The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) was established in 1979, largely driven by the mayor of the time, Mel Couvelier. The vision was to create a locally-treasured, world class centre of horticulture education. The mandate remains the same today: to enrich our community by sharing the beauty and joy of gardening, and by demonstrating the importance of plant diversity to life in our world.

The community’s thirst for knowledge and mentorship on sustainability, food security and urban gardening make the skills and resources HCP has to offer more relevant than ever. Our College courses are growing, community courses expanding and the demand is increasing for children’s tours and programs.

This is their Challenge…

In the early morning hours of February 16 a fire destroyed HCP iconic Glasshouse, Head Gardener’s office and equipment rooms. Already bursting at the seams with space limitations for courses, community groups and office space, the loss of the facilities make it difficult to maintain operations and impossible to expand.

Gone is the facility most used by our community for wedding receptions and plant exhibits and with that our ability to raise revenues to be financially sustainable. Gone is the additional space needed for our burgeoning student population. We are a teaching garden without a community facility.

The Glasshouse did have its limitations. It was a 1970’s structure that was too cold to use in the winter and too hot in the summer. There was not adequate storage, kitchen or bathroom facilities to allow us to maximize it as classroom space or use it for community events. The audio-visual capabilities were too limiting to utilize the space for conferences, corporate meetings and classroom presentations.

To use the insurance funds of $200,000 to replace it with the same structure would be a missed opportunity. HCP needs a modern, four-seasons facility that can accommodate College courses, club meetings, plant exhibits, weddings, corporate meetings, and even community recreation programs such as Tai Chi.

To build such a facility will need more funds than the $200,000 insurance money.

Wanted: a modern all-season facility!

Their Solution

They are fundraising to replace the destroyed building with a 250 square metre multi-purpose, four-season facility that can accommodate the need to increase classroom space along with the need for the community for additional facilities for meetings, recreation and special events.

The Goal

Designed by Architect Christine Lintott, the replacement building is a magnificent, West Coast designed facility we have named the “Couvelier Pavilion”. It is named in honour of the work of Mel Couvelier in founding HCP in 1979 and his ongoing dedication as a member of the board and the building campaign committee until his passing in May 2011.

The facility will function as a place of education for the College and community as well as a venue for life celebrations, club meetings and corporate retreats. It will allow HCP to generate revenues to sustain the operations of the Gardens. To support the increased use of the new facility the project will also include an upgraded sewage system, landscaping and irrigation. Click here for the Business Case.

The goal of the Couvelier Pavilion Campaign is $2 million. Their aim is to have the funds secured or pledged by October 2011 so that the facility can be completed in 2012.

The Couvelier Pavilion Campaign

How you can help: Your gift will inspire and educate generations of our community to appreciate their connection to plants, the beauty of nature and the necessity of sustainability.

Individual Gifts and Pledges. Every donation will be will be recognized and appreciated. E.g. $50 for a box of screws, $1,000 for a window panel, $5,000 to equip the Head Gardener’s office, and $100,000 to Name a Room.

• make a one-time gift or pledge over 3–5 years
• donate appreciated securities
• donate in honour or in memory
• designate all or a portion of your United Way donation
• make a gift in your will
• tell your friends about us through our web page, Facebook and Twitter accounts
• Pledge or donate online with Canada Helps or by using the Campaign Response Form.

Corporate Partnerships

In-kind donations of  building, equipment and landscape materials or labour are opportunities for increased profile for your company while you benefit the health and well-being of your community. You can participate by:

• funding a portion of the building or equipment
• lend your employee’s time and expertise to the building or fundraising committees
• hold fundraising events
• underwrite operational aspects of the facility or campaign such as food, printing, stationery, advertising, photocopying, postage, etc.
• invite us to make a presentation to your membership or employees
• insert our campaign flyer in your outgoing mail
• put a link to our campaign website on your webpage: Visit for current information

To pledge your corporate support contact the HCP Campaign Office at or by phone at 250.508.4689

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific Fire 2011