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The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival blooms for the 10th year

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Join other cherry blossom enthusiasts online using the hashtag #VCBF10

Cherry blossoms are blooming all around the region and that means two things: 1) spring is definitely on its way and 2) the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is nearly here!

This year, the festival is celebrating its tenth season and will run from March 24 until April 17, 2016.

The festival always has so many fun events for all ages and this year is no exception!

Submit your cherry blossom-themed lines in the traditional 5-7-5 syllabic form for the Haiku Invitational.

Entering will get you the chance to be recognized as top winning poem, win the Sakura Aware or honourable mention in your category!

The inspiration for this year’s poems is celebrations and the contest runs until June 1.

Here are some tips from the organizers to help you get started:

Be clear. The best haiku present clear images that everyone can understand. Of course, deeper meanings may take many readings to fathom, but you’ll make a great start by focusing on sensory images – things you can see, hear, smell, touch, or taste.

Be suggestive. A haiku should hint at some sort of emotion or point of view rather than naming or analyzing it. Usually a haiku will have two parts, and deeper meanings or emotions often arise out of the unstated relationship between the two parts.

Practise. No poet has ever written a top-notch haiku without writing dozens of forgettable ones first. Keep a notebook where you can jot down haiku as the inspiration hits and then review them at your leisure.

You can take a look at last year’s winner, here.

A new experience for this year’s festival is the Blossom Barge where 40 beautiful, blooming cherry trees will be pulled by a tugboat up False Creek for everyone to enjoy.

Exciting performances will be happening at the moorings and it’s free to go!

Here is the Blossom Barge schedule:

April 16, 2016
10:40 am Blossom Barge parades from Science World to Granville Island
12:00 pm -2:00 pm Performances at Granville Island Market – featuring Tetsu Taiku & Tzo’kam collaboration, Kutapira and Langley Ukulele Ensemble.

April 17, 2016
12:00 pm-2:00 pm Performances at Granville Island Market – featuring the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra.
3:00 pm Blossom Barge parades from Granville Island to Science World
5:25 pm Blossom Barge passes by Canada Place Viewing Station

*Unfortunately, there will be no audiences allowed
on the actual voyage of the barge due to safety regulations*

VCBF dancer4

Cherry Jam Downtown Concert 2015

The big “to-do” each year is the Cherry Jam Downtown Concert at Burrard SkyTrain station sponsored, in part, by TransLink.

On March 24 from 12-1:30 pm in the indoor concourse, you can catch Metropolitan Orchestra String Quartet, Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble, Vancouver Okinawa Taiko and more!

With so much happening this year, be sure to head to vcbf.ca for more event listings and further details.

Looking for blossoms? Visit the festival’s interactive map on where the blossoms are blooming!

Author: Adrienne Coling


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