For the past 19 years Canada Blooms has reached out to the Garden Builders and Landscape Designers who might be interested in building a feature garden at Canada Blooms towards the end of summer, usually September/October. Moving forward for 2016 and beyond it has been determined that the best time to ask for submissions for the next festival should be April/May. This will allow a longer period of time for garden builders to work on their designs.
So here it is May, and Horticultural Director, David Turnbull, has sent out notices through a variety of channels inviting Garden Design/Builders to submit a concept drawing and description of the garden they would like to build at Canada Blooms. These drawings and descriptions are submitted and evaluated, by an objective panel of industry professionals, to determine if the garden builders meet the criteria to build at Canada Blooms.
That’s right, not every garden builder who wishes to build a garden at Canada Blooms will be accepted. First they submit a concept drawing (a version of these drawings are usually the plans that are seen on the website and in the festival guide) and a paragraph or two describing their concept. Then company information is removed from the paperwork and the concept and drawings are judged using a number rating system based on: did they submit on time, did they include all elements, is the concept imaginative, has the required plant material/element met the right ratio, is the concept professional? The Judges also look at how well the concept fits the current year’s theme, is there something new and innovative, etc. Once the plans have been evaluated, they are given a score and that score will be used to determine if a garden builder is accepted. For those that are not accepted they are given pointers that will help them for future submissions.
Once the Feature Garden Builder Submission is given a ranking number, those with the highest number will then receive their acceptance notification first and the builder will be given a location based on size available/requested.
Canada Blooms offers qualifying Landscape Ontario Members a subsidy to help them defray some of the cost of building a garden at the festival. Depending on budget constraints of the festival year, Landscape Ontario members may or may not receive the subsidy amount requested. Canada Blooms does however, provides ALL garden builders with sand, mulch and logistical/materials handling on site.
We are excited to announce that we have nearly double the amount of space requested to build gardens at Canada Blooms 2016. The drawings have been assessed and builders will be notified of their status by the end May. Soon we will start to create the first draft of the floor plan.
Also this month, the various Festival Committees meet to discuss plans for the 20th Anniversary in 2016 and plans for 2017 as well.
Administratively, we are updating databases and clearing up any outstanding paperwork from 2015. We are also still reaching out to partners and looking for future partners who wish to align with Canada Blooms to promote their messages.