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!

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Bloedel Conservatory Saved!

Eight months of very hard work, research, sleepless nights, and endless meetings have been offset by tremendous periods of encouragement and inspiration. The Friends of the Bloedel are so incredibly fortunate to have the support and backing of so many of YOU! People from across the lower mainland, Canada and abroad.

THANK YOU!!

Together we have SAVED this magical place and its future looks very bright indeed!

We are so proud to make this announcement! Of course we will be organizing a ‘bash’ to celebrate and we hope to see each and everyone of you there! In the meantime, we’ll be sending out surveys for your input and ideas. Please take part as we continue move forward to re-engage the Conservatory with our communities, schools and visitors. Our work is really just beginning and as the Bloedel has begun to win back its audience, we will still need your help for its continued success. This is a very exciting time and we want you to be a part of it!

Thanks also to everyone who came to the Budgets and Special Services Committee meeting last night at the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. There were five Commissioners in attendance: Commissioners Aaron Jasper, Ian Robertson, Loretta Woodcock, Constance Barnes, and Sarah Blyth. Their vote was unanimous in favour of our proposal to partner with the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association to help manage and operate the Conservatory.

This means that on September 20, 2010 the Vancouver Park Board will officially accept our FOBA/VBGA proposal at their full board meeting. Meanwhile, the Commissioners have directed Park Board staff to begin working with us on our plan to reinvigorate the Bloedel and improve attendance.

This journey to save the Bloedel Conservatory has been a collaborative effort and an exciting journey for us all! A special thank you goes out to Mavis Hnidy for having the insight to introduce John Coupar, Vicky Earle and Sheryl Hamilton – who by a stroke of sheer sychronicity back in November – all happened to be at the Conservatory, looking for a way to save it. That one small step set the wheels in motion in such tremendous ways! The Friends of the Bloedel Association was formed and we now look forward to a positive partnership with the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

Do join us as we continue to take part in the magic that is the Bloedel Conservatory!

9-Year-Old Emma – Bloedel Hero Receives Award!

On Monday June 28, 9-year-old Emma was surprised and thrilled when Friends of Bloedel President John Coupar presented her with an Award of Appreciation for her fundraising efforts to Save the Bloedel Conservatory.  The whole school gave Emma a big cheer and a great round of applause when she accepted a framed picture of Rosie, the African Grey Parrot and a coveted FOB pin at her school assembly. Earlier last month, the Vancouver Sun told her story which was also picked up by City TV. Not only did Emma raise $240 in her first can and bottle collection drive, but she later went classroom to classroom at her elementary school giving presentations about the importance of the Conservatory, collecting over 200 signatures on a petition that was sent to Mayor Robertson.

“The Bloedel Conservatory has been a lifesaver for three generations of the Bolzner family. Emma was heartbroken when she heard that the Vancouver park board had slated the conservatory for closing after a budget meeting last November”. Stay updated at the Friends of Bloedel website.

Thank you Emma!! You are an inspiration to us all!!

A Step in the Right Direction!

Working in conjunction with Park Board Commissioner Barnes, Friends of Bloedel have taken the opportunity to market the Conservatory at the Vancouver Lookout, located atop the Harbour Centre Tower in downtown Vancouver at 555 West Hastings Street.

Our 6 1/2 foot poster was put in place yesterday alongside a display for the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden where it will remain for the next 3 weeks. By increasing attendance by 70,000 more visits per year at the Bloedel Conservatory, we can say goodbye to the operating deficit. Thanks to the groundswell of support by the public and surrounding communities, we are well on our way to that goal!

If the Park Board accepts the Expression of Interest proposal put forward by the Friends of the Bloedel/ VanDusen Botanical Garden Association partnership, this will be the first of many steps to ensure our green jewel stays open well into the future.

Tickets for “A Little Night Music”

Our Event IS Sold Out!


Thank you all for supporting our event fund raiser to save the Bloedel Conservatory! We are thrilled to know so many people love the Conservatory as much as we do and will be joining us on the 28th!

Enjoy the exotic evening ambiance of our own tropical rainforest atop Little Mountain at Queen Elizabeth Park April 28 @ 7:30 while listening to the classical melodies of the Coast Trio, viola sensation Nathaniel Wong and Opera soprano Lucy Smith. Luscious Xoxolat chocolates and champagne provided by Sumac Ridge will tickle taste buds as you stroll the garden pathway taking in this magical night. The Orchid Society will also be on site selling orchids and answering questions. It’s the perfect after dinner destination!

For more information about Friends of the Bloedel and our progress, visit http://www.friendsofthebloedel.ca

See you Wednesday the 28th!

A Little Night Music Under the Dome

Amazon Lily

Our next great event is booked! After the fun of Rumble in the Jungle held in January, we couldn’t wait to plan our next party to support Bloedel!  A Little Night Music will be held at the Conservatory April 28, at 7:30 pm.

Enjoy classic melodies of the Coast Trio, viola sensation Nathaniel Wong and Opera soprano Lucy Smith while you sip champagne and nibble exotic Xoxolat chocolates. What a perfect way to soak up the stunning evening ambiance of our own tropical rainforest atop Little Mountain at Queen Elizabeth Park! If you have never been in the Conservatory at night, it is truly magical and should not be missed. A Little Night Music will be a perfect after dinner event while you enjoy one of Vancouver’s most iconic public garden treasures.

Red Macaw

Join the Friends of the Bloedel for this mini-fundraiser to help save the Conservatory, which was targeted as a Park Board budget cut late last year. Tickets to A Little Night Music can be purchased in advance for $20 each or at the door for $25. Advance ticket sales are available in person or by phone at Hobbs Gift Store in Kerrisdale: 2129 West 41st Avenue ~ 604-261-5998.

See you there!