Jewel Box of Lights Illuminates the Bloedel Conservatory!

Mark your calendars! The Bloedel Conservatory will again splash colour across Vancouver’s grey winter with holiday lights and the bright plumage of its exotic birds. The lush indoor landscape is exotic at any time of year, but the annual Jewel Box of Lights provides a stroll through the tropics with a holiday twist. Seasonal music, poinsettias and bright blooming Christmas cactus provide the context for a non-traditional holiday experience. Baby, if it’s cold outside, come to the Bloedel Conservatory!

To kick off the event in celebration of Bloedel’s 43rd Anniversary, the Friend’s of Bloedel are sponsoring a very special evening of entertainment beginning at 5:30pm on December 6th. Musical quartets will be singing songs of the season, a trio of tubas, a wonderful Santa dispensing individually wrapped European chocolates and very delicious Parrot sugar cookies with mulled apple cider – are all free with admission (while supplies last). Of course the lights will be magical! The gardeners have once again pulled out all the stops placing millions of twinkling lights and cascading waterfalls of sparkling lasers. A fun night of family entertainment for a great value!

The Friends of Bloedel will also be raising money to help the birds and boost new education programs at the Conservatory. Gorgeous poinsettias and orchids will be for sale along with a great raffle prize draw. Be sure to come out to support your favorite feathered friend!

It’s an event not to be missed!

DATE: Thursday, December 6, 2012 – January 1, 2013 (Closed December 25)

TIME: Doors open at 4:30pm – 9:00pm

Special Opening Night Entertainment: December 3 beginning at 5:30

LOCATION: Bloedel Conservatory: off West 33rd Avenue between Cambie and Main Streets at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC

COST: Adult $7; Senior/Youth (13-18) $5 ; Child (3-12) $3.50; Family (2 adults & children 3-18) $16.50. Group rates and commercial bus rates available.

Free parking will be available throughout Queen Elizabeth Park from 4:00pm for the duration of the event!

“Bloedel is a Jewel Box as are the stars, and at Queen Elizabeth Park you can almost touch the heavens on a clear night!”

See you there!

Cool New Things Happening at the Bloedel Conservatory!

QR Code Smart Phone Tour

Spearheaded by Friends of Bloedel President, Vicky Earle, this new Smart Phone Self-Guided Tour is a QR code based pilot project that was 2 years in the making. “We wanted a platform to share more detail about the many fascinating stories held within this wonderful tropical oasis. There is so much to discover here! We hope people will enjoy exploring the site”. Enter the Conservatory and scan the QR code located in the gift shop with any smart phone (you may need to download a free reader), then navigate by using the subject tabs to discover detailed information, pictures, videos, and audio files for each of the stations provided. Future plans are to translate the site into multiple languages to reach a wider, more diverse audience. Stop in and try it out! We would love to hear your feedback!

New Logo and Front Entrance Graphic

The Bloedel Conservatory has a new logo! Take a stroll along the front plaza on the top of QE park and you will certainly notice the new dazzling graphic and elegant logo that now graces the entrance of the Bloedel Conservatory. Garden Director Harry Jongerden enlisted the expertise of creative strategist Karen Holyk to design the logo. Ms. Holyk and colleague Daniela Pilossof, environmental designer, were then commissioned to capture the essence held within the dome and transform it into a new graphic display for the front window. Photographs for the project were donated by Vicky Earle and Irmgard Carter. Be sure to go inside for a visit and see if you can find everything in the graphic!

Preparations for the Jewel Box of Lights are Underway!

In celebration of the Bloedel Conservatory’s 43rd Anniversary, this year’s Jewel Box of Lights will officially open December 6th at 4:30. Preparations are in full swing with gardeners and arborists pulling out all the stops to make this Jewel Box a delight! Mark your calendars as this is event should not to be missed! Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

Big Adventure for Little Clyde

Clyde, the beautiful Eastern Rosella parrot, recently escaped through a vandalized plexiglass bubble at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. Fearing the worst, worried Conservatory staff and Friends of Bloedel volunteers searched day and night throughout the park. Hopes were lifted when his calls were heard and excited relief spread when he was was spotted in the antennae structure atop the dome.

But now how to get him down? Luckily, the team from Spectrum Skyworks, who were on site to repair the damaged plexiglass bubble, stepped into quick action. Their high level rope access training and specialized rope and safety equipment allowed them to perform the rescue safely. The team took tremendous care to get the little bird down from atop the 70 foot dome. Special thanks goes out to Wayne, Neil and Scott for their great work in coaxing the Eastern Rosella into a transport carrier and getting him to the ground safe and sound!

Clyde was smart to find his way into the structure. He was protected inside the metal and grated structure from the outside elements and predatory eagles, while the rising heat from the dome kept him warm through chilly nights. Clyde is no stranger to adventure: he flew into the open doors of a fire hall over 12 years ago and was taken in by Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary before coming to the Bloedel Conservatory. He has thrived in the lush tropical atmosphere inside the dome. Clyde is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery from his recent big adventure. A BIG thank you goes out to the dedication and commitment of all involved!

New Sculptures Outside the Bloedel Conservatory!

Four new marble and granite sculptures by artist Cameron Kerr of Campbell River, have been installed at Queen Elizabeth Park plaza in front of the Bloedel Conservatory. The sculptures, inspired by modernist architecture, are beautifully carved, while the raw stone influenced the direction the pieces took during the sculpting process.

Kerr attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Italy and took Master Classes with modernist British sculptors William Tucker and Anthony Gormley, Gormley being best known for the public sculpture ‘Angel of the North’ in the North of England. Mr. Kerr is a graduate of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

The sculptures, each weighing between 2,500 to 5,000 pounds apiece, were transferred from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre plaza to Bloedel Conservatory viewing deck last weekend. The artwork was originally commissioned by the City Public Art Program to mark the Vancouver’s 125th anniversary. These sculptures are currently a temporary installation, but could become permanent artwork in Queen Elizabeth Park with approval from the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.