It’s a bloomin’ wonder!

Welcome to Victoria flower garden to be planted through the support of Horizon Nurseries and CHEK News

March 22, 2021, Victoria, BC, Canada – The not-for-profit Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is pleased to announce that the Welcome to Victoria flower garden on the south apron of the Inner Harbour Lower Causeway will be planted for the summer season thanks to the support of Horizon Nurseries and CHEK News.

The Inner Harbour Lower Causeway and landscaping areas are owned and managed by GVHA as part of the group of community amenities in their portfolio. Without cruise revenues in 2020 and 2021, which account for more than 70% of the annual revenues for the organization, GVHA CEO Ian Robertson and his team carefully considered areas that would need to be cut back to essential service levels in order to lower operating expenses. The Welcome to Victoria garden is one of several spaces that will see reduced service until cruise returns to Victoria.

“Decisions to cut back on operations and other services that Victorians truly love is not something we take lightly, but without the revenues from cruise for two years, we had to make difficult decisions for 2021,” said Ian Robertson, “I am incredibly grateful that both Horizon Nurseries and CHEK News understood our situation and stepped up to ensure this beautiful space will be maintained in full. The spirit of collaboration and support is what has allowed our region to maintain a sense of optimism as we work through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

After hearing of the decision to not plant the garden for this season, the team at CHEK News connected with GVHA leadership and Horizon Nurseries to offer their support for this season. CHEK will be covering the hard costs of the plant materials for 2021, estimated at more than $7,000.

“We are delighted to be able to help ensure one of Victoria’s iconic floral landmarks is there for everyone to enjoy this spring and summer,” said Levi Sampson, Chair, CHEK News. “CHEK has worked hard this year to play a positive role in the community up and down Vancouver Island. Segments such as The Upside on our evening newscasts have helped bring a smile to the island at a very challenging time for our community. Sometimes it’s important to smell the roses – and all those other flowers of which we are so proud.”

Metchosin-based Horizon Nurseries has been a long-standing partner of GVHA, providing ongoing services for large-scale landscaping around the Inner Harbour and the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District. This year, Colin McCrea, owner of Horizon Nurseries, committed to covering the staff time needed to plant and maintain the signature garden and harbourfront hanging baskets.  

“I have been working to plant and maintain the Welcome to Victoria garden and hanging baskets throughout the lower causeway for more than 20 years, so it is a project that Horizon Nurseries needed to ensure continued this year,” said Colin McCrea. “Through the commitment from GVHA to work with us despite their cuts to operations, and the financial support from CHEK News, we’re in a position to bring some colour and vibrancy back to the jewel in the crown of Victoria’s harbour.”

The garden will be replanted in late May in time to welcome Victorians and visitors back to the Inner Harbour for the summer season. Horizon will also be providing the dozens of hanging baskets that are placed along the causeway. In addition, they will maintain the additional landscaping along the causeway including the planters, trees, and weekly cutting and trimming of the sloped lawn around the sign. Horizon will also be trimming the hedges, pruning shrubs, and taking care of irrigation of all of the plantings along the lower causeway.

About the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that is committed to the stewardship and sustainable growth of Victoria’s dynamic working harbour. The organization is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, represented by four independent community members and eight Member Agencies: Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Capital Regional District, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, The Chamber, Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society, and Destination Greater Victoria.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority owns and operates several high-profile community amenities including the Ogden Point Breakwater, Inner Harbour lower causeway, Ship Point, and customs dock at Raymur Point. Within its commercial and marine industrial holdings are The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, four Inner Harbour marinas, and the historic Steamship Terminal. The organization manages the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, which contributes more than $130 million annually to the Greater Victoria economy and is responsible for 800 direct and indirect jobs.