  from the south to the north. It’s called the Cherry Wave.

Chrystanthemum cherry tree at Van Dusen Botanical Garden April 7 2013

The Chrysanthemum cherry tree was one of my favorite cherry trees in the garden.

Snow Fountain weeping cherry tree at Van Dusen Botanical Garden April 7 2013

Snow Fountain.  The name is so pretty.

Somei Yoshina cherry tree at Van Dusen Garden April 7 2013

These are the trees of your future” said Anne, when we visited the cherry trees that are not yet in bloom. The Kanzan and  Shirofugan  should be blooming in two weeks. Kanzan are the most planted cherry trees in Vancouver along with Akebono (Akebono means “daybreak”).

Shirofugan and Shigetsu will be the last cherry trees to bloom in the garden (Shirofugan blossoms grow pink, turn white, then turn pink again). So keep your eyes open.

Did you know? There are several more tree talks and walks (some them focusing on cherry trees) scheduled this month for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

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Cherry Jam Haiku Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Jam Downtown Concert

Haiku Tracking at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kick off  concert Cherry Jam on April 4 2013

At the Burrard skytrain station, lots of people came to the Cherry Jam concert today. Some of the performers included:  World Umbrella Dancers, taiko drummers, Japanese dancers, and a ukulele ensemble playing Sakura Sakura.

The Haiku Tracking balloons (an innovative project by Bing Thom Architects) added a nice touch of color and interactivity.

Haiku Tracking at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kick off  concert Cherry Jam on April 4 2013

People of all ages were having a good time carrying the balloons around.  When a young girl’s balloon got caught in a lower branch, she was showered with petals and everybody laughed.

Burrard skytrain station cherry blossom April 4 2013

The cherry petals were falling quickly due to the persistent rain.  How quicky? Take a look at this video:

Sakurab Bento box at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Cherry Jam Concert April 4 2013

This yummy Sakurab bento box received some complimentary petals!

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2012 Haiku Invitational bus sign

A closer look at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2012 Winners. The poster should be in the Translink Skytrains and buses soon.

Haiku Tracking at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kick off  concert Cherry Jam on April 4 2013

If you took a balloon home, you will find a little haiku inside the paper. You can write your own haiku and publish it on the haikutracking.com website.

Haiku Tracking at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kick off  concert Cherry Jam on April 4 2013

Take a look at the haikutracking.com website to see where the balloons went and read some haiku.

Burrard skytrain station cherry blossom April 4 2013

Cherry blossom viewing tip: you should never shy away from the rain.  This picture was taken today at the Burrard station. You could never take that on a sunny day, that’s for sure!  Buy the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival umbrella to keep you dry and get out there!  Visit the Burrard station location within 2-3 days to be showered with petals.  Hurry up!  (Umbrellas are for sale at Urban Tea Merchant, just one block away from Burrard station).

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Cherry Jam Photos

Burrard station is ready for Cherry Jam!

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

Akebono cherry trees at Burrard skytrain station are now in full bloom!It’s going to be gorgeous for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Cherry Jam this Thursday April 4th (11.00am-1.30pm)!

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

This afternoon, before heading to Burrard station,  I stopped at T&T (near BC Stadium) to pickup some sushi and dumplings.

T&T is offering a special sakura sushi tray in partnership with the VCBF and they also have a sweet bun festival right now with buns in different shapes like a snowman, hedgehog, frog, Snoopy, etc. These are too cute to resist!

After picking up some goodies, I hopped on the skytrain and headed to Burrard to have a picnic under the blossoms.

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

At the Burrard station, there were lots of people taking pictures, especially of that single tree that always seems to be in the sunlight.

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

Around 4.30 pm, the reflection of the setting sun (coming from the surrounding buildings) was coloring the blossoms pink at this location that is almost always in the shade.

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

Photography tip: don’t be afraid to do some closeups.  I just love taking pictures of the sun through the blossoms!

Cherry viewing tip: It’s time to visit! The cherry trees are peaking.  If you work Downtown, bring your lunch and enjoy a picnic under the canopy every day this week before the blossoms fall. Remember this important rule of cherry blossom viewing: Never say “tomorrow!”