Programs Overview

GSBF Annual Judged Bonsai Competition

All bonsai enthusiasts who are members of a GSBF club are invited to enter their bonsai in a judged competition wherein cash prizes will be awarded. Any person who is a recognized member of a GSBF club in good standing (current on dues) is eligible to enter their bonsai in the judged competition. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners. Entries will be accepted starting on June 1st. Deadline for all entries is October 1st.

Application and further details are available through the GSBF Judged Bonsai Competition Chair.

GSBF Judged Bonsai Competition Chair, Bob Hilvers, 559-909-1051,

GSBF Workshop Program
The GSBF Workshop Program provides funding directly to qualifying clubs for the purpose of reimbursing the clubs for the cost (up to $400 per club) of club workshops and other educational functions, such as seminars, demonstrations and lectures. The primary goal of the Workshop Program is to provide funding to those clubs that due to either geographical or financial hardship have difficulty obtaining instructors for their club programs.

Application and further details are available through the Workshop Program Chair.

Workshop Program Chair, Bob Hilvers, 559-909-1051,

Harry Hirao Annual Scholarship
The Harry Hirao Annual Scholarship is for a total of $1,500.00. Harry Hirao is one of the more vigorous, energetic and giving members of the bonsai community in California particularly, but is also recognized throughout the US and across the globe. The purpose is to help the recipient with their education and development in the art of bonsai. The recipient will have 12 months in which to spend the scholarship, paying for work they do with a recognized California bonsai artist. No matching funds are required.

For instructions on applying for this award, click here.

Harry Hirao Annual Scholarship Chair, Scott Chadd, 530-622-9681,

Annual GSBF Club Newsletter Competition
The Annual Club Newsletter Competition is open to all GSBF member and affiliate clubs. The deadline to submit entries is October 1st. There are two newsletter contests; small (up to four pages) and large (more than four pages). Select three of the best current year newsletters as your entries. The newsletters must be submitted via email to the GSBF Golden Statements Editor, Rich Guillen,

Annual GSBF Website Competition
The Annual Club Website Competition is open to all GSBF member and affiliate clubs. The deadline to submit entries is October 1st. Submit your club’s website URL via email to the Website Liaison, Don Van Dyke,

Note: All newsletter and website contest rules appear in the GSBF Golden Statements Magazine July/August convention issue. The winner for each category is announced at the GSBF annual convention. The winners are awarded GSBF certificates and great prizes.

Gary Judd Plant-A-Seed Program
The Gary Judd Plant-A-Seed Program grants are $100.00 each. These grants are for the purpose of introducing bonsai to elementary school, high school, and college or university level horticulture students.

Horticulture Scholarships Program
The Horticulture Scholarship Program is for a total of $400.00. The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage any serious bonsai artist/enthusiast to obtain an ornamental horticulture certificate or degree from an accredited school.

Bonsai Teacher Development Program
The Bonsai Teacher Development Program grants are $500.00 each. These grants must be matched by the recipient with his or her own funds of $250.00. The recipient must also agree to share their new knowledge with GSBF clubs upon completion of their grant program.

Grants and Scholarships Chair, Charlie Mosse, 619-447-4713 or

Bonsai Basics Teaching Program
Bonsai Basics Teaching Program is intended to help individual bonsai clubs cultivate a group of skilled teachers for basic bonsai instruction. This is not a system intended to create bonsai masters. The program was developed by Bonsai Master Dennis Makishima.

Bonsai Basics Teaching Program Chair, Gay Lynn, 520-886-8712,

The Circle of Sensei Award
GSBF’s most prestigious award is The Circle of Sensei Award. It’s intended to honor those individuals who have influenced the bonsai world by being teachers of the bonsai art form and by their dedication and commitment to bonsai.

Circle of Sensei Award Chair, Carl Morimoto, 408-296-7660,

“Kinshu” Bonsai Awards
The GSBF “Kinshu” Bonsai Awards Program is an annual bonsai competition open to persons in good standing who belong to a GSBF club or affiliate club. The judging is based on photographs submitted by contestants. The submission deadline to apply is July 31st of each year.

When GSBF was considering an annual bonsai contest, Sherwin Amimoto (GSBF President 2001-2002) created a word Kinshu for this award. He made up a new Japanese word “Kin-Shu” from two characters: Kin = Gold and Shu = State, to imply “Golden State”.

“Kinshu” Bonsai Award Point of Contact, Dave Dierking,

For additional information, contact any GSBF Officer or Trustee.

Last updated July 27, 2014