Consul-General Eiji Yamamoto (centre), former Toronto Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone (far right);
JCCC President Gary Kawaguchi (fourth from left) and
Rajesh Paul, Superintendent of Canada Post’s Don Mills Station (third from right)
stand with Sakura Committee members
(from left to right) Scott Fujita, James Matsumoto, Ray Kaczmarski, John Craig and Sid Ikeda.
Sakura Project Comes to an End After 3,082 Trees
The Sakura Project, started in the year 2000 with the objective of planting 3000 Japanese flowering cherry (Sakura) trees in Ontario as a symbol of Japan-Canada friendship, came to a close on Sept. 20 with a final planting at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) and the Don Mills Station of Canada Post. A ceremony and reception was held at the JCCC to commemorate both the planting and the completion of the Project, with Sakura Committee members and other stakeholders in attendance..
The Sakura Project has planted 3,082 trees at 58 locations across Ontario as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. These donations of trees to public parks, universities and other facilities were made possible by the generous monetary contributions by Canadian and Japanese private citizens and companies, who together have generously donated more than $83,000. The Japanese hold tremendous affection for Sakura, its beauty being a source of a great deal of national pride. Due in part to the Sakura Project, cherry blossom viewings have also become an annual practice here in Ontario.
At the JCCC ceremony, Consul-General of Japan and Sakura Committee Chair Eiji Yamamoto also conferred commendations to Sakura Committee members Mr. Scott Fujita, former Senior Landscape Architect, Salmona Tregunno Inc. and Special Advisor Ray Kaczmarski, Facilities Manager at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, for providing their expertise toward the care, maintenance and planting of the donated trees.