ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0185 Floriade 1986 - 1993 Chris de Bruine's Papers

Scope and content notes

Scope and content notes 
Call Number

HMSS 0185


Floriade 1986-1993 Chris de Bruine's papers

Date Range



0.15m (1 manuscript box, 1 photo file box), 1 A3 portfolio

Access Conditions


Copying Conditions

with attribution

Related Collections

HMSS 0478 Floriade Chris Ware's Papers

Chris Slotemaker de Bruine, a landscape architect with the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, originally proposed a Bicentennial Park as Canberra’s contribution to the 1988 Bicentennial. It would incorporate gardens from all over the world to celebrate Canberra’s multicultural nature and seasonal climate. However, only the spring flower festival, highlighting immigration from Holland, was accepted, and only as a one-off event. Chris also proposed the name ‘Floriade’, meaning ‘to design with flowers’.

While Chris was responsible for the designs, bulb ordering, site specifics, promotion and marketing, Peter Sutton, manager of Commonwealth Park, handled the horticultural, planting and staff management. A trial planting at the Yarralumla Nursery in 1987 proved that the venture could succeed, and also provided promotional photographs.

Floriade 1988 was such a resounding success that the ACT Government decided to repeat it in 1989. It is now Canberra’s biggest annual event. Chris and Peter worked on Floriade 1989 and 1990, and Chris prepared a report in 1989 on the future of Floriade and the suitability of Commonwealth Park as its ongoing venue.

The collection is primarily concerned with the first Floriade, including the formal proposal and a photographic identification record of all plants used in 1988. The submission for the National Tourism Award includes certificates for other awards granted in 1988-1989.

Posters of the first three Floriade festivals and numerous slides of the first Floriades and of the Keukenhof garden in Holland, on which Canberra’s Floriade was based, were deposited with the Floriade section of the Department of Urban Services, later Territory and Municipal Services, in 2006.

Box List

Box No.



Date Range


Photographs of Floriade, mainly 1989-1992, some 1988 and 1993; photographs of Bowral Tulip Festival 1993; photographic record of plants used in Floriade 1988.

1 vol



Visitors book, Floriade, 25-29 September 1988

1 vol



Floriade Pavilion contacts and comments book

1 vol



Floriade scrapbook of articles, photographs, correspondence, submission, newscuttings

1 vol



ACT Tourism Awards, Tourist Attractions, Floriade. A proposal by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, 14 August 1989. Submission on Floriade 1988 for the National Tourism Awards in the Special Events category. [winning submission]

Oversize portfolio