Arts tip sheet: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

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      Our crystal ball can’t tell you the best places and times for this year’s cherry-blossom viewing, but with the weather heating up you should soon be good to go in almost any neighbourhood. We can tell you where to check out Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival fun, however, and here are three free options.


      Cherry Jam

      April 4 at the Burrard Station concourse

      Featuring four local bands inspired by the cultures of Zimbabwe, Peru, Japan, Jamaica, and Russia, Cherry Jam pays tribute to the flowering of this city’s excitingly diverse intercultural-music scene. See our related story for more about what psychedelic-cumbia outfit MNGWA and Japanese-Canadian roots radicals NoriNori & Kage have planned.


      The Big Picnic

      April 13 at Queen Elizabeth Park

      If you want to get away from it all and see everyone at the same time, here’s your chance. The Big Picnic is a lunchtime excuse to take in the blossoms and beautiful city views of Mount Pleasant’s Queen Elizabeth Park; pack a lunch and prepare to listen to the sounds of the Northshore Celtic Ensemble, handpan virtuoso Kiyoshi Iio, the Chibi Taiko youth ensemble, and more.


      The Nature of Haiku

      April 28 at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch

      Get hands-on with haiku with this free public workshop featuring poet Michael Dylan Welch, cofounder of Haiku North America and one of the concise idiom’s foremost exponents. He’ll be teaching in English, but you’ll still get a great grounding in kigo (seasonal words), kireji (poetic juxtaposition), and shasei (invoking the sensual world).