Literary community helps cherry tree bloom!

Spring arrived early at Joy Kogawa House last Sunday — with a little help from knitters, crocheters, authors (including a few CWILL BC members) and book-lovers, who gathered to festoon the bare backyard cherry tree with hundreds of hand-knitted and crocheted blossoms. The “yarn-bombing” event and several knit-ins leading up to it (including one held at Vancouver City Hall) was organized to help draw attention to the heritage site and the Joy Kogawa House writer-in-residence program.

The house was the childhood home of Canadian author Joy Kogawa –until WW II, when the house was expropriated and the family forced to move, along with other Japanese-Canadians, to an internment camp in the BC interior. Thanks to the rallying of community members and a national fund-raising campaign (2003-2006), the house is now owned by The Land Conservancy of BC, a non-profit land trust, and a writer-in-residence program is operated on the site, helping to connect authors with the local community and encourage an appreciation for Canadian writing (see the Joy Kogawa House website for more info).

Joy Kogawa mentions the house in her novels, “Obasan” and “Naomi’s Road“, while the cherry tree itself is the focus of Kogawa’s picture book, “Naomi’s Tree.”

Some images from the day:

Blossoms were created at local knit-ins lead by knit graffiti artists Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, and were also mailed in from other locations.

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Participants at Sunday’s event crocheted chains, knitted “bark,” and attached the knitted and crocheted blossoms to the chains while authors read from their works.

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Outside, others sewed “bark” around the tree’s trunk and tied blossom chains to the tree.

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Vancouver Firefighters attached blossoms to the highest branches.

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Overhead, an eagle soared.

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All in all, a beautiful day and a beautiful event.

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More photos of the event will be posted at Yarnbombing.com.

Blossoms will stay in place on the tree throughout the month of March, so if you’re in Vancouver, stop by 1450 West 64th Ave to have a look.

About Jacqueline Pearce

I am a writer (and occasionally, artist) living on the westcoast of Canada. I write novels, short stories and poetry for children and young adults. When I'm not at my computer, I explore the city, finding inspiration in hints of history, unexpected art, and glimpses of wild nature pushing up between the cracks. Sometimes, the resulting thoughts and haiku find there way onto my blog, "wildink."
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