Plan an ‘Egg-ceptional’ Easter at the Bloedel Conservatory!

Join the Fun for an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt!

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The Easter Bunny, in cahoots with artist Melissa Hume, will secretly hide whimsical one-of-a-kind artisan Easter eggs throughout the lush tropics of Bloedel. Starting March 25th, pick up a map at admissions, then try to spot all 12 eggs! Our chatty parrots might even give you a hint! Draw your 3 favorite eggs and receive a bag of treats + a chance to win one of Melissa’s beautiful ceramic egg treasures. Tag a selfie in your best Easter Bonnet, Bird Crest or Bunny Ears at Bloedel with #bloedeleaster on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win a special Purdy’s Easter basket!

Great for Kids of All Ages!
March 26th & 27th, 2016 | 10:00am – 5:00pm
Scavenger Hunt included with paid Child Admission (3-12 yrs)

Our Bloedel Docents will be onsite for the Easter long weekend to answer any questions and share intriguing stories of the collections under the dome. And of course our bright, colourful birds are always happy to entertain and delight the whole family! See you there!

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Bloedel Conservatory – A Year in Review: 2015

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More and more people have been celebrating the Bloedel Conservatory and rediscovering the magic under the dome! Frequently heard are comments like “The Bloedel Conservatory is my new happy place” and “Bloedel is my dome away from home”. This means that the partnership and hard work of all staff and volunteers of the Park Board and the VBGA are working and headed in the right direction! At the start of every New Year, it is important to reflect on our successes and share our gratitude.

Highlights of 2015 include:

The Bloedel Roving Docent Program wrapped up it’s second successful year in 2015 and is continuing in 2016 with 18 new trainees. New docents begin training in January and undergo an intensive eight week program to learn about the world of tropical plants and birds that live under the dome – plus their bigger connection to rainforests around the world. This team of dedicated volunteers has been a tremendous asset to the Conservatory, heightening the visitor experience by sharing the incredible stories at Bloedel with guests. They are on hand every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am – 4pm.

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Ildiko Szabo, Assistant Curator Cowan Tetrapod Collection, UBC Beaty Biodiversity Museum giving a presentation to Bloedel Roving Docents.

A number of successful events took place throughout the year at the Conservatory and surrounding Queen Elizabeth Park:

Family Fun on Family Day: Activities included bird talks, ladybug and butterfly releases (including information about why they are good for your garden), opportunities to feed the finches, as well as a Tropical Adaptations station that provided information about unique strategies rainforest plants use to survive in this unique climate.

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Joshua Yu, Owner of Metamorphic Butterfly Farms, giving demo about the life cycle of butterflies on Family Day.

A Special Mother’s Day Celebration: Vancouver Orchid Society specialist Margaret Pratt shared examples from the spectacular world of orchids and discussed their care; craft tables for kids where set up where children could plant a starter herb and create their own Mother’s Day card; and artists from the Katami Design Studio designed special Bloedel Conservatory jewellery just for the occasion.

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Orchids left to right: Lady Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum), Dancing Ladies (Oncidium), Butterfly orchid (Psychopsis papilio)

National Garden Days: For the first time in Vancouver, five incredible public gardens united to offer a special Vancouver Garden Pass for the National Garden Days celebration. Just in time for Father’s Day, garden aficionados could visit the Bloedel Conservatory, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Sun Yat Sen Classic Chinese Garden, Nitobe Memorial Garden and UBC’s Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research all on one pass.

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Queen Elizabeth Park’s 75th Anniversary: More than 20,000 people came out to celebrate QE Park’s 75th Anniversary! Free concerts, aerial acrobatics of CircusWest and activities including Pickleball, Pitch & Putt, entrance to the Bloedel Conservatory and $5 Zipline rides filled the park with music and entertainment throughout the day. Over the course of the summer and fall, the QE Park Zipline, constructed and operated by Greenheart International FlightLinez, saw over 25,000 thrill seekers zoom over the Large Quarry Garden gaining incredible views of Vancouver. It operated for 87 days, 7 days a week and generated $334,787 total revenue with partial proceeds going to Children’s charities including BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Toy Mountain 2015, and Variety – The Children’s Charity. The Bloedel Conservatory also experienced a boost in attendance with a discount extended to Zipline riders.

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Vancouver Park Board Vice Chair, Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung and Chair, Commissioner John Coupar at QE Park’s 75th Anniversary

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Crowds enjoying QE Park, the Bloedel Conservatory and the best views of Vancouver during the Park’s 75th Anniversary

Enchanted Nights: New this year, a world of whimsy and magic at the Bloedel Conservatory is wowing visitors with artisan sprite villages, hand-blown glass, Fairy Queens and unicorn rides.

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Bloedel Conservatory and Fountain lit up for Enchanted Nights Holiday Show

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Fairy Queen Tatianna greeting young visitor at Enchanted Night’s

In this holiday attraction for all ages, patrons can walk through a miniature world of fantasy with magical lights, holiday music, and live entertainment set amongst the dome’s tropical plants and exotic birds. Displays have been created by Corey Cote, the Enchanted Forest Collective, Christopher Moreno of 365 Productions, Melissa Hume of Dirty Clay Studios, and Benjamin Kikkert of New-Small & Sterling Studio Glass. Hurry while you can! Enchanted Nights at Bloedel is open until January 3rd, from 4 pm to 9 pm.

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With all the extra light created by the New Roof Renovation in 2014, the Conservatory experienced stunning new blossoms in 2015 including African Popcorn plants, plate-sized hibiscus, a variety of gingers and Mysore Trumpet Vines.

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Bloedel Conservatory’s completed roof renovation

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This year also welcomed a number of new birds to the flock. Blanca, the Umbrella Cockatoo loves visitors, often fanning her crest and showing off her great dance moves. Diamond Doves add to the melodies under the dome with their gorgeous ‘wood-flute’ sounding songs, while the new Chinese Pheasant, Roul Roul Partridges, Bourke’s parakeets and variety of finches add colour and entertainment around the feeding station.

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Clockwise left to right: Blanca, the Umbrella Cockatoo, Chinese Pheasant, Shaft-tailed finch, Diamond Dove, Roul Roul Partridges

And for the first time, the Bloedel Conservatory joined the Pollinator Project and introduced Mason Bees into the lush iconic dome. Unlike Honey Bees that live and work in a community, Mason Bees are solitary. Because there is no Queen bee, they do not sting. This makes the Mason Bee ideal for public places.

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Mason bee (Osmia cornifrons). Photo by Beatriz Moisset, Creative Commons

On that note, please accept our appreciation and sincere thanks to you as a supporter of the Bloedel Conservatory. Whether you have joined us at events, generously donated, or simply shared our commitment to reinvigorate the Conservatory and re-engage with the community, our mission is made that much more attainable knowing that we have your support! Thank you and Happy New Year!

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park Turns 75!

Come out and join the celebration! This Sunday is a family-fun filled free day throughout Queen Elizabeth Park, honouring its 75th Anniversary!

Large Quarry Garden at Queen Elizabeth Park

There will be much to do! Take in a free concert, enjoy the Stanley Park Brewing licensed area, be awed by the aerial acrobatics of CircusWest, stop in and chat with the parrots at the Bloedel Conservatory (free admission), take a thrill ride on the $5.00 Zipline, or try your skill at free Pickleball, Pitch & Putt and Lawn Bowling, plus much more!

WHO: All Ages – Free

WHEN: Sunday, September 13th  Noon – 7pm

WHERE: Queen Elizabeth Park Plaza, Lawn Bowling Centre, Tennis Courts

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Stage schedule

Time  Event/Entertainment
12:00 noon to 12:30pm Opening Speeches
12:30pm to 1:30pm Pop Junkies
1:45pm to 2:45pm Hot Panda
3:00pm to 4:15pm Patrick Nazemi
4:30pm to 5:30pm The Zolas
5:45pm to 7:00pm Delhi 2 Dublin
2:00pm, 3:30pm, and 5:00pm Aerial show by CircusWest at the fountain plaza

All day activities from Noon to 7:00pm

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•  $5.00 zipline rides

•  Free pitch & putt

•  Free admission at the Bloedel Conservatory

•  Face painting at the fountain plaza

•  Photo booth at the fountain plaza

•  Pickleball at the tennis courts

•  Free drop-in at the QE lawn bowling club

 

 

It will be a fantastic day! Something to do for everyone in the family! Come out and celebrate this beautiful park at the highest point in the City!

Quick History of Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park is a city landmark, once known affectionately as ‘Little Mountain’ as its summit is just over 501 feet and is located at the geographic centre of the city. The land was originally owned by the Canadian Railway and was turned into a basalt rock quarry between 1890 – 1911. Rock from the quarry was used to build the first roadways in Vancouver.

In 1912, the Canadian Pacific Railway first offered the land to the City of Vancouver. No action was taken at the time, but it was reserved for park purposes. In 1929, Vancouver amalgamated with the municipalities of Point Grey and South Vancouver. It then proceeded to acquire the property from CP Rail. By the end of the 1930’s, it was turned over to the Vancouver Park Board.

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1939 was a historic year! King George VI and his consort Queen Elizabeth traveled the Country on their first official Canadian tour. The royal couple traveled from the east to the west coast on the Canadian Pacific Railroad. While in Vancouver, they visited North and West Vancouver, Stanley Park, UBC and Little Mountain.

In July 1940, Little Mountain was officially renamed “Queen Elizabeth Park” in dedication to the visit from the royal couple. From that time, with $5,000 per year funding from Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, Park staff began transforming the overgrown hillsides into Canada’s first civic arboretum, with over 1500 species of trees. Examples of all the native trees found across the nation were planted along with many exotic species to create the beautiful landscape, which is Queen Elizabeth Park today.

Queen Elizabeth Park covers 52 hectares (130 acres) and is one of the most beautifully maintained public parks in the world. It is second only to Stanley Park in annual visitations, receiving nearly 6 million people per year.

Celebrate National Garden Days!

It’s time to top and smell the flowers with Vancouver’s Garden Pass!

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Orange hibiscus in bloom at the Bloedel Conservatoy. Photo © V. Earle

Just in time for Father’s Day, Canada’s National Garden Days draws attention to public and private gardens across the country! Garden Days (June 19 – 21) celebrate the role of gardens in our communities and in our lives. The program’s objective is to draw attention to Canada’s garden culture, its history and innovations, and to underscore the important values of gardening and environmental stewardship. When the Bloedel Conservatory opened in December, 1969, Prentice Bloedel dedicated this lush green jewel “to a better appreciation and understanding of the world of plants”. It has been connecting people with the magic of the tropics ever since!

This year, 5 incredible public gardens have united to offer a special Vancouver Garden Pass for the celebration. Pass holders can visit any of the gardens as many times as they wish over 3 days for $25.

Buffon's Touraco at the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo © V. Earle

Buffon’s Touraco at the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo © V. Earle

Experience phenomenal collections of plants from all over the world, history and award winning architecture at:

Bloedel Conservatory: 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver at Queen Elizabeth Park

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden: 578 Carrall St, Vancouver in Chinatown

Nitobe Memorial Garden: 1895 Lower Mall, Vancouver at UBC

UBC Botanical Garden: 6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver at UBC

VanDusen Botanical Garden: 5251 Oak St, Vancouver

Ticket options are $25 for individual, $40 for a couple, and $5 for children 5 to 18 years of age (taxes not included).

Buy your tickets in advance online, or at any of the participating gardens during the 3 day celebration. Present your tickets at any one of the five Gardens to receive your wristband-pass. Then, simply present your wristband on June 19th, 20th or 21st at any of the participating Gardens for entry.

Entrance to the Bamboo Bridge in the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo by Vicky Earle

Entrance to the Bamboo Bridge in the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo by Vicky Earle

It will be a great weekend! See you there!

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Special Mother’s Day Event at the Bloedel Conservatory!

Looking for a unique venue to delight Mom on Mother’s Day?

Treat her to a special day at the Bloedel Conservatory and Queen Elizabeth Park on May 10th!

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The Bloedel Conservatory is now on Summer Hours and just in time for Mother’s Day! There will be much to do for the whole family! Not only is the Conservatory a healing garden – a magical place to unwind and relax in the lush atmosphere of the tropics, we’ve assembled a treat package that you can pre-purchase for Mom to receive when she arrives on Mother’s Day. This $28 package includes one adult admission to the Conservatory, special treats from Truffles Fine Foods, Daniel’s Chocolates, Barefoot Venus, and Evian, plus an exclusive silver Umay pendant ($20 value shown below) designed by the Katami Studio. “Umay” is Turkish for Hope and was also a goddess offering luck. This pendant was formed from a raw and imperfect seashell and each is cast by hand to ensure the finest quality.

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Stations will also be set up around the Conservatory during the event: Learn all about orchids and their care with Vancouver Orchid Society specialist Margaret Pratt; Visit the craft table for kids so they can plant a starter herb and create their own Mother’s Day card to gift to Mom; Artists from the Katami Design Studio will be hosting a jewellery trunk show and eat or visit Season’s in the Park Restaurant for brunch or dinner. So much to do! And don’t forget to bring your camera. The park gardens are stunning with spring blossoms and the chatty parrots at the Bloedel Conservatory are sure to delight the entire family. A very lovely day to celebrate Mom!

Advanced purchase for the Mother’s Day Treat Package required: Contact bloedelevents@vancouver.ca

or buy online: HERE

 The Conservatory is open until 8pm. Mother’s Day Special Event hours: 10am – 4pm

Regular admission applies. Walk-ins welcome. Wheelchair accessible.

Adults (19-64) $6.50     Seniors (65+) $4.50      Youth (13-18) $4.50      Child (3– 12) $3.25      Family  $15

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Bloedel Conservatory Summer Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9am – 8pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 9pm

Also brand new for the summer months: Health and Wellness Programs are now scheduled at Bloedel.

Join instructor Shelagh Smith on May 21st, June 18th, or July 16th, 2015 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm for the Rapt in Nature Tropical Walk Series.

Nature plays a profound and essential role in our health, happiness and productivity. Learn about the evidence-based benefits of enjoying nature and try out mindful and playful techniques to deepen your connection to plants, birds and ecological systems. Ms. Smith is a registered horticultural therapist who has developed and facilitated horticultural therapy programs since 1994 for a variety of participant groups, including residents in long-term care, people with disabilities, street-involved youth living in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside, people with mental health issues, and healthcare providers. Enjoy this guided walk with Ms. Smith in the warmth and beauty of the Bloedel Conservatory. Price: Member: $10 / Non-member: $15

Purchase tickets online at Eventbrite

Mark Your Calendars! The Bloedel Conservatory turns 45!

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Come out & Join the the 45th Anniversary Celebration of the Bloedel Conservatory on Saturday, December 6th

Caribbean Steel Drum rhythms will be the backdrop for a FREE DAY of festivities, including cake and refreshments, face painting, Hawaiian dancers, souvenir photos, plus Roving Docents will be on hand to share unique and interesting stories of the plants and birds that call Bloedel home. Parking is also free in the top parking lot at Queen Elizabeth Park from 10am – 4pm. It will be an all-around fun, family friendly day!

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The Bloedel Conservatory is significant for its historical, symbolic, cultural, and social values, and particularly for its use of technologies and building methods which were quite advanced for its time in 1969. The Conservatory, the fountain and the surrounding plaza were all designed to work together and with specific goals to show man’s connection to nature. The curving lines of the fountain harmonize with the Conservatory dome, while the leaping fountains add vertical movement to mirror distant trees. The dome structure, with its absence of interior supporting columns, was chosen to provide an unobstructed view of the exotic gardens within. The Bloedel Conservatory won the prestigious Vincent Massey Award for Excellence in Urban Environment in 1971, is a ‘Class A’ Heritage Building and is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Don’t forget your cameras! There will be lots of great photo opportunities. We look forward to seeing you there!

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When? Saturday, December 6th; 10am – 4pm

Where? Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park

Who? Everyone!

Admission? Free

 

Come Join Us! The ‘We Did It! Bubble Bash’ is on!

The completed new Bloedel Conservatory roof from above. Photo courtesy Wayne Dueck, Spectrum Skyworks.

The completed new Bloedel Conservatory roof from above. Photo courtesy Wayne Dueck, Spectrum Skyworks.

The work is done, the scaffolding is down and the Bloedel Conservatory has a gorgeous new roof!

It’s time to Celebrate!

Please join us for the We Did It! Bubble Bash taking place September 25, 2014 at the Bloedel Conservatory. Not only are we celebrating this significant renovation, we are also raising funds for new education and interpretation programs at the Conservatory.

Complex scaffolding covered the dome for 7 months while the roof replacement took place. Photo by Vicky Earle

Complex scaffolding covered the dome for 7 months while the roof replacement took place. Photo by Vicky Earle

Thanks to the fantastic teams at Spectrum Skyworks, Pacific Ropes, WestCan Scaffolding and a specialized Hazmat crew, this complex project was completed in just 7 months – a full 2 months ahead of schedule, making the dome as pristine as the day it opened nearly 45 years ago. The scaffolding, which covered the dome completely, was the largest project of it’s kind in North America and took 7 weeks to dismantle.

Specialized Rope Access team from Pacific Ropes Ltd. preparing to hang netting from the triodetic aluminum framework. Photo by Vicky Earle

Specialized Rope Access team from Pacific Ropes Ltd. preparing to hang netting from the triodetic aluminum framework. Photo by Vicky Earle

 

Re-establishing the Bloedel Conservatory as a visitor friendly, year-round destination is key to provide learning opportunities for all ages, connecting people to the world of plants, birds and the rainforest.

Please join us to celebrate the completion of this incredible project and to reconnect with the magic of the Bloedel Conservatory. There will be fantastic food provided by Season’s in the Park and Crown Street Catering, incredible tropical cocktail creations provided by Victoria Gin, CArribean rhythms by steel drum band Soul Survivors, great raffle prizes, free parking for event guests and more.

Don’t wait! Tickets are selling fast!

Tickets and further details are available on-line at: http://www.wediditbubblebash.com

And in person at Southlands Nursery: 6550 Balaclava St, Vancouver, 604-261-6411.

We look forward to seeing you!

A very Special Thank you goes out to the generous Sponsors who have made this event possible: Spectrum Skyworks, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, Kingswood Capital Corporation, Intergulf Development Group, Focus Real Estate, Season’s in the Park Restaurant, Holly North, Victoria Gin, and Pace Group.

 

 

The Bloedel Conservatory Has a New Roof!!

Bird’s eye view of Vancouver from atop the Bloedel Conservatory.

Six months after the intricate and impressive scaffolding was installed by WestCan over the dome, all 1,490 plexiglass panels have been successfully replaced and the Bloedel Conservatory has a new roof!

This scaffolding was unique in many ways: it could not touch the dome at any point, and transparent, protective plastic sheets needed to be stretched up and over the top to keep workers, birds, plants and visitors dry while the plexi bubbles were being replaced. Watch a special time lapsed video here. Rope access technicians worked through the wee hours of the night whenever specialized interior netting needed to be installed or moved. This netting kept debris from falling into the dome and nearly 200 free flying birds from finding their way out.

Rope crews getting ready to hang netting inside the dome.

Thanks to the fantastic teams at Spectrum Skyworks and Pacific Ropes, not to mention a specialized Hazmat crew, this massive project was completed a full 2 months ahead of schedule! Special kudos also go out to the onsite Bloedel staff who managed to keep the Conservatory open, running smoothly and looking spectacular while this substantial project was underway.

Originally planned as a 3 phase project, we are so fortunate that the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the Federal Government and Prentice Bloedel’s Daughter, Virginia Bloedel Wright, came together with $2.4 million dollars in funding to complete the entire roof project in one phase.

All 2,324 pieces of extruded aluminum tubing that make up the triodetic dome have been polished and the scaffolding has started to be dismantled. The Bloedel Conservatory has been restored to its former glory and brilliance!

And mark your calendars! The “We Did It! Bubble Bash”, a fantastic roof completion celebration party is scheduled for Thursday, September 25th. Stay tuned for more info! It’s an event not to be missed!

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Bloedel Conservatory at dusk surrounded by exterior scaffolding. Photo by Vicky Earle

 

Bloedel Conservatory Update: Big Things are Underway!

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Scaffolding in place for roof replacement project at the Bloedel Conservatory

The Bloedel Conservatory Roof Replacement Project is now underway!

This large and unique project will take place in a series Phases, with Phase I scheduled for completion this Spring. Currently, the scaffolding is up and the large cross beam has been lowered into place over the top of the dome. There are a total of 1,490 ‘bubbles’ that make up the dome in 32 different sizes: 12 panels will be replaced everyday, one at a time, for a total of 400 panels in this first phase. A clear covering will be placed over the scaffolding on the outside with a fine nylon netting placed inside to keep the visitors, birds and plants safe during the process. The Bloedel Conservatory will remain open 7 days a week during regular hours. Phase I includes replacing the fan and ventilation system, the centre dome panels and the roof section over the building entrance. See a diagram of the scaffolding plan and more project details here: bit.ly/1eZS3lD

Fundraiser to Support the Bloedel Conservatory

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.  Tickets: VBGA Members $20 | Non-members $25

Join costume historian Ivan Sayers for “Fine Feathers Make Fine Birds”, for an entertaining evening on the use of feathers in twentieth-century fashion. Mr. Sayers will show examples and regale the audience with his vast and knowledgeable stories on the topic. This lecture will be held in the Great Hall at VanDusen Visitor Centre, VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5151 Oak Street. Parking is free. Purchase tickets by phone: 604-257-8190 or in person at the VanDusen Admission Desk during Garden hours.  

Rediscover Bloedel with Monthly Family Programs

Come in and rediscover Bloedel with our new Family Programs, for children ages 5–11 years of age.  Programs run during February and March. Learn something new while staying warm during these winter months in our little corner of tropical paradise! Groups will meet inside the Conservatory. An adult must accompany the child(ren) for the entire program. All programs are fun for the whole family. Mark your calendars!

Taste of the Tropics – Sunday, February 9

banana blossomDrop-in 10:30 am – 4:30 pm (FREE with Conservatory Admission)

Tropical rainforests are home to many plants that we use in our daily lives. Visit our ‘incredible edibles’ station and learn more about the orchid that vanilla flavouring comes from, the coffee tree, plantains and many more tasty tropical treats. Test your knowledge with our mouth-watering match up game and search the beautiful Bloedel Conservatory for these plants.

Flit Flutter and Fly: Get to Know the Birds of Bloedel – Monday, February 10

orange headed gouldianDrop-in 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (FREE with Conservatory Admission)

Explore Bloedel Conservatory with a watchful eye on the birds that flit, flutter and fly in this rainforest oasis. Visit the “bird brain” station to receive a series of clues to help you find some specific feathered friends while touring the site. You will receive a bird stamp as a reward for completing the challenge and get a chance to eat like a bird with a variety of bird beak props.

Life in a Bromeliad: Build a mini rainforest – Sunday, March 16

bromeliad_costa rica10:30 a.m. – noon OR 1:30-3 p.m. Registration required.

Take a tour of the Conservatory and uncover the interesting and amazing world of epiphytes and bromeliads. We will investigate the creatures that depend on these plants and use a microscope to peer into the mini ecosystem that thrives within a bromeliad. You’ll also be creating a take-home mini rainforest terrarium with an air plant!

To register: Call 604-718-5898  Tues – Fri, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or email: familyprograms@vandusen.org.

Family Day Long Weekend

Along with the new programs, be sure to plan a visit for the Family Day long weekend, February 8 – 10 to meet our new Roving Docents! They have been training hard and will be on hand all weekend to share intriguing stories on the exotic plants and birds that live under the dome. They will happily point out species that are easy to miss and answer any questions you may have.

Walk in the Tropics

Growing Rainforest Plants at Home – February 23, 2014, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

bromeliadsDid you know that you can grow many of the plants found at the Bloedel Conservatory right in your own home if you give them the proper care and conditions?

Join instructor Egan Davis on a walk through the conservatory focusing on these plants and the techniques to grow them. He will also share stories about their native rainforest habitat, pollinators and more. VBGA member price $10 / Non-member price $15. Registration is a must: Call 604-718-5898 or visit: http://bit.ly/1apch3U to download a registration form.

There are big projects, programs and events underway at the Bloedel Conservatory throughout February and March!

Be sure to support our green jewel and take part in the fun of Rediscovering Bloedel!

A New Year for Our Tropical Green Jewel

Bloedel Conservatory and Plaza Clock. Photo Vicky Earle.

Bloedel Conservatory. Photo © Vicky Earle.

A New Year is around the corner and we have much to celebrate at the Bloedel Conservatory!

There have been exciting things underway at our green jewel atop Queen Elizabeth Park. Here is a quick recap of 2013 and a look forward to the New Year:

This past year began with the monumental signing of the agreement to merge the Bloedel Conservatory with the VanDusen Botanical Garden. This was a culmination of 4 years of hard work and cooperation between the Vancouver Park Board, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association and the Friends of the Bloedel. With the Bloedel Conservatory officially under the wing of VanDusen Garden, 2013 became a year of organization and planning!

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Lush interior of the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo © Vicky Earle

With the VBGA staff officially on board, many new and exciting projects got underway. First, new docents will begin training in early January and will undergo an intensive eight week program to learn about the world of tropical plants and birds that live under the dome – plus their bigger connection to rainforests around the world. Once this program is complete, they will be roving the Conservatory every weekend throughout the year and sharing the incredible stories under the dome.

VanDusen website

The VanDusen Botanical Garden/Bloedel Conservatory launched a brand new, easy to navigate website: www.vandusengarden.org. It’s now easier than ever to register for programs at the dome and donate to specific projects to better the Bloedel Conservatory. Visit http://vandusengarden.org/node/311 to read more and find out how.

Yellow Butterfly Orchid (Psychopsis papilio Lindl. H.G.James)

Yellow Butterfly Orchid (Psychopsis papilio Lindl. H.G.James)

As always, one of the big highlights of 2013 were the Orchid Shows put on in partnership with the Vancouver Orchid Society. Each show was a smashing success with spectacular and exotic blossoms filling the subtropical section of the Conservatory. Knowledgeable VOS members led tours and answered questions about the dazzling displays. We eagerly look forward to more orchid shows during 2014!

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‘Circle of Light’ by James Fletcher, made of Portuguese Alabaster.

New for the Conservatory last year was the SSBC Sculpture Show “A Celebration of Nature”, which took place from February through March. The exhibit featured more than 45 pieces of work by fifteen Sculpture Society artists – all placed at key locations throughout the tropical atmosphere of the dome. A variety of materials such as bronze, copper, marble, granite, serpentine, exotic woods and terracotta were on display and sculptors of the society were on hand giving weekly demonstrations.

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Amazon Lily. Photo © Vicky Earle

The Walk in the Tropics series saw another successful year featuring talks on orchids, the birds of Bloedel, healing gardens, and the intriguing history of the Conservatory with little known stories of the dome. Don’t miss the new Walks scheduled for January and February: Rainforest Plants in your Kitchen taking place Sunday, January 19th at 11am. This walk will shed light on ethnobotany with a focus on rainforest foods we use in our daily lives. On Sunday February 23 at 11am, Egan Davis will discuss Growing Tropical Indoor Plants. Did you know that you can grow many of the plants seen in the Bloedel Conservatory at home? Egan will show you how. He will also discuss the plants’ native rainforest habitat, pollinators, and more. Register Here Online

Brilliantly coloured Orange-headed Gouldian finch enjoying breakfast at the feeding station.

Brilliantly coloured Orange-headed Gouldian finch enjoying breakfast at the feeding station.

2013 also saw the amazing and special gift of 100 new finches in August and Malibu, the sulphur crested cockatoo in May. They add a tremendous boost of colour and activity under dome and delight visitors of all ages. The Conservatory is a great home and they are all thriving!

And the gifts did not stop there! In March, the Federal Government invested $225,000 to complete phase 1 of the Bloedel Conservatory’s roof replacement project and is an important supplement to the City of Vancouver’s $1 million capital investment already in place for the new roof. Phase 1 of the project consists of replacing a percentage of the existing out of date roof panels and refurbishing the central ventilation fan at the top of the dome. The fan replacement was completed in September and the roof is scheduled to get underway in January! What an exciting and much anticipated way to ring in the New Year!

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Inner roof circle. Photo © Vicky Earle

Considering the city of Vancouver nearly lost this green jewel forever only 4 years ago, this year of 2014 will see the fruition of new programs, events and celebrations at the Bloedel Conservatory.

We thank you ALL for your continued support of the Bloedel Conservatory and wish you and your families a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

We also thank all of the organizations and individuals who partnered with the Conservatory and generously dedicated their time and resources to make 2013 a success!

Be sure to visit our green jewel at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park and immerse yourself in the magic of the dome during 2014!

african starling great 3.5

African Starling at the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo © Vicky Earle

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