Thorsby CiB Chair Barry Rasch and CiB member Reg McDougall receive the 4 Bloom Award Certificate from CiB Founder President Raymond Curriere.
From October 10 to 13, Edmonton Capital Region Communities in Bloom (CiB) Communities jointly hosted the 2012 National Symposium and Awards Ceremonies honouring municipalities across Canada; the US; Europe (Village of Smzice, Czech Republic; Killarney Town, Ireland; St. Martin’s Parish, Guernsey, Channel Islands, British Isles); and Asia (Aya Town, Japan; and South West District, Singapore). Over 350 delegates were present.
At the Friday night dinner, guests were treated to a slideshow highlighting the outstanding features of each community in the running. Among them, three local community jewels competed and were rewarded for their dedication:
The Town of Beaumont received the coveted 5 blooms in the National Awards in the 10,001-20,000 population category. The judges were especially impressed with the CiB Pancake Kick-Off. The Municipality of Lambton Shores, ON, was winner in the 10,001-20,000 Category. Judges especially liked their Native Tree Project.
The Class of Champions
Small Category is a category where past winners compete amongst themselves. The Town of Millet received Special Mention/Recognition for its Volunteer Recognition by Town and Businesses and received a rating of 5 blooms. The winner was the Town of Boissevain, MB, noted for its Community Dedication to Beautification.
The City of Leduc was awarded Special Mention/Recognition in the International Challenge-Large Category. This competition is between winners of various national programs. The city captivated the judges with its impressive Floral Displays. One of the photos in the slideshow featured Leduc’s Stone Barn Garden. Leduc also received a solid 5 Bloom rating. The winner of this challenge was Killarney Town, Ireland, for Volunteer Involvement.
Each July and August, trained volunteer judges visit participating communities to evaluate the overall contributions of business, industry, municipal council and departments, and the private sector on the following key criteria: tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscape, turf and ground covers, floral displays, and community involvement.
The Pipestone Flyer would like to give special recognition to Wetaskiwin resident Berta Briggs who volunteered both as a provincial judge and as a national judge for 2012. We salute other local volunteer provincial judges: Doug Hornbeck of Leduc County, Sandra Royal and Charleen Schnick of Wetaskiwin, and Jane Stadel of Millet.
One Friday evening highlight included a talk given by Jim Hole about the innovative design features incorporated in the Enjoy Centre—including the rainwater collection system that is used in the greenhouse and in the washrooms, the use of wholesome organic locally grown foods in their dining facilities, etc.. Jim is the co-owner of the Enjoy Centre and is the son of Ted and Alberta’s 15th Lieutenant-Governor Lois Hole.
Canadian garden guru and Home Hardware spokesperson Mark Cullen summed the spirit of CiB—Home Hardware supports CiB because, “It’s a good fit! It’s about beautifying our urban spaces. It’s about greening our urban spaces—especially creating that tree canopy. But most importantly, it’s about bringing people together.” He said it’s good for local businesses too. People are more likely to do business in a town that is visually appealing.
CiB seeks to foster civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, focusing on the promotion and importance of green spaces.
“Communities in Bloom is bigger than you can imagine,” said Thorsby CiB Chair Barry Rasch. After attending the National Symposium, he said, you can really see how all the elements work together at the local level, and at the provincial, national and international levels—you really see the strong community building that CiB promotes and all the potential for good that goes beyond just flowers.
Congratulations to our area CiB Communities for a job well done! Thanks for the added beauty, the history preserved, and the spaces greened.