Floriade, like all major events, has had to adapt to 2020. Vickii Cotter, Managing Director of Floriade had to think swiftly when news came that Floriade in its traditional form was unable to go ahead. They had a very short window to reimagine the event and one million bulbs in the balance.
“It was a good opportunity to do something different. It’s been so long in the same footprint.” Vickii noted. The idea came to her driving around Canberra with other staff members, considering what could be in 2020. “I wanted to try and recreate as much as possible the impact of sweeping flowers, and I wanted to incorporate the landmarks of Canberra, as well as other well-known places.”
They landed on Floriade: Reimagined, spreading out the event across the city, involving institutions, attractions and 90 community groups. Bulbs were distributed with ongoing support throughout the year.
Floriade: Reimagined will offer many of the Floriade activities Canberra loves with a mix of virtual and in-person experiences. Floriade Bloom will see bulbs across the community while Floriade Life features all your favourite workshops, talks and activities, and Floriade Sprouts has everything to keep our youngest Floriade fans entertained.
“For Andrew Forster, who has been Floriade’s head gardener for 32 years, it was a completely different experience for him. All of our staff have had to be agile. It’s been a really fun challenge.”
“We created a Facebook group page, where members of the community who have received bulbs receive tips and ask questions. If their flowers haven’t been doing well, or there are some brown leaves they’re concerned about, they can post a photo and someone from our team will answer them. For most of the participants, it’s not their core business, they’re just passionate about gardening or doing something beautiful for the Canberra community.” Vickii explained.
Vickii noted that without the Canberra community, this year’s Floriade would not be progressing. It has been a true team effort. “We have been able to make a lot of relationships in this process.” Vicki noted.
She specifically wanted to acknowledge NCAA members, many who have been involved in the process and taken some of the plants. “A massive thank you to everyone. They helped realise the vision and have brought it to its fruition. This couldn’t have happened without everyone being involved.” Vickii said.
“We are a small group of people promoting Canberra as a destination, the collab and having that collegiate relationship has been strengthened.”
Keep an eye out for Floriade: Reimagined, 12 September to 11 October.