Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to happen as planned: organizers

It looks like the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) will be happening this year after all, as organizers say a major sponsor has stepped in to fill a gap in funding.

In February, the VCBF announced that it might have to scale back or cancel some events after losing the funding of a lead sponsor.

Read more: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival may scale-back, cancel events

But the festival is back on track as a new influx of sponsorship money has come in from a local company, Edge Construction, along with the help of a few other groups.

Executive Director Michael Dove says that after Coromandel Properties stepped down from their sponsorship — which made up about $80,000 in funding — they started asking for help.

“We started putting the word out there that we were looking for someone and people started reaching out and saying they wanted to get involved probably fielded 30 different conversations with potential sponsors, were able to recoup the amount that we were losing out on from losing our presenting sponsor,” he said Wednesday.

In a news release, Jaime Tarriba, the principal of Edge Construction, says that the organization felt “compelled” to help out.

“Spring is when Vancouver comes alive and there is no better way to celebrate this seasonal and mental shift than the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. When we learned the festival was in jeopardy without a lead sponsor, we felt compelled to take action as a way of giving back to the community,” Tarriba said.

Dove says that the festival is a way to note the start of a new season.

“This has been, I think, a very important festival for a lot of reasons in that it was bringing attention to just the natural beauty of the city, really looking at these trees,” he said.

“Obviously, these trees blossom for only a short period of time, and so wanting to use that as an opportunity to stop and pause, and appreciate beauty and then sort of celebrate that in several different ways.”

The VCBF says the festival is set to start on April 1 with The Big Picnic at David Lam Park in Yaletown.

“Let’s create events that do bring people together in meaningful ways to spend time in nature to appreciate that because I think that we learned Yeah after locked down that the things are really important to our physical health and mental health,” Dove added.

With files from Dean Recksiedler

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