Free Ikebana Workshop for Seniors

We would like to offer your members an opportunity to participate in a short series of 3 free introductory Ikebana workshops. If interested, plese contact us;

Invitation to participate in Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival

The Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival committee is delighted to be able to offer your members an opportunity to participate in a short series of 3 free introductory Ikebana workshops (1.5-hour each) fortnightly in June and July 2024 with a view to exhibiting photos of their work at the Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival exhibition held at Abbottsford Convent on 7 and 8 September 2024.

Research Proposal

By accepting the invitation to be Ikebana workshop participants, your members will contribute to our study of the therapeutic benefits of this artful practice and its ability to connect people to others and nature. That connection can have profound effects on participants sense of wellbeing. 

If your members decide to participate:

1) they will be asked to fill out one questionnaire of about 5 minutes 6 times during the 6-week study period.

2) After each workshop or between fortnightly workshops participants will be contacted at a nominated time by phone by a researcher for about 5 minutes to give de-identified confidential feedback and answer some survey questions in brief interviews about their subjective experience of participating in the workshops and exhibition.

3) Each workshop will be observed by our researchers to assess the levels of engagement.

Who is eligible to participate in the ikebana research workshops?

Participants of any gender must be aged over 65 years of age and have no previous formal training in Ikebana. Participants are encouraged to commit to attend all 3 x 1.5-hour workshops held fortnightly and provide the researchers with their written consent to this.

However, their participation in this study is in principle voluntary and they are free to withdraw their consent to participate or discontinue participation at any time. And all their responses will be kept strictly confidential. Their names will never be mentioned in the study. The information collected will be kept in a protected computer base. Only our researchers and our academic supervisors will have access to the information.

Do I need to attend all three workshops?

For the workshops and explorative research to be successful we hope that all participants commit to participate in all three workshops in advance. So please check your availability prior to making the commitment.

What does it cost?

The workshops are free for the first 25 participants to sign up in a group at your venue. Minimum number to conduct this series of workshops is 20 in a group. A refundable deposit of $45 will secure one members place in the workshop series. 

The cost of floral and others materials required to make an ikebana arrangement will be paid by the Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival committee for those first 25 participants. Deposits are refunded at the end of the third workshop for those who attended all 3 sessions.

What happens to the ikebana arrangements after the workshop?

Participants may take home their arrangements after each session. However, bring the container to next session to be replenished with oasis for the second and third arrangements. The same container will be used for each of the sessions. Participants may keep the container at the end of the workshop series.

What happens during the 1.5-hour workshop?

1) At the start of each workshop a demonstration will be given by the ikebana teacher.  Participants will be provided with floral materials, a container and oasis floral foam, use of floral secateurs and visual instructions.

2) The teacher will give step by step instructions through each stage of making the floral arrangement until a pleasing ikebana arrangement is achieved. 

3) A show and tell feedback to the group follows before photos of the individual ikebana floral arrangements are taken to be displayed at the Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival in September 2024.

When are the workshops being held?

The specific days and dates in June and July 2024 are to be finalized so they can be negotiated to suit members who wish to participate.

We hope you and your members find this invitation as exciting an opportunity as we do to be able to offer it! Please RSP by 1 March 2024.

If you have any questions and concerns at any time, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Shoso Shimbo PhD

新保逍滄 CEO

Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival

Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival is an innovative international cultural Festival promoting ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. The Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival’s mission is to increase community understanding, enjoyment, and participation in ikebana, an ancient and highly-respected cultural activity originating in Japan, by promoting the benefits of ikebana such as;

• learning an enjoyable art form for anyone to practice or view

• an increased sense of creativity and wellbeing

• health benefits like a meditative practice and/or therapeutic activity

• a subtle way to change attitudes - to live harmoniously with nature rather than regard it just as a resource

• a way to have a positive influence on others and on the earth.

Our teams’ primary goal in 2024 is to raise awareness at the Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival and in the community of the many beneficial therapeutic effects on wellbeing for people of all ages provided by the practice of the Japanese art of ikebana.

Who are Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival committee members involved in the workshops?

The Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival committee is led by CEO Shoso Shimbo PhD and colleagues Angeline “Shoan” Lo, and Susan “Shoka” Healey and Karen “Shokiku” Thode. The committee members involved in conducting the workshops are all qualified Ikebana teachers of various levels of experience and professional backgrounds.

Where will the Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival be held in 2024?

The Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival will be held at the Abbottsford Convent. The Abbotsford Convent is in 1 St Heliers St. Abbotsford, Victoria, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne. The Convent is in a bend of the Yarra River west of Yarra Bend Park, with the Collingwood Children's Farm to its north and east, the river and parklands to its south and housing to its west.