BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS: Communities in Bloom judges Larry Hall (l) and Ted Zarudny stand with the new glass mosaic piece in Ashcroft’s Heritage Park that reproduces the official CiB logo.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS: Communities in Bloom judges Larry Hall (l) and Ted Zarudny stand with the new glass mosaic piece in Ashcroft’s Heritage Park that reproduces the official CiB logo.

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom celebrates 10 years

More than 100 people gathered in Ashcroft's Heritage Park to greet this year's judges and see the unveiling of three new glass mosaics.

The last time Communities in Bloom judge Ted Zarudny was in Ashcroft was 2013, the year the community won a national CiB title. Three years later, he is greatly impressed by the improvements he has seen in the town since then. “I’ve seen the progression through the years, the changes, and the community involvement.”

More than 100 community members were on hand in the Heritage Park on the evening of July 18 to welcome Zarudny and fellow judge Larry Hall to town. The Ashcroft CiB committee had arranged a 10th anniversary celebration with cake and beverages, but not before presenting awards to 10 local residents in the Scott’s “Best Garden Selection” program.

A cake provided for the event shows the three subjects of the new mosaics: day lilies (top l), the CiB logo (c), and prickly pear cactus (top r). Photo by Barbara Roden.

There was also the unveiling of two new mosaic artwork pieces in the park: one an homage to Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson, who painted Ashcroft during a visit in 1945, the other a triple mosaic commissioned by the CiB committee that features the CiB logo, day lilies (the official flower of Ashcroft), and prickly pear cactus in bloom.

The new glass mosaic depicting prickly pear cactus in bloom. Photo by Barbara Roden.

The mosaics were all designed by local glass artist Marina Papais, whose stunning work throughout the town is quickly becoming popular with residents and visitors. She was responsible for the Jackson mosaic, while Ashcroft CiB chair Andrea Walker and member Patricia Denis created the three CiB mosaics with assistance from Papais. Daniel Collett designed the mosaic structures, which were built by Bruce Walker.

Andrea Walker says the judges were impressed by what they saw in the park. “They said there was so much community spirit there. They were really impressed.”

On July 19 Zarudny and Hall were taken on a tour of Ashcroft that started at 9 a.m. and lasted until late afternoon, after which they had dinner with CiB committee members and guests before touring the Ashcroft HUB.

Walker says both men asked a lot of questions, and were able to speak with various people around town during the course of their tour. They also met with David Porter at Desert Hills Ranch and spent a quarter of an hour talking with him and finding out more about the ranch and its operations.

The tour was a comprehensive one, says Walker. “We saw all the different levels: municipal, business, and residential, as well as all the parks, and the Chinese cemetery.”

The judges had a walk through the museum, and judged the flower barrels in front of the village office. Each barrel was planted by a member of village council and staff, in partnership with a CiB member, and each one is different: one features edible plants, another has cactus, and others have a wide mix of flowers.

“The judges were impressed by how diverse they were, and said they were all so good they didn’t want to pick a winner,” says Walker. However, they did give honourable mention to “Expressions in Colour”, which was created by Ashcroft chief administrative officer Michelle Allen and CiB member Ina Gory.

The “Expressions in Colour” barrel outside the village office, which won an honourable mention from the judges. Photo by Barbara Roden.

The judges were also able to see the newly installed provincial signage on Highway 1, which points the way to Ashcroft and features the CiB logo. “It’s the first such signage in Canada on a provincial or national highway,” says Walker, who sent a picture of the signage to Raymond Carriere, the national president of Communities in Bloom.

“He was very interested, and has asked for more information about how we got the signage, as he knows he will be getting questions about it from other CiB communities across the country.”

Ashcroft, as a former national winner, now competes in the “Class of Champions” category. Hall says that while the criteria for judging is the same no matter what category a community is in, the judges expect higher standards at the national and class of champions levels.

“It was a long day, but we covered a lot of ground,” says Walker of the judges’ tour. Although there were occasional sprinkles of rain, she says it was never bad enough to make them seek shelter. “It never got so wet that Ted couldn’t write,” she laughs.

Participating communities will find out how they fared at the 2016 CiB symposium and awards ceremonies, which take place in Regina from October 27 to 29.

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read