Fall 2012

President’s Report

Our spring and early summer has been rather wet and cool. However, the green garden growth has been impressive, especially the weeds.

April was a busy month with the Japan Fair (which incorporated the Cherry Blossom Days) held at VanDusen Gardens and the Spring Show held at the Oakridge Centre. This year at the Japan Fair we experimented with charging $10 for individuals who wished to take their own arrangements home. This was a success.

The Spring Show attendance numbers were down, and it appears to be a trend in the last few years. The question is: are we needing to do something different to increase attendance?

In July, Port Moody Art Galley invited our group to display, so Sangetsu (Joan Fairs and Gladie Lindgren) and Kado Sumi (Kaz Takahashi) responded. It was the first time they had done this and we were fortunate to be inside the building as most of the others were in the wet and wind tents outside.

The Powell St. Festival in early August was a success in that we participated in an event that features things Japanese. We were based inside the Buddhist Hall so that the extreme heat did not affect us.

I hope everyone is enjoying the sun and heat for the rest of the summer.


Kaz Takahashi



Sakura Days

by Judie Glick

 When the Japan Fair/Sakura Days was announced this year, there were many questions… It was Easter weekend as well as Passover – would people attend? Would the blossoms be out? How could we make four classes over two days work and still have the arrangements viewed all day?

The weekend proved to be the first real days of spring. The sun and the blossoms were out both days. It was the first year in VanDusen’s new buildings and record crowds came out. The ikebana display and classes were in the Glass House. Two tables held arrangements by Linda Achiam (Sogetsu), Cecily Chang (Ikenobo), Kimberly Fairs and Maurits Rehm (Sangetsu), and Kaz Takahashi (Kado Sumi). Two classes were given each day to over 50 participants in total. Kaz Takahashi, Judie Glick (Sogetsu), Cecily Chang, and Jack Duncan and Angie Lee (Sangetsu) served as instructors. The classes were warmly received and it was a nice opportunity to raise funds for the schools and to raise the public profile of ikebana.


Powell Street Festival

by Kaz Takahashi

This year’s Powell Street Festival, held on August 4 and 5, was a huge success, perhaps thanks to the hot weather and great variety of activities and displays. The Vancouver Ikebana Association displayed 13 beautiful and well-placed arrangements in the Buddhist Hall, which visitors milling about seemed to enjoy.

On Saturday at 1:30, Beverly Ann Ranney of Ikenobo school demonstrated modern freestyle arrangements. Kado Sumi school, represented by Kaz Takahashi, followed at 3:30. Kaz did a simple design in which the audience participated. On Sunday at 1:30, Linda Achiam of Sogetsu school did a number of beautiful arrangements for the crowd. At 3:30 p.m, the Sangetsu school demonstration done by Joan Fairs and Mayumi Ichino, was well-organized and much appreciated by the crowd.


 Spring Show Featured in Shimpo Newspaper, May 10 2012 Issue

Reporter: Louise Akuzawa, Translation: Mayumi Ichino

 The Vancouver Ikebana Association (VIA) hosted their annual Spring Show at the Oakridge Auditorium in Vancouver on April 28th and 29th. In this show, more than 50 arrangements were displayed. Consul General Hideki Ito and Consul Tetsuya Isobe and his wife attended the show on the opening day.

Five Ikebana schools

VIA was formed in 1965 from 5 schools in the Vancouver area: Ikenobo, Saga, Sogetsu, Adachi (now Kado Sumi), and Ohara. Demonstrations of arrangements were performed by members of Ikenobo, Kado Sumi, Sogetsu and Sangetsu during the show.
Consul General Ito, with the aid of the founders of the VIA, Mrs. Kiyoko Boycott, Mrs. Reicho Sumi, and Ms. Lorraine West, cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the show. He thanked the VIA members for their activities in promoting Japanese culture.

Joy though Flowers
The new president, Katz Takahashi, is a Vancouver born Japanese Canadian. Forty years ago she found her own roots in ikebana. She tells us that she enjoys the beauty of natural materials and became more interested in the harmony of the nature such as in trees, plants and birds.
Rie Yamasaki, who has been doing pottery for 10 years, made her own vase and used a bamboo mat she purchased in Hawaii.

Displays by new members
Many members have been arranging flowers for 30 to 50 years. Among them, new members also put up their displays. Having her mother as an instructor, the fourth generation Japanese Canadian, Kimberly Fairs, is in her third year of studying Ikebana. She loves the creativity of arranging, following the basics. Male student Maurits Rehm is in his second year. He grew up watching his mother, Chieko living in Calgary, doing ikebana. He enjoys filling his home with ikebana arrangements.
The hostess of the ikebana show hopes this Spring Show will be a wonderful learning experience not only for ikebana people but also for those who may be planning to start taking ikebana classes.


The Queen’s Jubilee

by Beverley-Ann Ranney

 Well we – my husband and I – are off on a ferry to Victoria to help celebrate  the Queen’s Jubilee (by special invitation) at the Governors’ House. The car is packed to the brim, and the weather looks promising. We are arriving on Wednesday the 18th of June to look around and get the material for my arrangements. We are fortunate to stay with my niece who lives just outside Victoria, and when we drove up to her house, her garden was filled with wonderful species so I looked no further.

June 19th we drove into Victoria and found the Governors’ House with no trouble (the GPS) is wonderful when you don’t know the district. I was helped into the building with a very nice security guard and up to the Ballroom we went.

I set-up at our table and worked on nine arrangements, a portrait of flowers, Rikka, one Shofutai, two Shimputai, two Shoka, and three freestyle.

It took most of the day to do these arrangements, but I finally got each done the way I wanted them to be… besides looking at others around me that struggled with gluing orchids onto fine wires and measuring boards to be within boundaries of the rules. Thank goodness we in Ikebana do not have to be judged; only the HeadMaster judges our works.

The outstanding feature was the dining room; the table was set for 200 people, lace table cloth, fine china, navy blue, Waterford crystal glasses, sterling silver cutlery and dishes, and a florist from Victoria did all the arrangements, white roses down the middle of the table and beautiful arrangements in silver vases around the room, I myself gave this a 10.

There was so much to see, the miniature display was outstanding, I could go on and on, 350 participants, including people from all over the Lower Mainland. The BC Council did “one fine job” which took two years to complete.

Rain on the first day, (came down like cats and dogs) but this didn’t stop the audience, the line-ups were long and wet, even the choir, who were friends of the Governor’s house, got a taste of the weather, 100 strong ; second day, sunny skies till closing and then the rain came, an orchestra of classical music, then jazz, and then four piece band all favorites.  All in all a wonderful day.


 Art in the Garden

by Joan Fairs

 The VIA was invited to participate in a new art endeavor in Port Moody this summer. On July the 15th, “Art in the Garden” was put on by the Port Moody Arts Council.

There were garden tours of private homes, with one remarkable home which had a Japanese theme. At the Arts Centre garden, many display booths showcased garden related items and crafts.

Inside, Kaz Takahashi of Kado- Sumi, and Joan Fairs and Gladie Lindgren of Sangetsu had a table to create and display their ikebana. Many people were unfamiliar with ikebana, but seemed to enjoy seeing the display.


Library Report

by Linda Achiam

At the beginning of 2012, the library recorded a long list of overdue books. With the cooperation of the members, this problem was finally resolved at the May meeting.

Being the librarian, I have to apologize for allowing this oversight to happen, and for not imposing any fines on the outstanding books, as set out in the library rules and regulations. On second thought — isn’t the silent mutual concern and agreement to take care of the books being enforced at the time of signing out? All library books have been stamped with the wording “The property of Vancouver Ikebana Association”. In other words, as members of the association, each and every member has the right to the use of, and have the responsibility for the upkeep of the books.

On account of the Association’s meeting venue being changed to the Japanese United Church, the mobile library has now a proper shelter. An inventory of the books was set up before moving the library to the Church. Two books were found to be missing. They are: Love of Flowers by Shoko Nakayama and Motifs Based on Containers by Kasen Yoshimura. Please help us to locate these two hard covered books.

Mrs Joan Fairs has always kindly volunteered her time to order new books for the library. Through her effort, the library has a growing collection of both traditional and contemporary floral arrangement books. Three new books have recently been purchased, and we are awaiting their arrival.


Treasurer’s Report and Membership Report

By Jack Duncan

The VIA currently comprises 70 paid members and four honourary members. We welcome new member Tazuko Tsia from Sogetsu school.