Conestoga news

July 7, 2006 2:48 PM

Conestoga Students Bloom at Tulip Festival

Heather BrodlandThe annual Tulip Festival in the National Capital Region is the world's largest. As in past festivals, the Retail Florist program of Conestoga entered a team to participate in the 2006 competitions for floristry students. The team did not disappoint.

Competing against teams from other Ontario and Quebec colleges in floral events, the eight-person Conestoga group performed well under the guidance of program instructor and coordinator Dorina Idvorian, winning three first-prize honours, five seconds and one third.

The first-place standard competition wins went to:

  • Heather Brodland of Waterloo, who won the world friendship gardens event, which involved creation of an avant garde tulip garden on a 4 ft.-by-4 ft. piece of sod;
  • Meghan McMahon of Cambridge, in the floral photograph of the world individual event category.
Angela HartmanSecond-prize honours were as follows:

  • Colleen Allen of Cambridge, for her surprise box creation in the official flower event;
  • Dawn Penrose-Woodruff of Waterloo, for her tulip power category entry in the surprise box event;

  • Angela Hartman, who took second in the floral haute couture competition, which involved taking a pre-designed cloth dress and transforming it into a floral creation through application of floral materials. She also earned second place in one of the surprise box competitions -- the floral market category; and

  • Meghan McMahon, who placed second in the world street surprise box event.
  • . Meghan McMahon

    Surprise box competitions entail each competing student in each event receiving no notice of what flowers will be given them to use in forming their creations.

    The third-place win was in a team competition, an event known as bridging friendship with tulips. Each four-person team was charged with the task of completely dressing a pre-built archway with natural floral products in a creation that expressed the theme of the event. The Conestoga team was: Colleen Allen, Joan Kulagowski of Durham, Hanna Nowak of Waterloo and Stacey Zorian of Waterloo.

    Angela Hartman and Meghan McMahon, by finishing in the top ten of all the participating students, earned entry into a special event at the end of the competition. The Nice Cup was sponsored by the famous Riviera city of Nice, France. The overall Nice Cup winner earned the right to be part of the Canadian floral float creation team for the 2007 Nice Carnaval parade.

    In the competition for the Cup, students had to prepare four designs within four hours, all presented to the students in the surprise-box format.

    Although Angela finished fourth overall and Meghan sixth, Angela did earn Conestoga's third first-place finish - in the sympathy design portion of the event.

    It is worth noting that every member of the eight-person Conestoga team was involved in at least one of these prize-winning endeavours.

    Retail Florist is a part-time program consisting of six required courses, one elective course and two practical work experience components. The program provides instruction in floral selection, design and retailing.

    CONTACT: Gillian Oldfield, 519-748-5220, ext. 3634,