Bloedel Conservatory Saved

At the Park Board’s Services and Budget Committee meeting on July 20, staff reviewed two proposals to retain the Bloedel Conservatory.  One from LMTP Inc. and the other from Friends of the Bloedel (FOTB) and the Van Dusen Gardens Society (VDGS).  Both have plusses and minuses but at the end of the day, the committee was unanimous in their support of the proposal submitted by FOTB/VDGS.

Their proposal still keeps the Conservatory in public hands and managed by the Park Board but draws upon the incredible fundraising and marketing expertise demonstrated over a number of years by the VDGS.  In essence the FOTB and VDGS have joined forces – a match made in heaven.

What a roller coaster of a ride it has been over the past 6 months for the iconic Bloedel.  It wasn’t long ago that the Vision Vancouver Park Board caucus voted unanimously to close this landmark.  This is a real testament to the power of the people and letting elected politicians know what you really think.  Clearly Vision Vancouver underestimated residents’ reaction to their decision.  Thank you to all of you that phoned and e-mailed Commissioners, Councillors and the Mayor – you truly made a difference.

However much of the credit goes to the Friends of the Bloedel Board capably and passionately led by John Coupar.  Working with John were Sheryl Hamilton, Vicky Earle, Thomas Hobbs and Terri Clark (who I had the distinct pleasure of working with when she was with the park board Communications team and I was Chair).  Thank you for putting your lives on hold for the past six months and your passionate desire to keep the Blodel open for visitors to enjoy for many more years to come.

The final chapter will be written on Sep 20 when the Park Board officially votes to keep the Bloedel open – my money is on a unanimous 7-0 vote.

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