The judges were impressed, but how impressed we won’t know until September. Judges Charmaine Sawchyn, a horticulturist from Regina, Saskatchewan and Roger Belley, a parks foreman, for St. Albert, Alberta, were in Whistler Monday, July 26 for the 1999 National Edition of Communities in Bloom. The judges were toured around Whistler by Paul Beswetherick, landscape supervisor for the RMOW. "They loved the colour smashes in the village," said Beswetherick. "They were totally amazed at the beauty of the whole place, and impressed with the energy levels of the staff and how motivated we are to create an exceptional product." The Resort Municipality of Whistler is competing in the 5001 to 10,000 population category with Carleton Place, Fergus and Kincardine, Ontario; Stratford, PEI; Labrador City and Carbonear, Newfoundland. Communities in Bloom is Canada’s national program for the improvement of quality of life through green spaces, heritage conservation, community involvement and environmental awareness. This year, municipalities competed from all provinces, territories and also from England, Scotland and Ireland. Judges visit each municipality to evaluate, taking into account efforts of the whole community on municipal, private, corporate and institutional levels. ‘Blooms’ are given for tidiness, urban forestry, landscaping, floral arrangements, turf areas, environmental effort, heritage conservation and community involvement. Last year Whistler received four out of four blooms and a special mention for tidiness in the Communities in Bloom provincials, in the 5001 to 10,000 category. That was the qualifier Whistler needed to enter into this year’s national level competition. The judges will release their final decisions on Sept. 18, 1999. If Whistler wins at the national level, the competition then becomes international.