Greenhouse Canada

More Canadian ‘firsts’ at Cultivate

July 15, 2016  By Dave Harrison

July 15, 2016, Columbus, OH – There were more Canadian firsts with this week’s Cultivate’16 show.

Will Heeman received the Dümmen Orange/Green Profit Young Retailer Award.

This honour is awarded annually to the top under-35 garden centre retailer in North America. Click here for our preview story.


Heeman, 28, is a manager at Heeman’s Garden Centre, located near London, Ont.

• Albert Grimm, of Jeffery’s Greenhouses near St. Catharines, was named this year’s Grower Of The Year during Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence ceremonies.

“We’re not just selling plants, we’re also selling a lifestyle,” said Grimm, as quoted in the magazine’s online report. “We should all be proud of what we do, and we need to keep this passion and drive alive in the next generation of growers.”

Click on images for more information.

Both Heeman and Grimm are the first Canadians to win in these categories. Last year, Sheridan Nurseries was Greenhouse Grower’s first Canadian award-winner of Operation of the Year.

As for the conference and trade show (my 19th, going back to the years when it was held in Cincinnati), the mood was decidedly upbeat. Attendees and exhibitors we talked to all spoke of a great first-half of the year, with equally positive prospects for the remainder of 2016.

Among the most popular booths was the “Green In The City” mini greenhouse display from Nature Fresh Farms of Leamington. It was great to see greenhouse vegetables represented in what is otherwise an ornamental plant show. Visitors were impressed with the educational focus of this pepper greenhouse.

Among trends, miniature gardens remain quite popular. Mulberry Minatures/Possum Run Greenhouses of Huron, Ohio, incorporated an imaginative village setup within a model train layout. There was considerable attention to detail, a great depiction of the potential of miniature gardens.


Show organizers are planning for continued growth, as construction is underway on a major expansion of the Greater Columbus Convention Centre.

Ken Fisher, AmericanHort president and CEO, announced during the Sunday keynote presentation that exciting changes are coming, beginning with Cultivate’17.

Since 2012, AmericanHort has been working with event planners to discuss strategies to improve and grow the Cultivate experience for exhibitors.

“The primary goals were to utilize the planned expansion of the Greater Columbus Convention Centre to enhance the exhibitor and attendee experience, and to address the requests of exhibitors to provide additional opportunities to connect with current and potential customers,” said Fisher. “Cultivate’17 is the year it’s happening.”

Attendees and exhibitors alike will appreciate the following updates to their Cultivate’17 experience:

• A fresh look. The mission of AmericanHort is to be an industry leader, paradigm-shifter, and status quo disrupter. Cultivate’17 accomplishes all of this with a trade show floor plan refreshed to maximize the attendee experience and the exhibitor ROI. That means more corner spaces, islands, and design strategies to facilitate exhibitor-attendee interaction.

• More room. The Solutions Marketplace trade show floor is expanding by 30,000 square feet.

• New opportunities for connecting. From a “fast-pitch” stage to showcase a company’s exciting products, to on-the-floor meeting space, learning space, and more, there are more opportunities than ever before to showcase the “brand new” and the “tried and true.”

“This refresh for Cultivate’17 is no different than what most of us have been doing with our own businesses – re-strategizing, reorganizing and thinking ahead to future customer expectations,” said long-time exhibitor and AmericanHort chairman Terri Cantwell.

“Change can be scary, but I’ve been coming to Cultivate for 28 years, and I’m excited about the changes coming. It’s good to see an organization making great changes for good reasons at the perfect time.”


• Special events this year included an in-show 75th anniversary reception for The Dramm Corporation that attracted large crowds. Among those welcoming guests were chairman Kurt Dramm, CEO Hans Dramm, and executive vice-president Kurt Becker.

In 1941, Manitowoc florist John G. Dramm designed a product that was to become the cornerstone of the Dramm Corporation. This watering nozzle with 400 tiny holes turns high velocity water into a soft-flowing shower that is gentle on plants. The 400 Water Breaker® Nozzle has become the standard in handwatering tools across the world. Click here for more on the company’s history.

• And just a few blocks from the convention centre, Dümmen Orange held a well-attended ribbon-cutting ceremony in its new North American corporate location. Taking part were local State Representative Kristen Boggs and Dümmen Orange North America CEO Perry Wismans. Click here for more on this official opening ceremonies.

• Two evenings were set aside for tours of the impressive OSU garden trials. Attendees could view the extensive bedding and container trials, and also check out the 12,000-square-foot green roof on Howlett Hall. Welcoming growers to trials was Associate Prof. Claudio Pasian.

Cultivate’17 will take place July 15-18, 2017, in Columbus.

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