Blooms and a good brush up

With longer daylight hours and gardens beginning to bloom under the extended period of sunlight, Winnipeggers should take note of their opportunity to enter the annual Winnipeg in Bloom contest before the deadline of July 5.

Take Pride Winnipeg is celebrating its 13th year of holding the Winnipeg in Bloom contest. In 2009, over 450 entries were received. 

Take Pride Winnipeg wants all Winnipeggers to Clean Up and Green Up to show your pride in your skills and love of gardening. It is fun to encourage friendly competition by challenging your neighbours to get involved. Get active with your family and make it a way to share your passion with your children and grandchildren.

The contest originated when WinnipegREALTORS®, in partnership with Take Pride Winnipeg, held a city-wide garden contest that included both front and back yards. Although this format was popular among many gardeners, it proved too onerous to judge an entire yard. The focus then changed to became one of getting Winnipeggers to take pride in their property by enhancing the curb appeal of their front yards. 

Take Pride Winnipeg has since taken over the contest and WinnipegREALTORS® is now a major sponsor. In 2009, Richard Applier, the owner of 7 Abraham Bay, was the winner of the WinnipegREALTORS® 2009 Curb Appeal award, and received a framed print by Roman Swiderek entitled Winnipeg in Summer. 

Besides curb appeal, the Winnipeg in Bloom contest includes categories such as residential, business, apartment blocks and condominiums, community effort (i.e. community centre or church), business improvement zones and the previous winner residential (first place winners in each area from the previous two years).

Look for an entry form in this issue of the Winnipeg Real Estate News and at all Home Depot locations. Entries can also be made online at or by phone at 956-7590. 

Based on entries received, the Winnipeg in Bloom committee will choose one residential property to be entered from Winnipeg into the national Communities in Bloom contest this year. Each winner of the national contest will receive a Miracle-Gro gardening gift basket (valued at $100) and will be featured in Communities in Bloom and/or Scotts Communications.

June will also mark the second year of WinnipegREALTORS® participation in Take Pride Winnipeg’s Brush Up Winnipeg program. The program was established in 2006 by Convergys as a team-building activity with employees painting the exterior of a home in need over he course of a single day. In 2007, Take Pride Winnipeg partnered with Convergys to expand the program and seven homes across the city were painted. The goal for 2010 is to complete 10 homes. 

Each year, the homes are selected based on physical and financial criteria.

In 2009 close to 20 REALTORS® and WinnipegREALTORS® staff arrived at 8 a.m. to paint their assigned house. Thanks to the skills of volunteer contractors, Floyd and Louise Broesky, the participants were able to have it fully painted and ready to go in the early afternoon. The elderly homeowner shed many tears of joy  when she saw her home transformed into a vibrant red jewel amid a neighbourhood of neutral tones. 

This weekend, weather permitting, WinnipegREALTORS® will once again transform another home with a fresh coat of paint. It is a task volunteers welcome, since it not only helps a needy homeowner, but the spruced up home enhances the street and neighbourhood. 

To see a full list of the 2009 Winnipeg in Bloom winners, go to