Vancouver’s cherry trees were originated as gifts from Japan. Cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan and plays a significant role in the identity of the nation. The pink blooms have typified the spirit of the spring season, and play an influential role on the Japanese culture. Symbolically, the cherry blossom means reflection and appreciation of life. The cloud-like shape of the flowering branches evokes the ephemeral image of life, a concept that lies at the core of Japanese cultural tradition.
In the early 1930s the mayors of both Kobe and Yokohama gifted 500 Japanese cherry trees for planting at the Japanese cenotaph in Stanley Park honouring Japanese Canadians who served in WWI. In 1958 three hundred more cherry trees were donated by the Japanese consul as an eternal memory of good friendship between our two nations. The ornamental cherries were planted along Cambie boulevard, between 49th and 33rd Avenues, in Queen Elizabeth Park and around the Japanese monument in Stanley Park.
Since 2006, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) has been marking the advent of spring with a variety of local community events designed to honour these beautiful cherry trees. This Festival serves as validation for Linda Poole who founded the festival with the aim to unite people through the shared appreciation for the beauty of the Sakura trees.