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Autumn Origami Workshop

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Finally, we are able to organize an origami workshop!

Date & Time: Oct 5th (Sat), 2:00-3:00 pm
Place: the ikebana shop
Fee: 7.00+HST (includes the paper) = 8.05 per person

Please see attached poster to see what we will be learning to make.

This workshop is suitable for "patient" beginners and above!

Maximum participants: 8 persons (first come first served!)
Please register with your payment to book your spot.
You can register in-store, by email or phone. Payments may be done in-store, by e-transfer (if registering by email) or with a credit card over the phone. Payments are non-refundable. Thank you for your understanding.


Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition in Lunenburg NS

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition was held on June 1-2, 2019 at the Lunenburg Library in the historic town of Lunenburg, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Founded in 1773, the town itself is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its narrow streets and well-preserved architecture. It is also the birthplace of the famed Bluenose, a racing schooner built in 1921, which lives on in the Canadian ten-cent coin. Lunenburg has a very vibrant arts community and ikebana fit right in. The library is housed in the Lunenburg Academy, an imposing 3-storey Victorian building, built in 1893-95.

The Lunenburg Academy.


This exhibition’s theme is “connecting”. Through ikebana, we connect people, nature and cultures. It is also an expression of our wish to deepen further our bond with the South Shore. We thank the South Shore Public Libraries and the staff of the Lunenburg Library in particular for your very warm welcome and your patience as we prepared for this event.

This exhibition is also part of the on-going celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations.

Welcome arrangement by Miyako.

Group Arrangement by Val S, Susan R and Miyako
Three arrangements all using a red furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) as a unifying theme.

Arrangements by Lely A
Lely created 4 arrangements in the basic styles and peppered them all around the library. Her work exuded a lot of tranquility and somehow brought a feeling of kindness to the library. Many people commented how they loved seeing the ikebana tucked in the little corners of the library.

The small arrangement placed right on an old water fountain was a big hit! Nobody imagined that could be a place for a floral arrangement.

Arrangement by Val S
Val paired her arrangement with a woodblock print by artist and master printmaker, Robin Wall. The artwork, titled Light/Boat Patterns (1989), depicted boats at North Head Harbour in Grand Manan, NB. Val introduced nautical elements in her work with mesh wire, branches and grass, intricately put together into a shape that brings to mind the prow of a boat, or perhaps fishing nets being dried on the wharf.

Arrangements by Susan R
Susan, who is based in Mahone Bay, was our point person for this project and did a lot of the legwork!

Wall arrangement. Susan liked the "boxiness" of the euonymous branches. She then added a smooth willow branch for texture contrast and a bit of quince for colour contrast. One visitor exclaimed: "There's so much je-ne-sais-quoi in this work!"

An arrangement with driftwood and obi spilling down to the bottom…did you notice the blue-painted branches in the back that provided beautiful colour contrast?

…and a simple coffee table arrangement!

Arrangements by Miyako
The centrepiece for this exhibit is this large work that showed a clash of curly and smooth branches…but ultimately making a connection in the middle.

And some smaller arrangements: table top and door hanging.

Miyako’s demonstration was very well-attended. We loved the audience enthusiasm and interest! There were audible gasps when Miyako took out some weeds with big leaves from the bucket and started using them in an arrangement. Yes, weeds can be ikebana material too!

Photo credit: Daphna L. Thank you!

And here’s the gang that made this exhibition possible. Thank you very much Val, Susan, Lely and Martin (who worked behind-the-scenes!).

My Ikebana: Asian Heritage Month Demonstration

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Last Saturday afternoon (May 25, 2019) was the Asian Heritage Month closing celebration at the Halifax Central Library. There were many wonderful cultural performances from India, China, Philippines, Japan etc. We were honoured to participate and present an ikebana demonstration.

Our many thanks to our kuroko , Karen B for helping us in the shadows, on- and off-stage…and to friend, Christina K for taking the great photos!

Photo credit: Kent Martin

Here’s a fun photo with the St. Mary’s University Wadaiko (Japanese drums) group. They gave a very exciting performance too!

Press Release: Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition

Added on by the ikebana shop.

For Immediate Release - May 18th, 2019

Ikebana on the South Shore of Nova Scotia!

Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition will be held at the Lunenburg Library on the weekend of June 1-2, 2019.

Ikebana is the art of Japanese floral arrangement. This exhibition’s theme is “connecting”. Through ikebana, we connect people, nature and cultures.

This event is part of the 90th anniversary celebration of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations.

The exhibition will be presented by Miyako Ballesteros (Sogetsu School of Ikebana) and her students. Please come and enjoy the ikebana.

Admission is free.

Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition

Jun 1st (Sat) 10 - 5 p.m. *
Jun 2nd (Sun) 12 - 4 p.m.
*Short live demonstration on Saturday, 2:00 p.m.

At the Lunenburg Library (Lunenburg Academy 1F, 97 Kaubach St., Lunenburg NS)

We hope to see you there.

Surprise! - An Ikebana Exhibition

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Surprise! - An Ikebana Exhibition was held last May 10-12, 2019 at the Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax. We chose the theme “surprise” with the bold mission to surprise people with what they can do with oft taken for granted plants that are easily found in backyards and roadsides! So in this exhibit, you’d have seen familiar things, —pine and spruce branches, magnolia, quince, bridal wreath and lots of tree bark—alongside blooms from the florist! Thank you to all who visited us! We hope you enjoyed the arrangements as much as we did creating them!


We are very grateful to the Keshen Goodman Library who let us use their beautiful space. The staff were all very welcoming and helpful! Special mention to Dacia M. for her patience with us. Preparations and take-down could not have gone any smoother!

This exhibition is part of the on-going celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations. It also coincided with the Asian Heritage Month festivities in Halifax.


To the people who made this possible: Val S, Susan R, Nina D, Media C, Jean H, Robert L, Brenda D, Heather N, M. S., Linda K and Cody O. A very BIG thank-you! Your hard-work and dedication to ikebana are very much appreciated. We hope to do another exhibition next year!

(Photo credit: Kent Martin)

Arrangement by Jean H
We are welcomed to the exhibit by this floor position arrangement by Jean H. Hydrangea, magnolia and delphinium.


Arrangement by Val S
How Val deftly peeled away the bark from a fallen birch tree is beyond us! Pink lines and pink blooms accent the white bark perfectly.

Arrangement by Susan R
A lovely vase (origin unknown but acquired at the local Xmas market in Mahone Bay!) paired with driftwood from Nova Scotia’s shores. Something very wabi-sabi about this!

Arrangements by Nina D
Nina uses spirea branches called bridal wreath. The shrub with droopy branches grow all over Nova Scotia and blooms with little white flowers…but for these arrangements, Nina uses them not for the flowers but to show lines.

Arrangements by Media C
Exotic-looking vases! Gentle curves of delicate grass contrasted with a chunk of rough, fallen wood!

Arrangement by Robert L
Robert says he never heard of Bells of Ireland till he started ikebana lessons…and now he just absolutely loves them!

Arrangement by Brenda D
Brenda tells us that weeks before the exhibit, she already mentally placed “reserved” tags on select branches of the spruce tree in her backyard. ..and behold, a nageire with very strong lines. The addition of a piece of bark at the bottom anchors the forceful upward surge of those branches.

Arrangement by Heather N
Quince branches and lilies. This arrangement was evolving as the lilies started to bloom during the 3-day exhibit!

Arrangement by M.S.
May is the month when irises bloom in Japan as well so this arrangement connects us to the seasons in Japan as well! Irises normally grow straight up but M.S. bends these irises to her will!

(Photo credit: Robert L)

(Photo credit: Robert L)

Arrangement by Linda K
This arrangement is meant to be seen all around.

Arrangement by Cody O
In ikebana, the clearness of the water is an important element. Cody O gives us more to appreciate by adding some blooms in the water!

Arrangements by Miyako
A convolution of corkscrew willow branches, crisscrossing in brightly painted red and natural colours. (Thank you, Nina D, for bringing these branches, freshly pruned, from the Annapolis Valley!)

(Photo credit: Kent Martin)

There is a pine tree in our backyard that fell after a strong storm some years ago. Recently, its old bark started coming off…and this is showcased in this arrangement. Miyako inserted some pine needles to remind us that the bark was from a pine tree. With the aged bark, Miyako added some young, budding magnolia branches! The vase is by local pottery artist, Sally Ravindra (Purcell’s Cove Pottery).

These uncannily curving branches were found on the roadside. Arranged on a tall vertical vase with a few tufts of moss added to give some sense of motion…like a pinwheel!

(Photo credit: Kent Martin)

Last but certainly not least…thank you, Kent Martin, for visiting the exhibition and allowing us to use your photos. Kent Martin is a professional photographer/film producer who is currently working on The Halifax Project—a documentary of our beloved city, Halifax NS!

Japanese Chat Time!

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Dear Japanese language students, May 4th (Sat) 12-5 pm is Japanese chat time at the shop! This activity is part of the GenWell Project on Quinpool Road to promote face-to-face connections in our community!

Come to the shop and practice your Japanese conversation skills! We'll be running the shop as usual but we'll be chatting with you in Japanese if you greet us with "konnichiwa"! :-)


Exploring Japanese Culture at Ross Creek

Added on by the ikebana shop.

The Ross Creek Centre For The Arts is a not-for-profit organization with the noble mission to provide arts education to youth, nurturing the next generation artists through various programs in performing/visual arts, crafts, and even gardening/cooking! Many professional artists from all over also visit the Centre through their residency/retreat programs. This offers valuable opportunities for the youth to interact with established artists.

Last Sunday (Apr 7th, 2019), the Centre hosted a community event-- Exploring Japanese Culture. We were honoured to present an ikebana demonstration. The beautiful facility is tucked away in a small corner of the Annapolis Valley in Canning, NS, about 1.5 hrs drive from Halifax. For first-time visitors like us, the area felt remote. Would people really go there? Our concern was unfounded! The turnout was great and we found a very vibrant and involved community. The ikebana demonstration was well-received as was the chanoyu (tea ceremony) presentation after us.

Thank you Chris, Ken, Kathleen (wonderful food...and your Japanese cheesecake is to die for!) and the rest of the Ross Creek staff for your very warm welcome! We enjoyed ourselves immensely.


Friendship: Ikebana Exhibition

Added on by the ikebana shop.

The Friendship: Ikebana Exhibition was held for 2 days (May 26-27, 2018) at the Halifax Central Library.  Miyako and her students shared their ikebana to the Halifax public not only by showing their work but also by being there to talk about ikebana with the people who came by.  We are very happy that many people visited to enjoy and learn about ikebana.  The live demonstration was a quite a draw as well! Thank you to all who visited us!

Photo credit: Media C.


This exhibit is also part of the celebrations across Canada commemorating the 90th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations. Incidentally, 10 years ago, Miyako held a solo ikebana exhibit to commemorate the 80th anniversary!  (Click here to see the 2008 exhibit.)

We are extremely grateful to the Halifax Public Libraries who generously allowed us to use their beautiful space at the Central Branch.  Special thanks to Hilary S-N, programming manager, who was very patient and helpful with our numerous little requests as we prepared for the exhibit.  As well, our huge thanks to Joanne and Heather who were wonderful during the set-up and exhibit days. Everything went smoothly because of you!

Our sincere thanks to: Val S., Media C., Robert L., Odessa G., M.S., and Cody O.  They worked hard for this exhibit: designing arrangements and staying on during the exhibit to help explain what ikebana is all about to our curious visitors.  Your dedication and hard work in the study of ikebana has not gone unnoticed and seeing how people enjoyed and appreciated your work is great validation of your ikebana!  

Joint Arrangement by Miyako and Val S.

Arrangements by Val S.

Arrangements by Media C.

Arrangement by Robert L.

Arrangement by Odessa G.

Arrangement by M.S.

Arrangement by Cody O.

Arrangement by Miyako

Thank you all for coming!  We hope you enjoyed our little ikebana exhibition.  We hope to do another one some time soon!

Press Release: Ikebana Exhibition in Halifax

Added on by the ikebana shop.

For Immediate Release - May 22nd, 2018

Friendship - Ikebana Exhibition will be held at the Halifax Central Library lobby this coming weekend (May 26-27).

Ikebana is the art of Japanese floral arrangement.  Although ubiquitous in Japan, authentic ikebana is not often seen in Halifax.  This exhibition offers a rare glimpse of what ikebana is like...and a glimpse of one facet of Japanese culture.

2018 is the 90th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations.  Across Canada, there are many events happening to commemorate this milestone. Through this exhibition, Halifax joins in the Canada-wide celebrations.

More information about the 90th anniversary here.
List of other events in our region here. (Note that NS is overseen by the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal.)

The exhibition will be presented by Miyako Ballesteros (Sogetsu School of Ikebana) and her students.  Back in 2008, Miyako held her first solo exhibit in Halifax in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations!  From then on, she started teaching ikebana and now 10 years later, she and her students will share with Halifax their ikebana.

Admission is free.

Friendship - Ikebana Exhibition

May 26th (Sat) 12 - 6 p.m.
May 27th (Sun) 12 - 5 p.m.
  (Short live demonstration on Sunday, 2 p.m.)

At the Halifax Central Library lobby. (5440 Spring Garden Rd., Halifax NS)

We hope to see you there.  


Demo At The Mahone Bay Garden Club

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Thank you very much to the Mahone Bay Garden Club for your warm welcome last night!

We were very happy for the opportunity to introduce ikebana to you.  We loved your insightful questions and sharp observations!  We hope you enjoyed our presentation!

Maybe we'll see some of you in our ikebana lessons one day!