January 15, 2013
Flora Niagara is asking industry members to communicate with their representatives of government.

It is predicted that over three million people will visit Flora Niagara during the 150-day event from May to October. It is estimated that the celebration will create over 6,500 jobs and leave a legacy of infrastructure and buildings on the primary site of 63 acres on Niagara Parks Commission’s land.

Landscape Ontario is a major stakeholder in Flora Niagara, along with The Tourism Partnership of Niagara, Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association, Royal Botanical Gardens, Centre-South-West region of RDEE Ontario and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

A call has gone out for members to talk it up and contact their local, provincial and federal government representatives by telephone, email, Twitter, or mail to show support for the event.  
This campaign is to encourage the various levels of government to support the event. “I encourage you all to help provide awareness of and encourage funding for this great event, which will provide a true economic stimulus to our industry,” says LO executive director Tony DiGiovanni.  

The project will host an international horticultural exhibition in the same year that Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary.  

Financial estimates to operate the event have been as high as $400-million. The 2012 event in Holland cost around $200-million, while the 2011 event in China was $500-million and the Taiwan event in 2010 was $400-million.

DiGiovanni responds, “It doesn’t have to cost that much, but we said this event is going to be a catalyst, so we asked for the wish list,” using the 2012 exhibition in Holland cost of around $200 million, as an example.

The group is working to encourage private financial support for the project. If this is successful, it is expected that government support will follow. Part of that process involves the entire LO membership sending letters to their local politicians to encourage them to support the project. Organizers are asking members to copy Michel Gauthier at m.gauthier@floraniagara.com when contacting your government official. Two websites with contact information for federal and provincial members of parliament are http://bit.ly/federalMPs and www.ontariotenants.ca/government/mpp.phtml.

Details about the event, including quotes from supporters, can be found in Flora Niagara’s bid document on www.floraniagara.com.