Year long celebrations and call of proposals for the 24th Edition of the International Garden Festival in Canada

Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens are located on the shores of St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers in Québec, Canada. Created from 1926 to 1958 by avid gardener and plant collector, Elsie Reford, the gardens are a national historic site designated. Les Jardins de Métis are considered one of the premier gardens in North America. They are an obligatory stop for all those visiting eastern Québec and the Gaspésie region.

Three new publications will celebrate Elsie’s gardens and her life and times. Elsie 150 Passions : a curated album of 150 objects selected to illustrate the life and achievements of Elsie Reford. This book is a collaboration with Les Éditions Umanium. Au fil du temps, english version The Reford Gardens As Time Goes By: a celebration of the work of photographer Louise Tanguay at Les Jardins de Métis for the past twenty years, to capture its beauty and magical moments. Elsie’s Paradise: a new coffee table edition of Elsie’s Paradise and Treasures of the Reford Gardens by Alexander Reford will be published by Les Éditions de L’Homme.

The new book by photographer Louise Tanguay, published by Flammarion Québec, ‘The Reford Gardens As Time Goes By‘ is thus a perfect memento of the celebrations of Elsie Reford’s 150th birthday in 2022. Published in separate English and French-language editions, As Time Goes By is generously illustrated with more than 500 photographs taken by Louise Tanguay of the gardens, plants and installations of twenty editions of the International Garden Festival. Note the English-language version is a limited-edition publication. In addition to a short preface by Alexander Reford, director of Reford gardens, it includes the poetic descriptions left by Elsie Reford, carefully selected from her garden diaries and articles, with a smattering of vintage archival photos to provide context and contrast to the vibrant colors found on every other page.

At the Redford gardens, the International Garden Festival ( is recognized as one of the most important events of its kind in North America and one of the leading annual garden festivals in the world. Since 2000, over 1 million visitors have discovered more than 195 contemporary gardens created by designers from 15 countries. The Festival is a unique forum for innovation and experimentation and an exceptional showcase and launching pad for participating designers from a host of disciplines. It provides an annual Rendez-Vous for admirers of contemporary gardens and design as well as offering a unique space for those involved in the renewal of this art form. This artistic and tourism event also gives visitors a chance to discover inspiring spaces bringing together the visual arts, architecture, design, landscape and the environment.

The International Garden Festival is launching a call for proposals to select designers to create the new temporary gardens for the Festival’s 24th edition, which will open on June 23, 2023, on the site of Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens. Building on the success of the past summer (where 60,000 visitors safely toured twenty-five garden installations on the theme of Adaptation), the Festival is seeking projects that explore the valorization, transmission and reactualization of traditional knowledge and savoir-faire. Racines / Roots is the theme to which we are inviting designers to respond with their proposals to imagine a present and a future that is ecologically, economically and culturally responsible by drawing on the teachings of past generations.
With the advent of the digital age, globalization and the rapid speed of technological advancement that are changing our relationship with time, the physical world and each other, Racines / Roots rejects the unrooted vision implanted by the industrial revolution to embrace an approach that seeks to be nourished from a common heritage. The theme counters the forces of homogenization that is part of globalization, incorporating the notion of globality coined by the Martinique poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011). It invites a return to what is essential by integrating the use of native plants, local materials – whether reused or with limited environmental impact –, as well as traditional methods of construction combined with a contemporary vision that embraces both regional communities and ecosystems. Racines | Roots intends to challenge the status quo and create innovative human-scale environments. It seeks to transcend generations and disciplines.

The deadline to submit proposals electronically is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2022 at 17:00 EST. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. All the details are available here:


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