2012 Ellerslie International Flower Show to go ahead

Friday 29 July 2011, 2:52PM
By Christchurch City Council


The next Ellerslie International Flower Show will be staged in North Hagley Park from 7-11 March 2012.

Following cancellation of the 2011 Show after the 22 February earthquake, Christchurch City Council has confirmed that the city’s premier garden show will go ahead next year.

Christchurch City Council Marketing Manager Richard Stokes says the 2012 Show will be the perfect way for Christchurch to both cement and celebrate its reputation as the Garden City following the devastating earthquake.

“Ellerslie has always been a place where the latest gardening trends are forecast. This will be more relevant than ever as we rebuild Christchurch because many visitors to the Show may be starting to look for inspiration if they are redesigning their gardens. We already have some exciting plans underway for next year’s Show and we are looking forward to finalising details over the coming months.”

A total of $1.5 million was spent on this year’s cancelled Show, which was due to be held from 9-13 March. Many garden designers had been on site for more than a week building their gardens and marquees had already been erected when the earthquake occurred.

The figure was included in the quarterly performance report, which was presented to Council yesterday. It includes refunding sponsors and retailers, advertising, paying for the infrastructure that had already been set up on the site and ticket refunds. Ticket holders have subsequently donated about $59,000 to the New Zealand Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.

Many Ellerslie staff were also on site when the earthquake hit and, together with members of the Council’s events team, helped to set up a temporary shelter in one of the larger marquees for around 1000 people that evening. The marquee continued to provide shelter for 24 hours after the earthquake until welfare centres could be set up in the city.

Exhibition Manager Kate Hillier, who was one of the Ellerslie staff on site that day, says knowing the marquee had been used to help people in need had brought comfort to many of the staff and exhibitors who were so far along with preparations for the Show.

“We were so grateful to be able to contribute in some way to Christchurch at its time of need, particularly because people have embraced the Show so wholeheartedly since it moved to the city in 2009.”

Plants that would have been on display at the 2011 Show also featured on the stage at the National Christchurch Memorial Service held in March.