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Canada Blooms 2021
by Canada Blooms
January 10, 2021

In 2019, about this time we were finalizing the number of gardens to be built, discussing the entrance display to be created by Bloemen Decor, the overhead installation in the Garden Hall being designed by Jennifer Harvey, as well as planning the second Canada Blooms Floral Artist of the Year Competition. The Toronto Flower Show had sent out their requests for interested International competitors, the schedule booklet had been finished and we were all moving along as planned.

Skip forward to the first week of March and we were full on for the set up, gardens, flower show and competition, floral alley, everything looked so bright and colourful, it really was an oasis after a long winter. We started to hear rumblings, the city and province were on the news daily in the last couple of days leading up to our opening. Then came the very hard decision, we didn't have all the details, but we knew that there was no way we could put our exhibitors, builders, volunteers, staff or attendees in a situation that might harm them.

It was so disappointing, we were set up, except for a few final touches which would have been done over night, for the opening that never happened. We made the best of a bad situation, we still had the judging of the gardens, floral alley and the flower show and competition. Then came the fun of taking it all apart. Normally this would last 4-5 days, but with being limited to the number of people in the building and also number of people working together in one space, taking the gardens apart became a slow process. Not to mention the garden builders had scheduled there equipment for the expected move-out date a week later and many companies were suddenly on reduced staff so rescheduling became quite a feat. What should have been a few days became weeks, but we all agree that the health and safety of everyone involved was our top priority.

We went back to our offices feeling extremely deflated. Here was a wonderful party we had planned and no one got to attend, they only got to see it second hand through video and pictures. We took a moment to complain, (even cry a little), reflect, and then thought about our next festival -- our 25th. We allowed ourselves to take a little pride in the fact that we have been around for a quarter century, and then started planning our celebration, all the while knowing that if the pandemic did not get better we would have to make another tough decision come September/October about whether an in-person event could take place in March.

So here we are. We have had, in the last few weeks, some promising news about a possible vaccine which might be available in the Spring. But right now, we have to determine what will happen with our 2021 Festival. Sadly a couple of weeks ago, our Executive Director, Terry Caddo made the decision, "I am heartbroken, after having to cancel 2020, that we are unable to have an in-person event in 2021."

Currently, Canada Blooms has been exploring other options in place of the in-person event, and we will keep you up-to-date via our newsletter and social media once we have any plans finalized.

We thank each and everyone for your support of Canada Blooms and hope to see everyone at our 2022 festival. We miss you, and can hardly wait until we can all be together in person. Until then, please stay safe.

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