Held in conjunction with the annual national and international awards ceremonies, this event is a unique opportunity for elected officials, parks and grounds professionals and community volunteers to learn and share about current issues, trends and challenges not only in horticulture and gardening, but in community tourism and projects, environmental awareness, and much more.



8:00 – 9:15 am SYMPOSIUM OPENING BREAKFAST WITH KEYNOTE SPEAKER, MAYOR PAM MOOD, YARMOUTH, NS All Hands on Deck – It takes an entire community to turn things around. Six short years ago, Yarmouth was at rock bottom, the result of a perfect storm of circumstances. You’ll hear the amazing story of how Yarmouth’s resilience and teamwork transformed her into the host Town you see today. Community at its best. (Video Presentation)

9:15 –10:00 am SYMPOSIUM OPENING PLENARY SESSIONS Addressing Ecological Stressors and the Role of UNESCO Southwestern Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve Cliff Drysdale – Vice-Chair of the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association This presentation will describe the unique natural and cultural characteristics of southwestern Nova Scotia in context with challenges to advance science and education to support sustainable resource management. Discussion will include description of the Biosphere Reserve’s zoning approach and the innovative “Interactive Science Atlas” featuring open science/open data, developed in partnership with the Nova Scotia Centre of Geographic Science. (PDF Presentation)

10:15 – 11:00 am PLENARY SESSION – NOVA SCOTIA GARDENS – WHAT THEY DO AND HOW THEY DO IT SO WELL Trish Fry, Manager, Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens – Seventeen Acres of Paradise This presentation will give you a glimpse of the various seasonal highlights and experiences that have made the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens one of Canada’s premiere gardens. (Powerpoint Slideshow)

Adrien Rawley, Horticulture Assistant and Educator, Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens The Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: inspiring an appreciation of native plants. Since opening in 2002, the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens have become a beacon for native plant awareness and their use in horticultural settings. Located in beautiful Wolfville, on the grounds of Acadia University, The Gardens are a place to learn, relax and reconnect to nature. The Gardens are beloved by students, visitors and community members of all ages. (PDF Presentation)

Heidi Boutillier, Horticulture Supervisor, Parks & Recreation, Halifax Regional Municipality The Halifax Public Gardens is a National Historic site and is governed by Halifax Regional Municipality. The municipality manages all aspects within its gates and receives over 300,000 visitors a year. (PDF Presentation)

11:00 – 11:45 am
BREAK-OUT #1 TOP BAR BEEKEEPING – AN EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE TRADITIONAL BEEHIVE Charles Andrews, Beekeeper, Manzer Apiary Inc. – This presentation will focus on advantages of the top bar beehive compared to a traditional bee hive. Modeled after a natural hollow log beehive, this hive was used in a year-long study at Acadia University to test its effectiveness in reducing over-wintering bee mortality. (PDF Presentation)

BREAK-OUT #2 COME ALIVE OUTSIDE – CREATING THE AWARENESS, INTENTION AND OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE HEALTHIER LIVES OUTSIDE Scott M. Wentworth; O.A.L.A., C.S.L.A., C.L.D., Sr. Landscape Architect/ President, Wentworth Landscapes You not only feel more alive when you’re outside – current research provides a staggering list of quantifiable benefits to doing so. The Come Alive Outside movement provides communities with programming that engages youth, seniors and families, while providing preventative health practices at a holistic community level. (PDF Presentation)



8:00 – 9:15 am SYMPOSIUM CLOSING BREAKFAST WITH KEYNOTE SPEAKER RAYMOND CARRIÈRE, FOUNDING PRESIDENT OF COMMUNITIES IN BLOOM AND ODETTE SABOURIN-DUMAIS, SECRETARY-TREASURER, CHAIR OF THE S&A COMMITTEE AND FIRST EDITION NATIONAL JUDGE FOR COMMUNITIES IN BLOOM Celebrating 25 years of excellence – Raymond and Odette will take us on a “judging tour” from the first Awards Ceremonies held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on September 30th 1995 where the National Capital Commission played host to the first 29 participating communities to historical moments and initiatives including exchange with international communities, BBQ’s, proclamation weeks, edition stamps, potluck dinners, videos and even a play and a song written on Communities in Bloom. (PDF Presentation)

9:15 – 10:00 am PLENARY SESSION – THE LUNGS OF OUR CITY – INTRODUCING THE ‘GREEN CITIES AWARD’ Robin Godfrey, Garden Centres Canada Chair with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association – Climate change is affecting our communities, and is changing the way we must design and build our urban landscapes. Learn how you can develop solutions and initiatives in your neighborhoods, ensuring they are healthy, liveable and enjoyable places to live, work and play. Learn about our new “Green Cities Award”, and how it can help you to celebrate your local green space successes. (PDF Presentation)

Representatives of communities participating in the 25th Edition of Communities in Bloom will present and share successful projects, ideas and initiatives often involving grants, donations and partnerships. They will demonstrate the value of the resourcefulness of dedicated volunteers and their contribution to the quality of life of their communities. You don’t want to miss hearing and exchanging with your colleagues.
Stratford, Ontario
Leduc, Alberta
Melfort, Saskatchewan
Hanna, Alberta
Rosemère, Québec (PDF Presentation & Video Presentation)
Nutrients for Life

Gil Dares, Chairperson, Yarmouth Façade Improvement Society, Natalie Smith, Economic Development Officer, Town of Yarmouth & Richard LeBlanc, Business Owner Participant
A once thriving downtown had deteriorated to the point that empty storefronts were common. The Façade Improvement Program offered grants, professional advice and encouragement for commercial properties and has breathed new life and vitality into the area.
(PDF Presentation & Video Presentation)



Town Hall Meeting with Mark Cullen and Exchange between International and Canadian Communities

Spello, Italy
– Usseaux, Italy (Winter Video) & (Summer Video)
– Zrece, Slovenia (will be available shortly)
– Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary (will be available shortly)
– Székesfehérvár, Fejér, Hungary (will be available shortly)
Children Gardens, Hungary