2009 HAIKU INVITATIONAL OPENS
VANCOUVER CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
Poets and public invited to honour the city’s 36,000 cherry trees with haiku
The opening event of the 2009 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) is underway, with budding and established poets from around the world invited to submit one unpublished English-language haiku on the theme of cherry blossoms. The deadline for submissions is December 19, 2008.
This year’s winning haiku will come to life under the baton of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor, Evan Mitchell, at the VSOs March 28th Musically Speaking concert. Winning haiku will also be displayed on buses and SkyTrain cars during the Festival (March 28 – April 24, 2009).
Haiku is a one-breath poem that captures a moment, and like the Festival, teaches us to seize the day said Linda Poole, Executive Director, VCBF. As the cherry tree symbolizes friendship and the world turns its attention to Vancouver for 2010, the Haiku Invitational 2009 emphasizes this Olympic theme, inviting submissions in the spirit of international friendship on cherry blossoms. This is particularly fitting remembering Issa’s famous cherry blossom haiku and the Festival slogan because There is no stranger under the cherry tree…
Since it began in 2006, the Festival’s Haiku Invitational has attracted entries from more than 36 countries in North America, Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. In 2009, haiku will once again receive special recognition in the following categories: Best BC, Best Canadian, Best US, Best International, and Best Youth Haiku (age 18 and under).
The Haiku Invitational is at the heart of the Festival and has branched out with new programming including: Haiku Garden School Workshops at VanDusen Botanical Garden, Haiku Walks, and Under Heavens Dome: Sounds of Haiku—a celebration in words and music in the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park. In support of Haiku Garden, the Festival features educational haiku materials online with a teacher Study Guide on how to teach haiku at www.vcbf.ca.
The Haiku Invitational is the first of many VCBF events celebrating the return of spring and the exuberance of the blossoming of Vancouver’s 36,000 cherry trees. Inspired by the tradition of viewing cherry blossoms in Japan, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is uniquely West Coast. Other VCBF events include Plein-Air Blossom Painting, Cherry Jam Downtown Concert, Under the Cherry Tree, Blossom Trolley Tours, Tree Talks and Walks, and Bike the Blossoms.
For information on the 2009 Vancouver Cherry Blossom and submitting your haiku, visit www.vcbf.ca.