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We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, explore Vancouver! This time, let's have a look at Vancouver through the lens of Kevin Wang!
Do you find yourself daydreaming about the perfect getaway to a tropical country of South America to give you a break from sitting in your office and working hard? We might not have a magical wand that could turn this dream into reality, but we have a good tip for you. Try visiting Vancouver's Bloedel Conservatory, proudly sitting atop the city's highest point (150 metres above sea level). Regardless of the time of year you come, you'll be blown away by the many tropical scents and thousands of blossoming flowers, and the warm and damp air so unlike what we have in Vancouver.
The conservatory opened in 1969 after a generous donation from Prentice Bloedel made it possible to build this beautiful, domed structure containing three different climate zones: a tropical rainforest, a subtropical rainforest, and even a desert. Did you know that tropical rainforest is the most complex and diverse ecosystem on Earth? Well, Bloedel Conservatory brings you just a small fraction of this diversity. The location of the conservatory is extraordinary as well: it lies within Queen Elizabeth Park, which is said to offer the most spectacular views of the City of Vancouver. Since Bloedel Conservatory also maintains its own beautifully landscaped garden grounds, you can say that this park in the middle of another park is a true haven, perfect for relaxation.
The conservatory is associated with the nearby VanDusen Botanical Gardens and operated by the Vancouver Park Board and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association. It's definitely a favourite of Vancouverites — in 2009, it was facing the threat of closure by the Vancouver Park Board due to problems raising enough funds for major renovations. Luckily, a newly formed group, Friends of the Bloedel Association, helped raise $250,000 to save Bloedel from closure. As of 2010, the Bloedel Conservatory is part of the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and continues to draw lines of visitors every year.
So what can you expect when you step into this lush, tropical garden that stays green all year round? The triodetic dome consists of 1,490 glass bubbles that light up during the night. It houses an impressive selection of more than 500 imported plants, colourful koi fish, and even a desert zone with succulents and cacti. Over 100 birds of various species live within the dome and are allowed to fly free above your head. This place truly is unlike any other we've in Vancouver.
When you feel completely enchanted by what you experience here, the good news is that some parts of Bloedel Conservatory are actually available for rental. Just imagine your next cocktail party or wedding celebration happening in such a beautiful setting! Also, the conservatory is a frequent location for photo shoots — which is no surprise given the many hidden corners with blooming flowers hanging above your head.
Fun Fact: The conservatory has been used as a filming location for several movies and science fiction series, including Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.
Address: off 33rd Avenue between Cambie and Main Streets
Contact: (604) 257-8584
Opening Hours Summer (May 1-Sept 30) : Mon-Sat: 9:00am-8:00pm, Sat and Sun: 10:00am-9:00pm
Opening Hours Winter (Oct 1-April 30): Mon-Sun: 10:00am-5:00pm
Meet the Photographer
Kevin is a Vancouver based photographer who does not limit himself to specific genres of photography. He believes in the notion of “less is more”, where minimalist compositions are more effective at telling stories. Photography has inspired and trained his eye, and has greatly helped him in his other fields of work such as 3D animation and movie visual effects.
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