Riding blossoms all the way to the finish line

The City of Castlegar is participating in the Communities in Bloom National Awards Ceremonies

A glance almost anywhere in downtown Castlegar reveals the influence of Communities of Bloom.

The City of Castlegar is participating in the Communities in Bloom National Awards Ceremonies coming up from Oct. 26-29 in Quebec City. Castlegar will be competing in the 7,501-10,000 population category against Amherst, NS; Hinton, AB; New Glasgow, NS; Winkler, MB; and Yarmouth, NS.

“We began competing in 2005 at the provincial level and now this will be our third year at the national level,” said Castlegar Communities in Bloom chair Darlene Kalawsky on Oct. 18. “Last year we received five blooms for the first time. We were happy with that.”

The cities will be judged on eight specific criteria: Floral, Landscape, Urban Forestry, Environment, Tidiness, Community Involvement, Turf and Groundcover, and Heritage.

“The city that gets the most points out of 1,000 is rated as the winner of the category,” said Kalawsky.

The judges for the 7,501 to 10,000 category are Arlene Janzen and Hugh Skinner. Janzen is long-time judge and Parks and Recreation board member from White City, Saskatchewan, while Skinner is a horticulturalist and author from Roblin, Manitoba.

“We never get a repeat of the same judges. Usually they alternate them,” said Kalawsky.

The success of the Communities in Bloom (CIB) program is due to the strong volunteer base in the area, said Kalawsky.

“What the CIB program is doing is basically motivating, partnering and nourishing this volunteer core in our community to drive some of these things and bring some of these partnerships to fruition,” she said. “For example, for floral displays – all the floral displays in the city are done by volunteers but the ideas come from the central committee.”

The CIB central committee consists of five members including a representative from Castlegar City Council and Castlegar Public Works.

“It’s all about working together to better your community,” said Kalawsky. “We have an extremely wonderful number of volunteers in our community that are concerned about their city. They’re concerned about their city looking good and making it a great place to live. That’s what I would say is so great about Castlegar. We’ve seen such an improvement in our city since the Communities in Bloom program was initiated.”

One of the great ideas that sprung from the CIB program was the Castlegar Sculpture Walk.

“That’s one of the great spin-offs of this program – you get volunteers coming up with great ideas about what would make your city a better place,” said Kalawsky. “That’s what’s so great about Castlegar. It has improved so much. The visual side of it has improved. We have people constantly going out and doing things. It’s making our city very attractive. We’re hoping that it will be an economic driver.”

The national awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the National Symposium on Parks and Grounds. The symposium includes conference sessions, workshops, and technical visits on the theme of environmental horticulture.

“You have an opportunity to see what other places are doing and share ideas,” said Kalawsky, who will be traveling to the awards ceremony and symposium. “We’ll bring back lots of ideas.”

Sculpture Walk co-ordinator Pat Field will also be at the event as a presenter.

Castlegar Communities in Bloom will be presenting on Friday morning, Oct. 21, at 9:30 a.m. The presentation will be “Community Engagement in Public Art” with the topic “A defining moment for Castlegar, BC”.


“We have a power point presentation on the City of Castlegar as well as on the Sculpture Walk,” said Kalawsky.



Just Posted

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

An inter-generational crowd staged a ‘die-in’ as part of the global strike Friday

PLACE NAMES: Warfield neighbourhoods

Beaver Bend took its name from a CBC Radio series

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Most Read