Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival cancels Sakura Days amid coronavirus concerns

Mar 9 2020, 1:34 pm

It’s an integral part of the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, but organizers have just announced they are cancelling this year’s Sakura Days event due to concerns around coronavirus.

“After careful consideration and thorough review of current circumstances, the Japan Fair Association of Vancouver (JFAV), the volunteer-run organizing committee of Sakura Days Japan Fair, has come to the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event,” Takashi Tsukamoto, chair of the Japan Fair Association Vancouver, announced on Monday.

The annual event was scheduled to take place on April 18 and 19, 2020.

“We acknowledge that the risk for COVID-19 is low and that there is high enthusiasm for our event from all participants and stakeholders,”Tsukamoto said. “This decision is to ensure the long-term sustainability of this annual event; to continue to provide the best experience for our performers, vendors, volunteers and attendees; and to maintain the financial and operational viability of our event.”

The non-profit cultural event relies heavily on ticket sales, sponsorships, and volunteer support to help underwrite its expenses, “all of which we have seen early indications of being affected this year,” said Tsukamoto. “The timing to make this difficult decision is now, to minimize our potential losses in order to ensure our financial stability and to focus on returning with the event in 2021. We thank you for your understanding and continued support.”