Inspired by domestic ﬂower promotion weeks in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia, Natasa Kajganic, of the Toronto Flower Market, recently announced the inaugural Canadian Flowers Week.
She is creating a grass-roots, collaborative, nationwide event to involve the entire ﬂoral industry – growers, wholesalers, designers, ﬂorists and retailers. “We want to celebrate all ﬂowers grown in Canada, including from the ﬁelds and in the greenhouses,” she explains.
The objectives are straightforward and echo the many reasons why I started American Flowers Week in 2015. The virtual event aspires to:
- Elevate awareness of the Canadian growing climate and what ﬂowers are in season;
- Showcase Canadian ﬂowers through the talents of Canadian ﬂoral designers;
- Create public experiences with local ﬂowers;
- Inform the public how and where they can ﬁnd Canadian-grown ﬂowers.
A team of growers and ﬂorists, including Sweet Gale Gardens, Unicorn Blooms and La Primavera Farms, is helping produce Canadian Flowers Week, and a larger ad-hoc group representing each province has shared input and ideas. The event is set for Sept. 13-19, 2018, timed for peak ﬂower season. “It’s when the merriment of our greenhouses and ﬁelds are still in production – and I think it’s a good way to get the whole industry to show the cycle of growing,” she says.
Toronto Flower Market’s success with public engagement inspired the inclusive spirit of Canadian Flowers Week. “I don’t think that you can build or support the local movement on any other foundation than a strong community,” Natasa says.
The kick-oﬀ event at an urban cutting garden in Toronto – is set for Sept. 13. “Some of the growers at the Toronto Flower Market are planting diﬀerent ﬂower varieties in crates and transporting them into the city for our event. We are inviting the media and the public to come and cut their own ﬂower bouquets out of the crates in which the ﬂow-ers are growing.” On Sept. 16, the campaign will promote Petal Path, described as a “doors-open farm day,” when growers will welcome the public to tour their ﬂower farms.
In addition to public relations and advertising plans, “Melanie Harrington, of Dahlia May Flower Farm, will be our brand ambassador and spokesperson,” Natasa says. She has shared marketing resources at canadaﬂowersweek.ca, including tools and ideas for participants to create CFW events in their own regions. Most of the resources are free, including visual branding, although the site will sell logo-printed kraft paper sheets and bouquet labels to ﬂorists and farmers. The website features localized events taking place across the country, with ﬂoral installations planned in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Natasa anticipates that Canadian Flower Week will attract industry support and ﬁnancial sponsors to allow the program to expand into an ongoing annual campaign.
Ways to Participate in Canadian Flowers Week:
- Use the #CanadianFlowersWeek hashtag.
- Join a local team to create and build one of six ﬂower installations across Canada.
- Become a CFW spokesperson.
- Wrap local ﬂowers in CFW-branded kraft paper and stickers for the week.
- List your ﬂower shop or event on the CFW website – a listing resource for consumers to ﬁnd local blooms.
- Team up with a local grower to oﬀer customers a special local bouquet.
- Download and share CFW visual branding.
- Dress your retail windows to impress with local ﬂowers.
- Partner with a grower to host a consumer workshop using local ﬂowers.