The president of the Friends of the Bloedel Association has told park board commissioners he has lost sleep contemplating how to ensure the Bloedel Conservatory remains open.
“I’m sad to say I’ve been thinking about this every night until 3 a.m. and it’s become a bit of an obsession, because it’s been bothering me so much,” John Coupar said at the January 18 park board meeting. The board voted 4–3 last November to shut the facility down on March 1 to help overcome a budget shortfall.
Coupar unsuccessfully lobbied Vision Vancouver commissioners Aaron Jasper, Sarah Blyth, Raj Hundal, and Constance Barnes to introduce a motion to reconsider the closure, adding that “there are so many opportunities now that people are starting to come forward” to help preserve the facility, which is located at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park. Park board planning and operations manager Piet Rutgers shut the door on any federal assistance.
“It has forced us to reallocate some existing funds to capitalize on the funds that are provided by the federal government for agreed-upon projects,” Rutgers said. “The conservatory was not one of the agreed-upon projects.”
Coupar said that a fundraiser called Rumble in the Jungle is planned for January 30 at the conservatory.