Program Participation

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We request communities to actively consider registering each year from December on-wards. Interested Nova Scotia communities can request a package of information about Communities in Bloom.

Participating communities have a responsibility to:

  • Pay a registration fee, based on population categories and level of competition. Registration Fees can be paid by the municipality/town or by fundraising by the local Communities in Bloom committee.
  • Form a Communities in Bloom Committee and involve the community with the support of the town/municipal/village council.
  • Provide photos of your community to The Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) for use in promotion of the Communities in Bloom program (send to TIANS by July 1).
  • Provide a list of media contacts in your region to TIANS by July 1.
  • Prepare for the judging which takes place in July or August.
  • Fill out a Community/Municipal Information Form and gather material relevant to each judging criteria (Tidiness, Environmental Awareness, Community Involvement, Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation, Tree/Urban Forest Management, Landscaped Areas, Floral Displays, Turf and Groundcovers) to give to the judges upon arrival into the community (more detailed guidelines will be provided upon registration).
  • Provide lodging and meals for 1 night and 1 day for 2 judges. Single rooms and private bathrooms are required.
  • Provide transportation for the judges within the community to tour the town.
  • Organize a meeting with the Communities in Bloom committee and a tour of the community during the judges visit.
  • Attend the Provincial Awards Ceremony in the Fall, usually in conjunction with the Tourism Summit and Expo (you will receive complimentary invitations for representatives of your community to attend the awards ceremony).
  • Form a local Communities in Bloom committee. The committee is usually comprised of local citizens, including one member of municipal council and members of associations, businesses and organizations interested in horticulture, heritage, tourism, the environment and improving community life.

The committee’s objectives are:

  • To involve the community by means of local contests. Local contests increase awareness of the beautification program and its opportunities and benefits to the community, environment and quality of life.
  • To act as liaison with the municipal authorities.
  • To create sub-committees to help with various projects within the judging criteria Budget.
  • While participation in the program does not require considerable financial resources, obtaining funds to promote the program, involving the community, honoring the participants and volunteers, attending the award ceremonies, etc are recommended. It is suggested that you:
  • Prepare an estimated budget.
  • Draw up a financial evaluation of the planned activities.
  • Choose the most important activities or projects to be carried out, based on the budget available.
  • Find other sources of funding, if necessary (i.e. fundraising programs – dances, BBQ’s). Fundraising Merchandise and Products Merchandise consisting of T-shirts, canvas bags, lapel pins, and caps etc. are offered to communities at a cost that allows them to sell it to citizens and realize a profit for the organizing committee.


The judging dates are established in February for the National Edition and in early Summer for the Provincial Edition. Provincially, in most cases, the judges, who travel mostly by car, will arrive in the evening in order to meet the Communities in Bloom committee and receive paperwork prior to the judging day. They will then leave the following late afternoon. This will depend however on the judges schedule.

Nationally, where the judges travel mostly by air, the general schedule is that the judges arrive on the day prior to the official evaluation date and depart the next morning following the evaluation.

Judges must have the opportunity to visit most of the community and meet with those involved in the community.

A Community Information Form (supplied by CIB upon registration) is to be completed by the Communities in Bloom Committee along with documents from the community providing the judges with information on various programs and projects related to the evaluation. Convenient and appropriate standards (meaning no extravagancies) for welcoming the judges are suggested in order to keep it simple and focused on the achievements of the community. For example, hold the awards for the local contests or volunteer appreciation ceremony while the judges are there to honor the volunteers rather than honor the judges.

The Judge’s Visit – How to Score Points !!!!

  • Know the evaluation scoring grid.
  • Prepare materials for the judges that address all criteria in the scoring grid.
  • First impressions count, particularly in a contest like Communities in Bloom.
  • Make good use of the time that the judges are in your community.
  • The itinerary of judges’ activities should take into account all of the categories on the grid.
  • Provide the judges with the opportunity to interact with key individuals in each of the categories on the scoring grid.
  • Upon their arrival, supportive materials given to the judges should include:

The schedule
Community Information Form and a packet or scrapbook/Brag Book (be sure to make a copy to keep) of supportive materials that covers all or as many of the criteria as possible
Remember to:

Be flexible
Schedule a short wrap-up meeting with the judges as close to the end of the program
Have Fun!!!

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