Winnipeg in Bloom contest — Curb Appeal award went to entry on Masson Street

WinnipegREALTORS® director Claudette Griffin presented the WinnipegREALTORS® Curb Appeal award to Lillian Prud’homme of 134 Masson Street during a special ceremony at Rainbow Stage. Over 450 people attended  the August 13 ceremony in Kildonan Park.
Prud’Homme’s yard was described by the judges for the annual Winnipeg in Bloom contest as, “A lush garden oasis that makes you feel like you have stepped into another world!”
The contest, originally founded by WinnipegREALTORS®, is now co-ordinated by Take Pride Winnipeg. The contest recognizes front yards in residential, community and business categories. The Curb Appeal award was one of many awards presented at the ceremony.
Griffin was thoroughly impressed by the commitment and outstanding results of all the contestants’ effort in this year’s contest. 
“You really set the bar high for all of us property owners to do more to spruce up our yards and make the city of Winnipeg more attractive,” Griffin added. “A little friendly competition is a good thing. 
“Speaking as a REALTOR®, there is no question a property with better curb appeal helps us attract more potential buyers to take a look.”
The actual award Prud’ homme received is a framed Roman Swiderek print entitled Winnipeg in Summer. 
Kildonan Park was an apt setting for the ceremony, as beautiful well-tended floral arrangements and gardens line the entranceway. This Winnipeg gem could easily be an inspiration for another Swiderek painting.
The first place winners for residential properties are as follows: 831 Sherburn St., 100 Ambassador Row, 163 Cathedral Ave., 90 Northlake Dr., 26 Oakdean Cres., 134 Southwell Rd., 43 Marcus Pl.,631 Langevin St., 95 Arden Ave., 16 Causeway Bay, 7 Carlotta, 34 Waterford Bay, 122 Rue Saint Pierre and 607 Churchill Dr.
For other contest winners, go to the website 
Take Pride Winnipeg is a non-profit registered charity whose focus is programs that use advocacy and leadership to educate and beautify the city. Their mission is to inspire community pride, raise public awareness and promote citizens responsibility in making the city of Winnipeg clean and beautiful. 
Take Pride Winnipeg’s programs fall into three categories: 
1. Cleanliness — The Team Up to Clean Up campaign, which has both a spring and a fall component, is Take Pride Winnipeg’s largest program, with over 60,000 people volunteering annually to help pick up litter from city streets, playgrounds and parks. 
Graffiti Removal is conducted during the summer with the aid of youth hired through the Urban Green Team program. 
Green Wave is a program hiring youth to assist in business improvement zones, along image routes and in parks to improve the overall cleanliness and beauty of Winnipeg streets.
2. Beautification — Murals painted by local artists are commissioned on sides of businesses, schools, churches and fences. 
Winnipeg in Bloom is a front yard garden contest open to all residents as well as businesses, and community groups to encourage curb appeal of their properties. 
Brush Up Winnipeg is a program to beautify the community by painting the exterior of homes throughout Winnipeg.
3. Education — Programs are key in getting the message across.   Three education programs, aimed at different grade levels, educate and inspire students to become involved in making Winnipeg a better place to live. 
Bag Up Manitoba is a program for elementary schools across Manitoba, to help keep plastic bags out of the landfills.
Cigarette Litter Cessation aims to reduce cigarette litter, through education and awareness, as well as with the installation of cigarette butt receptacles in high pedestrian traffic areas.
“This is the 14th year of the Winnipeg in Bloom front yard garden contest,” said Tom Ethans, the executive director of Take Pride Winnipeg. “There were over 640 entries consisting of businesses, home owners and community groups that helped to plant flowers in their front yards. 
“They have done a tremendous job in increasing the curb appeal of the city with colour, vibrancy and creativity. Kudos to all of those who participated in the contest and helped make our city more beautiful.”
WinnipegREALTORS® has been involved with the Winnipeg in Bloom program since its inception and now sponsors the Curb Appeal award. 
In 2009, Tom Ethans approached WinnipegREALTORS® to participate in the Brush Up Winnipeg program. In 2011, WinnipegREALTORS® painted its third house through that program. Ethan’s pitch was not only infectious, but convincing.