Feel Good Friday: Global BC’s highlights of the week

Cherry blossoms along West 22nd Avenue near Arbutus. Rachel-Ann Nadeau, Vancouver . Rachel-Ann Nadeau, Vancouver

Each week at Global BC we highlight our stories to bring a bright spot to your Friday and into the weekend.

Here are the five stories we want to share:

Indigenous-led choir for newcomers in B.C. helps break barriers

Filipina twin sisters Marah and Farah Alvarina’s mother worked tirelessly as a nurse for five years in order to make it possible for her daughters to have a better life in Canada.

The girls were finally able to join their mother in May 2020 and soon after took part in VYC Kindred, a choir program aimed at teaching young newcomers about Indigenous music traditions through drumming and singing.

But it does more than that — it also helps bridge cultural barriers and provides a good first introduction to Indigenous culture.

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Last-minute sponsors step up for Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Vancouver’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival will proceed as planned, after donors stepped forward at the 11th hour to fill a major funding gap.

Festival executive director Michael Dove told CKNW’s The Jill Bennett Show that organizers had been looking at an $80,000 shortfall after a key donor ran into financial difficulties.

Goal! B.C. businesses cheer addition of more games to 2026 World Cup

Soccer fans — and Vancouver businesses — are celebrating news that FIFA has approved an expanded format for the 2026 Men’s World Cup.

FIFA confirmed Tuesday that the tournament will see the number of participating countries expanded from 32 to 48. There will be an additional 24 matches, for a total of 104 games played, and the event will last 39 days.

What wasn’t clear Tuesday was whether the expanded format would mean additional games in Canada or Vancouver.

The city is guaranteed to host at least five games, and the province said Tuesday it was still waiting for more information on what the changes mean.

Vancouver’s embattled Folk Music Festival saved, organizers say

Vancouver’s beleaguered Folk Music Festival won’t be packing up the tents after all, organizers confirmed Tuesday.

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In a statement Tuesday, the folk festival board president said new provincial funding announced last month has been a “game changer,” allowing the event to stave off financial headwinds and proceed with its Jericho Park event this year.

‘Like the NBA for First Nations’: Snuneymuxw hosts JR All Native Tournament in Nanaimo

The JR All Native Tournament (JANT) is British Columbia’s largest youth basketball tournament and this year is one of their biggest.

The tournament takes place March 19-24 on Vancouver Island and there are over 94 teams registered and 1,200 youth set to participate.

Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Mike Wyse drafted a proposal with City of Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog and put in a bid at last year’s JANT in Kelowna; with support from the community and council they’re able to host this year.

“We’ve got a team put together that’s been meeting every Wednesday, doing the hard lifting,” said tournament director Kate Good. “It’s huge.”

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