Public health officials are calling on British Columbians to stay indoors to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This forced the organizers of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to be creative in finding a way to move an outdoor festival indoors.
“We had to take a lot of the programming online,” said festival founder Linda Poole at CBC. The first edition.
Instead of organized walks in flower-filled districts, the festival has created “virtual walks” through the trees that everyone can follow online.
Winnipeg poet Sally Ito is said to have led one of these walks in the Marpole neighborhood. Instead, website visitors can browse photos of the cherry blossoms accompanied by Itik haikus.
The Cherry Jam concert has been canceled, but the festival promises to put the performances online.
Later this month, the festival will share maps for self-guided tours that people can do on their own – while maintaining physical distance outside, of course.
Poole says keeping the festival spirit alive by putting it online was important because Vancouverites spend more time indoors.
“This is what everyone is telling me, it is the cherry blossoms that are allowing them to get through this situation right now,” she said.
“And we have many more to come until the beginning of May. We are very fortunate that COVID-19 did not affect the cherry trees. “
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival runs online until April 26.