Gardens British Columbia was the brainchild of a few hardy garden marketers, led by Dave Cowen of The Butchart Gardens. Also known as Gardens BC, the official name is registered as the British Columbia Garden Tourism Coalition Society, a not-for-profit society in British Columbia.
Gardens BC is a “coalition of public gardens working together to promote visiting and experiencing British Columbia’s diversity of gardens and garden experiences.” The membership mix of Gardens BC reflects the widely varying nature of the garden experience in the province and provides an opportunity to examine the tourism industry sector approach to provide effective marketing and promotion for export-ready gardens and garden communities.
Garden tourism sector development addresses the special leisure interest market and the post-visit garden tourism consumer. Through collaboration and targeted messaging to inbound travel companies, Gardens BC has fostered the development and coordination to collectively market BC as a garden destination. This is our reason to be!
Board of Directors Executive
Geoff Ball, President – Milner Gardens & Woodland
Dave Cowen, President Emeritus – The Butchart Gardens
Erin Minter, Secretary – Minter Gardening
Deborah Donahue, Treasurer – The Gardens at HCP
Dr. Brian White, Academic Liaison – Royal Roads University
Katie Teed, Marketing Co-Chair – UBC Botanical Garden
‘The Resilience of BC Gardens’
by Dr. Brian White & Khanh Le, M.A., Royal Roads University
The past two years have defined a ‘new normal’ for public gardens internationally, as climate change and the pandemic impact garden visitation, revenue, and management. Horticulturalists responsible for public gardens in southern British Columbia have been dealing with Covid-19 and profound weather incidents, including extreme heat, drought, flooding, and strong winds. Gardens, both public and private, are a major BC leisure activity and visitor attraction, requiring consistent care and horticultural attention despite the recent garden closures and loss of revenue