Communities in Bloom committee chair Valerie Bissat is determined to bring five blooms to 100 Mile House. Bissat is particularly proud of the community’s downtown area (pictured) where there are plenty of colourful flowers to enjoy. Raven Nyman photo.

Communities in Bloom committee chair Valerie Bissat is determined to bring five blooms to 100 Mile House. Bissat is particularly proud of the community’s downtown area (pictured) where there are plenty of colourful flowers to enjoy. Raven Nyman photo.

Prepare to bloom: the CIB judges are coming

100 Mile will be evaluated in the Communities in Bloom provincial program this July

The Communities in Bloom (CIB) judges will soon visit 100 Mile House for the community’s first evaluation back in the provincial program.

Despite competing officially for the first time in years after taking some time off from the program, 100 Mile House’s CIB committee is back again and remains in good hands with chair Valerie Bissat, who is eager to go after five blooms this year.

“The judges are really excited, too,” said Bissat. “It’s just a fabulous little community.”

“Tom Bachynski [owner of Central GM] is going to give us a car,” said Bissat, explaining that she and the visiting CIB judges plan to ride along in that vehicle while touring the community.

Bachynski was previously involved with the Communities in Bloom program when 100 Mile House participated in the past.

“I really believe in the program,” said Bachynski. “I think it’s a wonderful program, so whatever I can do to help, I’m more than happy to do that.”

Bissat is currently designing the tour she’ll guide the judges through come July. She hopes to visit the Forest Grove lagoons and also stop by the 108 Mile Ranch.

“I want five blooms,” she declared. “I want to win the category.”

Bissat explained that there are only eight or nine communities in B.C. that are actually competing this year: “We’ll be competing against Clinton because I think we’re in the same category. I want to beat them and I think we can. If we win five blooms, [and] if we win our category, we can go national, and that would put 100 Mile House on the map.”

“We’ve never gotten five blooms,” Bissat explained. 100 Mile House has received four blooms previously but took a few years off from participating in the program. Now, they’re back with plans to achieve the highest rank of five blooms.

Read more: Area Villages get outstanding results at awards banquet

Bissat has a background in finance, administration, and local government. This year, she wrote and designed a special program guide for the community’s participation in the CIB program. The guide highlights the community’s hidden gem, Centennial Park, and also showcases the eco-friendly “Marsh Trail”.

“This downtown core is just phenomenal,” Bissat said of the community.

Despite her love for 100 Mile, Bissat is originally from Clinton, where she helped kick off the village’s successful CIB program back in the 2000s. Since that time, Clinton has won the prestigious five blooms five times.

The CIB committee in 100 Mile House consists of just three women: Bissat, Maureen Pinkney, and Tracy McMurren. Bissat hopes the committee will be able to gain more members and volunteers as their participation in the program becomes more recognized within the community.

Bissat said that some people think the CIB program is just about flowers, but it’s actually about so much more than that. She hopes that bringing home a successful bloom rating from the judges this year will help remind the community of that. CIB is a Canadian non-profit organization that is committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility, and beautification through community involvement.

Floortje Molenaar and Allie Double will be the judges for 100 Mile House’s participation in the CIB program this year. Molenaar and Double will arrive in the community on July 17 but the official judging takes place on Thursday, July 18.

Related: Clinton Communities in Bloom looks ahead to Seedy Sunday and the Community Garden

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