News Releases

For Immediate Release

April 19, 2016

For additional information: 
Toccara Stark
Telephone:  360-992-2526

Celebrating international friendship  

On Thursday, April 21, Clark College will host its eleventh annual Sakura Festival

VANCOUVER, Wash.—On Thursday, April 21, Clark College’s 2016 Sakura Festival will honor the historic ties of friendship between the sister-cities of Vancouver, Washington, and Joyo, Japan.

The festival will begin with opening remarks at 1 p.m. at the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden, which is located next to the Beacock Music Hall on Clark’s main campus. (In the event of inclement weather the ceremony will be held in Gaiser Student Center.) Dignitaries who are scheduled to speak include Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt; Former Vancouver Mayor Bruce Hagensen; John Kageyama, President of America Kotobuki; Kojiro Uchiyama, Portland Consul General; and Clark College international student Yuki Kimura.

The opening ceremony will include a koto performance by Yukiko Vossen and a performance by the Clark College Women’s Choral Ensemble. The koto, a stringed musical instrument, is the national instrument of Japan.

This ceremony will also be the occasion of dedicating a bench on the college’s campus to Mr. Kageyama, who more than 25 years ago donated the 100 shirofugen cherry trees that grace Clark College’s main campus and inspired its Sakura Festival. The college will also be announcing an effort to create a new scholarship to fully fund an international student to study at Clark each year.

From 2 to 3:30 p.m., the Sakura celebration will continue in the Gaiser Student Center, where guests will enjoy family-friendly cultural activities including a dance performance by the Clark College Japanese Club, a greeting from the children in the college’s Child & Family Studies program, and a performance by members of the Portland Taiko Drum Group. Refreshments will be served. Information about the Sakura Ceremony is available at

All events are free and open to the public. The Sakura Festival is sponsored by Clark College, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Rotary. For video of last year's Sakura celebration, please visit Clark's YouTube channel.

Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Driving directions and parking maps are available at Individuals who need accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in this event should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-991-0901 (VP) or visit the Penguin Union Building room 013.