Celebrate spring with the first virtual Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival
06 April 2021
Updated 08 April 2021
The Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival returns in 2021 as a virtual celebration of spring following the cancellation of last year’s event due to COVID-19. The online festival will launch on Sunday, April 11, in celebration of the cherry blossom season. This free program will feature reflections on past festival performances and demonstrations, and new video content starring local artists.
“The City of Richmond is the proud home to one of Canada’s largest and oldest communities of Japanese-Canadian immigrants, dating back almost 140 years,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate our region’s Japanese heritage through the Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival, and to have the opportunity to share the event to even more people this year with the virtual format.”
The theme of this year’s festival is the Japanese words 希望 (Kibou) or HOPE, a timely concept as the country continues to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. Online visitors will be able to explore facets of Japanese culture through a series of new videos highlighting performances, how-to demonstrations and more. The videos are organized into five virtual tents found online at www.richmondcherryblossomfest.ca:
- The Sakura Tent features welcome messages from Mayor Brodie, Consul General Takashi Hatori, the Consul General of Japan in Vancouver, the festival directors and original musical performances.
- The Matsuri Tent highlights a sakura (cherry blossom) themed bento box in honour of the centuries-old tradition of picnicking under cherry trees in bloom.
- The Hanami Tent offers a video introducing the art of calligraphy and origami.
- The Kitsuke Tent provides insights into the different styles of kimono.
- The Kuno Tent focuses on a unique school of ikebana (flower arranging).
Those visiting Garry Point Park are asked to follow current provincial guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety, including keeping gatherings outdoors to the same 10 people, maintaining physical distancing with those outside of your household, and wearing masks when within two metres of one another.
The Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival highlights the beauty of 255 Akebono cherry trees that were donated to the City from the BC Wakayama Kenjin Kai.
For more information, follow the City of Richmond’s events social media channel @FunRichmond and the hashtag #richmondcherryblossomfestival.