Everything came together on Friday for Prince George’s turn to be judged for Communities in Bloom, including the weather.
“It worked out very much in our favour,” local chair Anne Martin said of the sunny weather for judges Bob Ivison and Rick DeVan. “The whole day went well.”
Ivison, from England, and DeVan, from Halifax, went on a whirlwind tour of Prince George on Friday as the local committee tried to show them as many of the high points as possible in one day. Prince George is up against five other communities in this year’s international competition. DeVan said Prince George was the fourth stop on their tour.
“We still have to do Toronto and Brampton. We’ll be doing those next week.”
The two started their tours about two weeks ago in Aberdeen, Scotland, before visiting Stockton-on-Tees n England. They stopped in Strathcona County in Alberta on their way to Prince George.
“We’ve actually had good weather everywhere,” Ivison said, “even in Scotland.”
The judging is Ivison’s first trip to Canada, and he’s enjoyed the time.
“We’ve seen some great places, met some very nice people. It’s been an excellent experience.”
Martin says the judges made the most of their somewhat hurried schedule in the city.
“They seemed genuinely interested and pleased with what they saw. We had a debriefing session with them at breakfast on Saturday, which was a two-way street for information.
“Bob had some information on programs in Britain that we don’t have, but they’re more national programs than something we can do here.”
Setting up the schedule for the judges had been a difficult task, she said.
“There are eight criteria you’re judged on, so you have to make sure you have everything covered. If you look at your tour and you have seven or eight sites which highlight environmental awareness and only a couple for heritage, you may have to juggle some things.”
As it turned out, the local committee had all the bases covered easily.
“The judges did remark that their visit to the Prince George Exhibition and Heritage Lane covered all criteria.”
For the local committee, it’s now a waiting game. Results will be announced in September in Lethbridge, Alta.