Costa Georgiadis at the Floriade launch on Friday morning ahead of the opening on Saturday. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Floriade will have a series of new looks this year, says ACT Tourism Minister Andrew Barr.
Speaking at the spring festival's official launch on Friday, Mr Barr said the biggest flower show in the southern hemisphere would take on a new format with a different theme every week.
''I think it's important to change the format and nature of the event. Twenty-six years in, it needs innovation too, and we thought the centenary year would be an ideal opportunity to change things a little, around how the event works and moving through from week to week with different themes and focuses,'' Mr Barr said.
The overall theme is Beautiful Innovation with four sub themes - Smart Living, Future Style, Invention and Contemporary Cultures - on show each week.
Visitors can also take part in events matched to each theme, such as cooking workshops, gardening classes and building demonstrations.
Celebrity landscape architect Costa Georgiadis is one of the faces of Floriade and will run workshops during the flower show.
''Floriade's an event that brings people together and that means that you can start to transition people's thinking beyond just what it's been, to what it could be,'' he said.
Floriade will also include a nod to Canberra's centenary including a garden bed designed as a tribute to CSIRO's involvement in the invention of wireless internet.
''We're looking to highlight some of the fantastic innovations and achievements that have come out of Canberra,'' Mr Barr said. 'There are a lot of opportunities for education out of this month, but longer term the key for Canberra's economic success will be to innovate.''
Hinting that there would be more changes in next year's edition, Mr Barr said Floriade would get Canberrans excited with what was to come in the next century.
''It also, I think, presents an opportunity to think about the brilliant possibilities that the second century [of Canberra] offers this city and all of the residents of Canberra and the region.''
■ Floriade is open 9am-5pm on weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on weekends and public holidays. For more information, go to floriadeaustralia.com