VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A petal has been dropped from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival due to concerns around COVID-19.
The Sakura Days Japan Fair – part of the multi-event festival – has been cancelled, though some of the other mainstay events will take place as scheduled.
There's been a cancellation under the banner of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival due to concerns around #covid19: the Sakura Days Japan Fair has been cancelled. Some of the other events are going ahead, though. pic.twitter.com/E6uGuvIZMN
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) March 10, 2020
In a statement, the organizers – the Japan Fair Association of Vancouver – say the decision to scrap the Sakura Days Japan Fair was a difficult one. It was set to take place over a two-day period beginning April 18.
“We acknowledge that the risk for COVID-19 is low and that there is high enthusiasm for our event from all participants and stakeholders. The decision is to ensure the long-term sustainability of this annual event; to provide the best experience for our performers, vendors, volunteers and attendees; and to maintain the financial and operational viability of our event.”
Organizers also say the event relies on ticket sales, sponsorships and volunteer support, and all of those have already been affected.
The family-friendly, two-day Japanese festival is held at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, and showcases the country’s cultural and performing arts, cuisine and business.
There are other events going ahead under this banner, however, including the Cherry Jam Concert on April 2-3, The Big Picnic at Queen Elizabeth Park on April 11, and Sakura Night on April 23.