a horizontal and blurry visual of colors displayed in the background. starts with yellows and greens, progresses to red and finishes with blues and purples.

Spreading Love, Peace and Harmony at Cherry Blossom Festival

Love Peace Harmony Team
Vancouver, British Columbia

In the early 1930s, the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama Japan presented the city of Vancouver with 500 Japanese cherry trees for planting at the Japanese cenotaph in Stanley Park, honouring Japanese Canadians who served in WWI. In the years after WWII, 300 more trees were donated by the Japanese consul as “an eternal memory of good friendship between two nations.”

It was in the spirit of this tradition that the Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver was founded in 2005 as a celebration of the beauty of those trees, the enduring peace between the nations that they represent, and of the growing cultural diversity in our city.

When we approached the festival director with a proposal to help people create love peace harmony flags and share a song about love, peace and harmony sung in many different languages, it was welcomed as a perfect fit for the Festival.

Love Peace Harmony Vancouver Team members Sara Baker, Cynthia Hamilton, Monique Giard, Robert Lewis, Karen Irvin, and Desiree Lim arrived at Queen Elizabeth Park excited to begin sharing the message of love, peace and harmony. We were eager to invite people to become part of a global movement to have 1.5 billion people singing Love, Peace and Harmony by 2030 as a way to foster inclusivity and harmony within the growing multi-cultural diversity of Vancouver and bring peace to humanity and Mother Earth.

During the Big Picnic event, which was attended by nearly 3,000 people of all ages, cultures and ethnicities, our tent was filled with a constant flow of flag-makers, drawn in by the sounds of Love, Peace and Harmony being sung by our team and played on the mp3 players.

Throughout the event, the song was shared with hundreds of people in over 12 languages, including Mandarin, Cree, Spanish, Hebrew, Welsh, Japanese, and more. People applauded and cheered as they heard their native language being sung, some returning with friends and family and requesting an encore. During the Japanese rendition, we were joined by two enthusiastic Japanese-speaking university students who stayed to make flags and happily accepted our gift of a Love Peace Harmony mp3 player and one of the nearly 100 I believe in Love Peace Harmony stickers given out.

As we sang together, hearts were opened and many stayed with their children or friends to create flags. They spoke of their search for ways to foster more peace, both personally and globally, and shared stories of their own struggles, challenges, and successes in creating a better life for themselves and their families.

In our many conversations throughout the day we heard in each one’s heart, no matter their age, language or culture, the deep desire to live in and contribute to a more peaceful world. Everyone wanted to experience a sense of unity and oneness. Everyone wanted more love, peace and harmony in their homes, schools, businesses, communities, and beyond.

We were so touched by the power of this simple song and the images and messages drawn on the flags which were later affixed to bamboo poles and planted around the Big Picnic area of the park to create a field of love, peace and harmony. The messages fluttered gently on the flags, joining with the delicate pink cherry blossom petals, and were carried together across the city to spread love, peace and harmony throughout Vancouver and beyond.

We are so grateful to have been able to serve our community in this way.

Join hearts and souls together
Love, peace and harmony
Love, peace and harmony

Enjoy this video of Love Peace and Harmony BC’s participation at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s ”Big Picnic” Event!