The Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Mountain View, California has become a highlight of the McQueens calendar since its founding in 2012. The Breakthrough Prize is a set of coveted international awards that covers several categories in recognition of scientific advance – it’s been called the Oscars of the scientific community. Set up by a renowned group of internet luminaries including Google’s Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Yuri Milner, McQueens has been honoured and delighted to have created the flowers each year for this prestigious event.
As well as shining a spotlight on the world-changing scientific achievements of research communities across the globe, these awards encourage a new generation to be inspired by science and mathematics as the great and the good get together for one glamorous evening to celebrate milestone achievements. This year, $22 million was awarded to the winners of all categories with Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman hosting the ceremony. The guest list also included celebrity super couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Lily Collins. and rapper Wiz Khalifa who performed at the event with a full choir.
As well as enjoying a spot of Californian sunshine – a real tonic in the depths of winter – team McQueens also gets the opportunity to work with a fantastic crew who magic the most remarkable event space at NASA Ames research centre, flanked by the skeleton of Hangar One. The massive hangar has long been one of the most recognizable landmarks of California’s Silicon Valley; it was built in the 1930s as a naval aircraft hanger and is one of the world’s largest freestanding structures, covering eight acres and providing an impressive backdrop for the event. We always look forward to our trip to San Francisco and to the Brannan Street Flower Market in particular where meeting up with the lovely Barbara is always a highlight – she always takes such great care of us and makes sure we have the finest flowers that will look as good as the celebrities on the big night.
For the ceremony this year, we dressed the venue with a classic combination of white roses, hydrangea and chrysanthemum blooms. Stylish and simple, the arrangements drew many admiring glances from the organisers and guests.