Inspired by the Sylvia Cup, a live-action floral design competition hosted during the Society of American Florists’ annual convention, Heather de Kok, AAF, AIFD, PFCI decided to launch a similar event in Canada.
Seventeen Canadian designers squared off Friday, March 18, for The Maple Cup in Edmonton, Alberta. The contestants received the on-the-spot challenge to design three pieces in two hours. Their assignment:
- a bouquet for a fashion-forward bride that had to be done in an Oasis square European holder
- a centerpiece for a 21st birthday party at a super trendy restaurant
- a boutonniere for a snazzy young man attending prom
Sponsors included FTD, Smithers-Oasis, Accent Decor, Fitz Design, Florists Supply, Golden Flowers, the United Flower Growers, Sole Farms, Simpsons Greens. “With their help,this Cup was first class,” De Kok said.
Judges Neville MacKay, CAFA, PFCI; Steph La Prairie, AIFD; and Dawn Block, AIFD, CAFA, assessed designs for technical proficiency and creativity.
The winner: Deniss Barahona from Grower Direct
Runner up: Gord Fulton AIFD, CAFA
Third place: Lea Romanowski, AIFD, CAFA
Barahona and Fulton will head to Vancouver in September to represent Canada in the Gateways to Americas Cup.
DeKok is elated how well the first competition went and that Canadian designers got to flaunt their skills.
“I am so beyond words with how well this was received,” she said, adding that competitors have emailed her thank you notes for hosting The Maple Cup. “The consumers were blown away and loved watching the florists do their thing. They kept saying ‘I didn’t know florists could do that!’–
what a great opportunity to educate people on the gifts florists have!”
Despite a number of “extremely talented” residing in Canada, a lot of them don’t compete much, De Kok said. “Either they don’t know that competitions are happening around the world–or it’s too expensive to travel to them.”
DeKok also wanted consumers to see what professional florists can do, so she held the Maple Cup in conjunction with the Edmonton Home and Garden Show. “This way, we could showcase our talent,” she said.
She wants to see more events like The Maple Cup in the future.
“My goal is to show the world how amazing we are and to have Canada represented in the World Cup of Flowers the next time around.”