History. Established with the guidance of Britain in Bloom, Tidy Towns of Ireland and Villes et Villages Fleuris de France, Communities in Bloom held its first edition in 1995 and 29 participating municipalities were honoured at the first awards ceremonies on Parliament Hill. The program now includes more than 500 communities across the country and an international challenge involving communities from the United States, Japan and several European countries allows participants to compete internationally.
Program. The program consists of communities receiving information and being evaluated either provincially or nationally by a volunteer jury of trained professionals on the accomplishments of their entire community (municipal, private, corporate and institutional sectors, citizens) on eight key criteria: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape, Turf & Groundcovers, Floral Displays and Community Involvement.
Benefits The pride, sense of community and feeling of accomplishment generated through participation are visible in communities all over Canada. These benefits make Communities in Bloom a program where everyone wins. Participants can benefit financially from the program through community tourism initiatives, business opportunities for the entire community, and other related projects. A valuable information exchange network allows communities to share accomplishments, best practices and projects.
All Participants are showcased on the Communities in Bloom website through the Explore Our Communities section, with a description page and a link to their respective community website. The Communities in Bloom Magazine, published twice a year, also features participants and program results, as well as articles and educational content. Communities in Bloom develops, with its partners and sponsors, initiatives and promotional opportunities such as the Gardens at the CN Tower and the VIA Rail Garden Route.
National Symposium on Parks and Grounds. Held in conjunction with the annual national awards ceremonies, this event is a unique opportunity for elected officials, parks and grounds professionals and community volunteers to learn and share about current issues, trends and challenges not only in horticulture and gardening, but in community tourism and projects, environmental awareness, and much more. Workshops and awards ceremonies are also held in all provinces throughout the year.
The Communities in Bloom Foundation, established to support the educational aspect of its activities, is dedicated to funding, developing and disseminating education and awareness to a wide audience on the value, improvement, importance and sustainable development of green spaces and natural environment in Canadian society. The foundation also awards bursaries to students in horticulture / environment programs.