CAFA CHAT by fionan


									WINTER 2007

Volume 11 Edition 1

The newsletter of the Canadian Academy of Floral Art
P r e s i d e n t ’s M e s s a g e
by Inta Taurins, CAFA new members and of course a gala night to celebrate our birthday. Make sure you spread the word about this wonderful weekend. We’re inviting everyone to come, not just CAFA members. It will be open to all segments of our industry. We will be running Steps to Membership sessions where interested parties can learn about what’s required to become a CAFA member. Our gala weekend is not all we’ve got planned for this year. March brings the promise of spring and Toronto’s annual Canada Blooms. CAFA is designing the welcome pieces at the south entrance as well as the gateway to the professional Florists displays. You’ll also see us on stage as we present “Masters of Floral Pleasures” May brings us to the Tulip Festival in Ottawa where CAFA designs will dazzle the crowds in the Casino and the hotel lobby. And while plans for the gala festivities continue, 8 CAFA representatives will be planning our par-


t seems that we have all survived another Valentine’s Day! With gift shows and bridal shows more or less behind us, we can concentrate our efforts on the next set of upcoming events. Passover, Easter, and Secretaries Day [oops… Administrative Professionals Day], Mother’s Day, and the list goes on. Something else on the list for your CAFA board of directors is our upcoming celebration of CAFA turning 15 and we are hosting our first CAFA Convention. Can you

believe it? We’re 15 and growing up strong. It’s time for you to mark your calendars now for the festivities. September 15 & 16th, 2007. We are finalizing the location so watch the mail, your emails and the CAFA website [] for updates to what is sure to be a fabulous weekend. We’re planning design segments, educational workshops, our induction ceremony for

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We now have available for purchase an official CAFA jacket. These jackets are custom tailored to your measurements and can be viewed at for more information.

President’s Messgae ................................1 Trip to Thailand ......................................2 Attention all Members ............................2 CAFA goes to Nice, France ....................2 We want to hear from you! ......................2 E-mail Update ..........................................3

Trip to Thailand


ome words of advice; when traveling to Thailand don’t wear a long straight silk skirt when riding an elephant it is fraught with danger and possible embarrassment. Don’t eat the small round green things in the curry if you wish to speak coherently within the hour. Don’t buy anything “one size fits all” unless you plan to give it to a slim 8 year old. After that there is nothing to think about but enjoying yourself, no decisions to be made but which exquisite temple to visit, what colour silk or cashmere suit to have made or whether to order a Mai Tai or a gin and tonic in the 5 star hotel bar. What was I doing in this exotic land several time zones, the date line and 36 hours door to door away from my small town Ontario home? Well it was my very great honour to have been invited to participate in The

World Flower Council’s presentation at Royal Flora. This was a spectacular floral and horticultural event to commemorate 60 years of rule by the King of Thailand as well as his 80th birthday. Before the floral festivities began my husband and I spent 2 days in Bangkok. This was partly to recover from the 36 hour journey and a 12 hour time change and also to be tourists, at the time not knowing if we would ever be back. Now we know that we will be for sure. Our 2 days were full of exotic sights and sounds and very good food. A river boat tour (like the ones used in the old James Bond movie) that took us through the canal system of the city and showed how the people lived along the water, how the farmers got their produce and flowers to the market and how most people got to work. Sure beat our highway system at rush hour. We

toured a beautiful Buddhist temple and the Royal Palace and then a huge vegetable and flower market where dendrobium orchids, thousands and thousands of them, were being bought for pennies. We spent one evening at a cultural show which gave an insight into the country’s history in music, dance, costume and special effects, and of course more food and drink. While we were in Bangkok there was a special celebration called Loy Krathong which pays homage to water the source of all life. This involves placing flowers and floating candles on every stretch of water available so that during that evening the whole city; actually the whole country was lit with twinkling lights along all the canals and rivers. Even the hotel pools and the fish pond in our lobby were lit. It was very beautiful. On the 3rd day we flew to Chaing Mai an hour and a half north by plane towards the Burma boarder. Chaing Mai is a small city of 2 million people that boasts more temples than anywhere else in the country. It attracts thousands of tourists a year who wish to hike or climb or just walk in a beautiful natural environment of hills, forests and water falls. The city itself has excellent restaurants, lively night markets and a gracious and beautiful people who greet you


with not a handshake or kiss on both cheeks but with hands together-prayer like-and a bow. This with a wide smile says hello, goodbye, welcome or thank you. Our first full day in Chaing Mai was spent at Royal Flora with friends from the World Flower Council who had traveled from the USA, New Zealand, Malaysia, and The Netherlands. The rest of the WFC participants in Royal Flora would arrive that day from China, Singapore, Indonesia, St Kitts; seventeen countries in all. Our day was spent touring the many magnificent theme gardens, the orchid house and floral exhibits from around the world. The Pavilion where the WFC exhibit took place was being stripped of the previous exhibit and was in a state of total chaos. We won-

dered if we could convert this very plain structure into the floral fantasy of our plans in just 1 day. We could and we did under the expert guidance of Phubast Chesdmethee CAFA our Thai host. We started at 8.30 am the next morning and by that evening the transformation was almost complete. I suspect that Phu and his team of energetic and tireless helpers spent the rest of the night on the finishing touches so that when the Pavilion opened to the public the next morning it was perfect. Each quarter of the massive room was a season. “Spring” was a t shaped runway with 12 mannequins draped in colourful Thai silk and decorated with extravagant floral headpieces, body décor and bou-

quets. “Fall” was a stand of white birch trees and colourful leaves, “Winter” an icy backdrop of snow flakes and hanging icicles and “Summer” a huge pond and fountain with pink wire flamingos with floral bodies. Set around each season’s centre point were the WFC exhibits, some on 7 foot square platforms, others on smaller raised pedestals. My own responsibility was one large “Winter” exhibit and one smaller one for “Fall” which seemed to be the appropriate seasons for the Canadian representative. I also dressed 3 of the mannequins in floral finery. The opening day of the WFC Pavilion saw over 37,000 tourists, locals as well as T.V. and print reporters. The beautiful Princess of Chaing Mai officially opened the Pavilion on behalf of the king. She was charming, elegant and gra-

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CAFA board meetings are open to all CAFA members. If you are interested in attending please contact Velta Berzins at who will put you on the contact list and let you know the dates and location for the upcoming board meeting.

C A FA G o e s t o N i c e , F r a n c e
The World Flower Summit is meeting in Nice, France October 2-8, 2007 and CAFA will be there. If you are interested in participating please contact Inta Taurins at for more information.

W E Wa n t t o H e a r f r o m Yo u !
CAFACHAT would love to hear from any of our members. Let us know what you have been up to, your thoughts and any creative ideas. Send you story or news item to: Deborah Franklin CAFA at 94 Miley Drive, Unionville, Ont., L3R 4V4 or email it to or call 905-477-0924. Looking forward to hearing from you.


Presidents Message Continued from page 1
ticipation in the 24th World Flower Council summit in Nice, France, October 4-8th. Now don’t think that all the spots are filled for all of our activities this year. We need your help and your participation to make all these things happen. I invite each and every one of you to come and help me make all of these events a success. Please call me, email me, write me and let me know if you are available and want to help. Even if you can spare some time to give us some ideas, help the committee track down sponsorships, distribute advertising, help decorate or donate an hour of your time to promote CAFA at our trade fair. Every little bit helps and lots of little bits add up very quickly to be a very large contribution. Maybe some of you want to be part of the Tulip Team, the CAFA Convention team or even the Nice team. Come & be part of this exciting year. Call me!

Thailand Trip Continued from page 3
ciously toured each exhibit to talk to the designers after the official ceremonies were over. That evening was no less exciting. The Thai ambassador to Canada and the deputy governor of the Province of Chaing Mai hosted a cocktail party for the WFC in a many leveled garden setting. The flowers, lanterns, graceful dancers and musicians and the exotic food all added to an evening to remember. Our last full day; our work was done and we could again be tourists. We were taken on a tour to the elephant camp up in the hills. They are magnificent beasts; gentle and very intelligent. They have been taught to play soccer; paint pictures that you could hang in your house and even dance, but do remember my advice on the long skirt when riding one!

The gala dinner that night was magical. Again an outdoor venue next to a river, with white lanterns in the trees, candles in the grass, white table linen and silverware for a white glove service. There was an exquisite 4 course dinner and everyone was dressed in their finest formal wear, with flowers of course. The highlight of this wonderful night was the flying lanterns. Each guest was given a large paper lantern with a votive candle at its base. Once the heat of the candle reached a certain point to produce enough hot air the lanterns began to magically float to the sky producing a sky full of bright flickering stars as they rose over the river and into the black of night. Each guest was to make a wish as their lantern rose into the air. Many of those wishes, I am sure, include a return to this exotic and beautiful land. Patricia Patrick AIFD, CAFA

O u r f o u n d e r s : We t h a n k y o u
A special thanks goes out to the John G. Hofland Ltd. generous founders of the Canadian J.N. Disch Designs Academy of Floral Art: Marilyn Broad Mill Street Florist Avon Valley Greenhouses Ltd. Murray’s Christmas House Barney Wilson & Associates Patrick Marketing House Bob Newon, AAF, AIFD, CAFA Rose-A-Lea Gardens Ltd. CMC Cope Marketing Concepts Smithers-Oasis Canada Ltd. David L. Jones Wholesale Ltd. Spunky’s Plants and Flowers Don Robb Imports Staalduinen Floral Ltd. Florist Supply (1979) Ltd. Teleflora Canada Inc. Floridus Ltd./Design Images The Flower Place Flowers Canada (Ont.) Inc. Westbrook Floral Ltd. Flying Dutch Flowers Inc. Gerry Cassidy CAFA Chat is produced by Horticultural Technologies Canadian Florist magazine.

The CAFA pin
Call the office today and order your stunning CAFA pin. (519) 836-5495 Member’s gold pin – $100 Original silver pin – $200 Small silver pin – $55
Prices include taxes and shipping.


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