Residents of Greater Victoria have counted a stunning 25,864,976,064 blooms for the 41st annual Flower Count, smashing last year’s 2nd best count ever by an incredible 8 billion blooms!
Taking place when most of Canada is under snow cover with freezing temperatures, regions of Greater Victoria continued to experience unseasonably mild conditions with temperatures reaching highs of 18 degrees Celsius.
“Flower Count is a 4 decades old tradition in Victoria that we are happy to support,” says Paul Nursey, President & CEO of Tourism Victoria. “Our spring-like winters differentiate our destination from others which is why tourists from all over the world increasingly see Victoria as a key and unique Canadian experience.”
The highest Flower Count on record took place in 2010, when 21.7 billion blooms were counted. Each year, the regional municipalities go head-to-head, with residents submitting counts for their city. The winner of the Bloomingest Community for the third straight year was the City of Colwood, though this year they faced some unexpected and stiff competition from the municipality of North Saanich, which placed second in total number of blooms counted. The City of Victoria took third place.
Mayor Hamilton is thrilled to see Colwood youth getting involved in community initiatives like the Flower Count. "This lighthearted community activity sends a powerful message to students that their actions can make a positive difference in their community," said Mayor Hamilton. "A big bouquet to the Victoria Flower Count for encouraging students to participate."
Local Mayors had some fun with the event this year, challenging each other to see who could encourage the most community involvement. Mayor Hamilton knows that students bring the enthusiasm that is the key to success in this event. It's an opportunity to take their learning outdoors in an activity that teaches them about nature and uses their math skills.
The school component of the event had grade 4 and 5 classes from schools around the region competing to see which school could count the most, while learning some math skills. École John Stubbs Memorial School took the top spot with over 6.7 billion blooms tallied. Deep Cove Elementary was second with 4.7 billion and Quadra Elementary placed third with over 725 million. Schools accounted for 49% of the flowers counted during the week long event.
“The contest was extremely well received again this year, our users searched for hidden flowers on our website to win some really fabulous prizes donated by Victoria area businesses,” said Lacey Sheardown, Acting President and Director of Marketing for Used.ca."Over the week long event the hashtag #FlowerCount reached over 700 thousand people, nearly a third of which were from our Hidden Bloom contest that engaged Victorians in the Flower Count online and out of the rain!"
This year’s flower count drew website visitors from all provinces and territories in Canada. A total of 31 countries, as well as visitors from 29 US states, logged on to the website.