We invite you to a free BC Family Day virtual event!

A virtual (Zoom) visit to the cherry tree and childhood home of author Joy Kogawa, plus a hands-on craft activity to create a “Family Mobile” from a fallen branch (craft kits and guidance by Collage Collage).

Kogawa tree branch in bloom
The surviving cuttings of the fallen branch.

Naomi’s Tree

The old cherry tree that stands in the laneway at Historic Joy Kogawa House is a favourite place for families to visit. The tree is the inspiration for award-winning author Joy Kogawa, and she wrote a picture book for children to tell the tree’s connection to one family over many years and across generations. “Naomi’s Tree” shares a story of friendship and forgiveness.

Not long ago, something happened to the cherry tree that inspired Joy Kogawa to write “Naomi’s Tree.” A central branch came down in a windstorm. Parts of the tree live on and will be nurtured and cared for to keep the remaining tree healthy and well.

Those who steward the tree are doing everything we can to keep the tree alive. Horticulturalists are taking slips to propagate new cherry trees. Small tips of the broken branch show small cherry blossom and leaf buds, but they need help to emerge.

In response to extensive media coverage with news of damage to “Naomi’s Tree,” artists, friends, and neighbours stepped forward to repurpose parts of the broken branch into objects that carry the significance of tree beyond its life.

Wood artists are turning larger sections of the branch into sculptures, bowls, spoons, cane handles, even a doll. Now families and children have access to leftover smaller parts of the fallen branch to create something meaningful and beautiful.

New Branches for Naomi’s Tree: Craft Workshop with Collage Collage

After a virtual (Zoom) visit to the cherry tree and childhood home of author Joy Kogawa, families and children are invited to make a Family Mobile that celebrates the story of “Naomi’s Tree” while welcoming families to revisit their own family stories and depict their own shared memories.

Supplies will be provided for families to create a 3D Mobile that uses the branch cutting as a base and provides a chance to depict personal histories by way of collage, assemblage, and beading.

Collage Collage storefront.
Collage Collage storefront on Main Street, Vancouver (photo by Collage Collage).
With access to a pre-recorded online video, families will be led through a hands-on craft activity that can repurpose the cherry branch tip for a large mobile to work on together, or for several smaller ones. Families can decorate the branch with blossoms, collage, and other elements that link their own family history.

Children, adults, and everyone in between will find an invitation to get creative with Historic Joy Kogawa House in collaboration with Collage Collage as part of this Family Day virtual tour and craft workshop.

The Province of British Columbia has provided the Historic Joy Kogawa House a grant in support of our free, community Family Day activity. Click here to learn more.