Ohara School of Ikebana Ottawa Chapter

A membership organization offering classes, demonstrations, workshops and information resources

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Our annual exhibition will be held this year at the Japanese Embassy on October 13 & 14, 2018.

Our Exhibition “Discover Ikebana” is coming up fast! The inspiration for this title is the desire of the Exhibition Chair and board members to introduce ikebana as an art and a practice to visitors. Visitors will be introduced to the process of making an arrangement with the hope that some may follow up with the introductory workshop or classes with a teacher. An introductory workshop will be held at the McNabb Centre the following Saturday, October 20, at 2:30. 


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Gananoque Exhibition September 9 – Intriguing!

As usual Cliff Byrnes and his students, with exhibitors from the Ottawa Chapter, put on a very attractive and imaginative exhibition at the Carveth Care Centre in Gananoque. With most exhibitors taking advantage of seasonal wild and garden flowers and foliage and even herbs and vegetables, visitors were intrigued with the variety of arrangements and the art of the exhibitors.

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Gananoque Workshop June 9, 2018

An inspiring, original, and really enjoyable workshop was held at Christ Church Hall, Gananoque, on Saturday, June 9, 2018 with Cliff Shinju Byrnes instructing. Hosted by Cliff and his students, Sandra Olney gave a brief introduction on the Zen of ikebana based on her own practice and the classic book, Zen in the Art of Flower Arrangement by Gustie Herrigal. She emphasized that because you and I as well as branches and flowers are the essence of existence, and not separate from the rest of the universe, in doing ikebana we try to do things that increase our awareness of being ‘one with’ the ‘doing’ and the flowers. We were encouraged to ‘lose ourselves.’

2018 GanWorkshop Cliff

Cliff making adjustments

In the first workshop students worked on a Free Style form roughly based on Rising Form or Inclining Form using their favourite vase, and placed emphasis on the vase and the sculptural quality of the plant material. Cliff provided a vast array of over 30 very interesting materials to choose from.

2018 GanWorkshop Saskia

Free Style

For the second workshop students created a One Row arrangement using three vases that they brought. They used peonies as the main flower material for this workshop. Results were stunning, and working in three containers was challenging and provided an excellent learning opportunity.

2018 GanWorkshop OneRowCliff

One Row in Three Containers


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Annual General Meeting 2018

Our Chapter held its annual general meeting on Sunday, May 6th. We had an excellent turnout, and it was a great opportunity to connect with members we haven’t seen for a while.

As this is an alternate year AGM, there was no change in the Board.

It has been an active year, as usual, for our Chapter. There were numerous workshops, exhibition participation, and attendance at NAOTA.

Reports were presented by board members about Chapter business. Our finances are in good shape. We have great communication modalities to keep both our members as well as the community informed.

As a result of the new constitution given to us by Headquarters in Japan, the board revised our bylaws to be consistent with the new constitution. These were presented to the membership and were passed at the meeting.

Liz Armstrong reported on the planning for our 30th anniversary celebrations. The tentative dates are either at the end of September or mid-October, depending on the availability of the Centrepointe Theatre. We plan on having four workshops, a big demonstration and a reception. Its very exciting that our guest master will be Marcel Vrignaud of France. He trained with Houn Ohara, is a good friend of the current Headmaster, and holds the highest honours in the School for someone living outside of Japan.

An enormous thank you to all the people who donated items for sale and silent auction. There were some amazing containers, and many of us count ourselves lucky with our finds. We raised over $1,000 towards our 30th! Thank you to: Irene Bond, Catherine Seaborn, Jeanette Arthur (a former member) and Hélène Vigeant. And thank you to Mona Forzley for suggesting the container sale with a percentage to the chapter. A major success for all of us!

And thanks to Liz Armstrong for providing the hospitality and to our members who provided the treats.

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AGM Sunday May 6, 2018

The meeting will be held at the home of Liz Armstrong, from 2:00 to 3:30. Please let her know if you are coming at elizabeth.armstrong@sympatico.ca

There will be a selection of books from our Library on display, but if there is a specific book in our library that you’d like to borrow, please contact Lindsay at lmckercher@jlrichards.ca The library holdings are now on our website at https://oharaottawa.com/about/library-holdings/

Do you have containers, kenzans, ikebana books etc.that you no longer need? There are two ways you can help the chapter with your donations.

Any surplus items that you wish to donate to the chapter can be brought to our sales table.

If you are interested in selling items, Please bring them with the prices attached. 15% of the sale price will be donated to the chapter anniversary fund.

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Beginner Workshop, February 17

On February 17 the beginner workshop was given by Nancy Macleod to five participants who had signed up at the fall exhibition at the Embassy of Japan. It was given at Maki House which was easy to find and had lots of parking. The room was really spacious and nice and bright. Penny Davis was there to assist. Nancy gave a brief history of Ikebana and the Ohara School before demonstrating the arrangement using carnations, baby’s breath, teepee fronds and leather fern in a Rising Form. Participants enjoyed the experience and had many questions. The workshop was a great success.   2018 Workshop 1


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Transitions Exhibition pictures posted in Gallery

Sandra Olney with Minister Moroni

A fine array of pictures taken by member Lindsay McKercher at the Transitions Exhibition can be seen by clicking here.  Alternatively you can go to the menu bar above and click on Galleries, then on Transitions Exhibition 2017. Many thanks to Lindsay!

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Upcoming Exhibition TRANSITIONS October 21, 22

The Ottawa Chapter of the Ohara School of Ikebana in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan will be holding an exhibition of Japanese floral arrangements titled TRANSITIONS at the Embassy (255 Sussex Drive, Ottawa).   It will be held on Saturday, October 21 from 10 am to 4 pm with the official opening at 11 am. Sunday hours are 10 am to 3 pm. Parking and entrance are free and all are invited to attend.


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Gananoque Exhibition a grand success

Cliff Shinju Byrnes, his students and members of the Chapter from Ottawa including Honorary Advisor Emeritus Mitsugi Kikuchi produced a spectacular exhibition for viewing on Sunday afternoon, September 10.  Left to right in the picture are contributors: Marie-Eve Coupal, Helen Westington, Mr Kikuchi, Cliff Byrnes, Wendy Batson, Sandra Olney, Elizabeth Armstrong, Ann Levinson. Absent: Elaine Collins. Have a look at the gallery!