20 March 2010

Friends of Bloedel Conservatory Define Expression of Interest

News Release

Friday, March 19th at 11:00 am
Bloedel Floral Conservatory
Queen Elizabeth Park

The Friends of Bloedel (FOB) invited the media to a brief news conference at the entrance to the Bloedel Conservatory Friday, March 19th at 11 am for an update on their efforts to save this iconic horticultural facility.

FOB Board President John Coupar explained how the FOB have been working closely with the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association (VBGA) to develop an Expression of Interest Proposal that would see the Conservatory come under the umbrella of the VBGA while remaining a public facility under the management of the Vancouver Park Board.

The VanDusen Botanical Garden is located a short six blocks from Queen Elizabeth Park at 33rd Avenue & Oak Street and is undeniably the epicenter of horticultural expertise within the Park Board system. The VBGA is a nearly 5000 member strong volunteer organization that supports VanDusen Garden in a multitude of areas including marketing, promotion, education, special events and fundraising.

“If we can craft a mutually beneficial model with the VanDusen Botanical Gardens Association that maintains Bloedel Conservatory as the green jewel it is while enriching and enhancing its education and revenue streams, I think everyone becomes a winner, especially the people of Metro Vancouver,” said John Coupar.

The Park Board issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) earlier this year so it could receive proposals for a continued or new use of the Heritage A building. This action by the Park Board was a result of a late November budget cut where the Bloedel Conservatory was targeted.

The Friends of Bloedel have worked tirelessly to save the iconic floral conservatory, positioned at the highest point in Vancouver in the city’s second most visited park. In late January the FOB staged a sold out gala fundraiser, Rumble in the Jungle, raising over $50,000 in support for the Bloedel Conservatory. Another moderately priced event, A Little Night Music, is planned for later in the spring.

For further information contact
John Coupar at 604-818-2756 or Terri Clark at 778-866-9875

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