Vancouver Garden Show 2006 Cancelled

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Daniel Mosquin, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    This might be of interest to some of the people local to the Vancouver area:

    Money-losing garden show at VanDusen cancelled

    Excerpts from the Steve Whysall article, since the above link is going to rot in one week:

     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Or because someone was too superstitious about #13 !! :-)
     
  3. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    There is something about garden shows - to be successful, you have got to do it right and do it big. Unfortunately, the Vancouver show is just not big enough that it's on every gardener's must see event of the year. Seattle's Northwest Flower and Garden Show has become an itinery on north west gardener's calender the last half dozen years and attracts an average of 80,000 visitors a year. The Vancouver show attendance pales by comparison. So does show content.

    Perhaps, I am looking at this through somewhat tinted glasses, as the shows I go to are the big ones - the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is my favourite. But there is a big void in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland not to have a major garden show. I am not sure what the solution is to make the show a financial success. ?Hold it in association with the annual BC home show? Cut down fees for exhibitors to beef up and improve show content and exhibits? Go back to increased use of volunteers?
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Not that I'm an expert on such things, but I imagine two of the reasons for the NW Flower and Garden Show's success are: 1) accessibility - Seattle is really the centre of the region + (since most people are auto drivers) parking is not an issue, and 2) it's indoors, which means fewer variables to worry about. Every year, a nursery owner can put on a fancy display and not have to worry about no one showing up because of torrential rains.

    Of course, I suppose both of these arguments aren't appropriate to Hampton Court.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The Vancouver show was being held outdoors? That's enough to kill it right there! Future attempts should definitely include an indoor location, where patrons can wander through a spring wonderland, right about the time they are getting tired of winter--as they do in Seattle. Perhaps the least appealing aspect of the Seattle show is that it is such a hit there are too dang many people there most of the day--you really cannot even see the landscape displays during peak hours. About as relaxing as negotiating an international airport. During quieter times the Seattle show is quite a fantasyland.

    I used to go to the Lower Mainland several times per year but since border security was stiffened have not felt like bothering. If it was still as comparatively quick and easy to get in and out of BC as it used to be I might be coming up there even more often than I used to.
     
  6. firefighterrobin

    firefighterrobin Member

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    when is the Seattle garden show? It might be worth the trip.i usually go to the gwynne vaughn park show in chilliwack inearly june.its anice way to spend a few hours and a few bucks.and its fairly dry that day.free parking and admission.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    So how easy would it be for a Vancouver inhabitant to go down to Seattle, buy a load of plants, and take them back to Vancouver? Would they all be confiscated by the plant health inspectors at the border? Or would the US-Canada free trade agreements mean they are allowed through?
     
  9. Anne Taylor

    Anne Taylor Active Member 10 Years

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    Well Michael, the border is an interesting place these days, but to answere your question "free trade" has nothing to do with crossing the border with plants. ( actually some days I can't tell if it relates to anything) Yeah we have to have a thing that says the plant material has been cleared by various inspectors, where in most cases paperwork can be annoying, sometimes (but not always) it helps catch things like "sudden oak death" which could devistate our Garry Oak system here on Vancouver Island.
    I'm going to try to get to the Seattle show despite border hassles.
     
  10. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    not very easy Micheal F. you would generally need a phytosanitary inspection for any plant material coming across the border. I would think it is even more difficult considering the Phytopthera ramorum issue.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Previous years they've had a pre-inspection setup for Canadian shoppers.
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks all!

    Sounds like re-starting the Vancouver show might work when the crowds realise the hassle and cost involved with cross-border transport
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Different set of nurseries. And Lower Mainlanders have also flocked down here in the past for other goods, anyway. One new mall in Bellingham was getting 90,000 visitors per day? weekend? soon after it opened. Don't know current level of activity.
     
  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I think there's been a curtailing in recent years of plant groups taking bus tours (plant purchasing tours) from BC to Washington because of the hassles of bringing plants back.

    I doubt that the Vancouver Garden Show would ever move indoors. Prior to 2005, it was the VanDusen Garden Show. As the article states, it was a fundraising event for VanDusen Gardens, and - I'm speculating here - I'm guessing one of the constraints of the event is that it will always be held on-site.
     
  15. Megami

    Megami Active Member 10 Years

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    Oh that's sad, I love the vandusen garden show :(
     
  16. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Would anyone please take the bulls by the horn, think big, and put up an annual garden show that Vancourites can all be proud of? That will go some ways in dispelling the silly idea that Vancouver is a "no fun city". Could this be done as a collaborative venture between the nursery trades, the VGRD Parks, and, perhaps leaders like UBC?
     
  17. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I don't think I'd call UBC a leader, at least not in that space. We support and participate in the show in whatever way it is done because exposure to plants + public gardens helps people appreciate them, but we're not equipped to invest a significant amount of time / energy in that area.

    I'm also fairly certain that an alternative garden show wouldn't emerge out of the constituents who are invested in / participate in the Vancouver Garden Show - toes would certainly be stepped on and I'm not sure fracturing would be helpful to the local community of plant enthusiasts.
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Fractured toes in particular. The same outfit that does Seattle does San Francisco. Probably one for the north, one for the south.
     
  19. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    in regards to the nursery trades etc banding together for a public garden show. There are a number of shows that are attended and manned in town allready. Canwest, Buildex, Tradex, Landscaping and Groundskeepers expo and the Vancouver home and garden show to name a few. The show at Vandusen has been a nice show to visit but in my experience, it has not been a generator of leads at all via booth contacts for my type business so I wont be there the next time they hold it. at least not in my own booth, I still volunteer with the BCLNA so I will be there at some point.
     
  20. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Daniel I think you're quite right that as a Van Dusen event it will always be held on site, and that is one of the most constraining factors. Parking is an issue, making it an incredible hassle to get on, around, and off-site with plants (unless you have the whole day at your disposal to negotiate shuttles/plant pick-up etc, which with young kids and a busy life I do not). I have had a love-hate thing with that show, and with the VD plant sale, for all the years I've been an enthusiast. On the one hand you want to offer your support and you want access to the plants, but I have always hated the experience. Same deal for the UBC sale, to be honest. VD has the further disadvantage that it's not like you were rewarded with deals for paying the entry fee (unless you stayed to the last minute on the Sunday).

    I think the date is one of the other serious miscalculations. I don't know what other people actually go to the show for but for me I have to admit it's all about the acquisition of plants, and spring is simply overloaded with plant buying opportunities. Why undergo the misery of the show. For the vendors too, I suspect the show comes at a time that their on-site business seriously suffers from their absence and their attention to their displays.

    I did like connecting with new vendors through the show, but there are enough other ways to do that that the show is no longer a necessary evil. And I think the show was/is burdensome enough for some of them that it didn't seem to be attracting that many, in particular not that many new ones.

    I don't want to seem to dismiss the value of the displays entirely, because they do serve a function and some people probably love them, and a couple (truly, all of two) were really memorable last year. But if you just want to get in, buy plants, and get out, the displays just force you to walk further.

    The show as designed seems aimed at general gardening/landscaping hobbyists who are at low-stress points in their lives. There is perhaps only a limited number of such people in the Lower Mainland, and perhaps that population is fully tapped. For the obsessed gardener, the show was, simply put, not as satisfying as poring over the latest Chiltern's catalogue or the Fraser's fern list.
     
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    On the other hand, the Seattle show has the same drawbacks or worse (except for the timing) and still packs 'em in. Some commerical exhibitors (particularly landscapers) spend thousands of dollars and still come out ahead due to the sales generated as a result. I bet nurseries would sell many more plants if they weren't being offered deep within a giant building in the midst of an urban center. Those wishing to buy more than they can carry around with them have to go back and forth to a will-call area, then shunt them out to their cars.
     

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