UPDATE: The date of the Big Picnic has been changed from Saturday, April 13 to Sunday, April 14 due to rain. However, the time and location of the event remain the same.
The annual event invites participants to bring their own mat or purchase one of the Festival’s connecting Petal Mats, bring a picnic basket and make some new friends under the beautiful blossoms.
The activity is based on the Japanese tradition of hanami – a practice that involves sitting under the cherry blossoms and contemplating their beauty. The tradition began over a thousand years ago when aristocrats would write poems about their beauty.
The event will also include live performances, family activities, and food trucks. Laura Yu Wu performs the Guzheng (Chinese harp) and vocals. She’s participated in many performances with Shanghai Philharmonic directed by famous conductors Tuhan Si and Yufeng Zheng in China.
The North Shore Celtic Ensemble will also bring their own original compositions which draw on Celtic, classical, jazz and folk influences and are blended with creative arrangements of more traditional Celtic tunes. There will also be the breathing Chinese Fan Dance, as well as Kiyoshi Iio, who plays the handpan. Handpan is one of the music instruments that original one wad invented in Switzerland in 2000 and is also called ‘Hang’ or ‘Hamg Drum’.
Chibi Taki will also take place during the picnic. The first children’s taiko ensemble in Canada, Chibi Taiko was formed in the fall of 1993 with the goal of passing this unique and dynamic performing art on to the next generation of Asian Canadians.
The Big Picnic
When: Sunday April 14 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park’s cherry blossom canopy – parking closest to the venue will be reserved for vendors. the event suggests two paid parking lots:
At the top of the park, near the conservatory, access off Midlothian Ave.
Near the tennis courts, access off W 37th Ave.