September 2, 2019

For immediate distribution


Les Jardins de Métis Receive the Donation of a Summer Home in Metis-sur-Mer to Initiate a Residence for Creators

Two donors, Arian Riou and Réal Plourde, have donated their large summer residence in Métis-sur-Mer to Les Jardins de Métis to become a residence for creators to be named “La Maison d’Ariane”. For the past 15 years, the Riou-Plourde have owned the shoreline house and garden facing the St. Lawrence River and used it during the summer months.


This generous act of philanthropy is both original and rare  – offering an opportunity to Les Jardins de Métis to welcome a new generation of creators in various disciplines to the unique shoreline village of Métis-sur-Mer. Charming, warm and decorated with taste, the home has five bedrooms, two large public rooms and a screened porch that overlooks a rushing brook. What a wonderful place to inspire artists and creators from various disciples! Generously furnished, the value of the donation is $378,000, the largest donation in the 20 years history of the International Garden Festival.

La Maison d’Ariane is a significant component of an ambitious project recently launched by Les Jardins de Métis to create a creative hub, the Atelier du futur, which is slated to open in 2020.


In the words of Ariane Riou, “When Mr. Reford approached us to donate our home, we found it to be daring idea. After giving it much thought, we accepted, because it represents a welcome opportunity to support our native region, which is the Lower St. Lawrence. We enjoy helping and supporting organizations that encourage the dynamism of the region through artistic, cultural and innovative projects. We accepted because we have long supported Les Jardins de Métis and the International Garden Festival and because we are convinced that the organization will being the same care and attention to the preservation of this century old home that we have. We are certain that the artists, designers, creators and influencers will find in this home a source of inspiration and that it will contribute to their creative careers and to the international reach of Les Jardins de Métis. We wish that all those who use the house enjoy it as much as we have. Our home is alive with happiness and will continue to evoke happy memories!”


“Les Jardins de Métis and the International Garden Festival have welcomed designers in many fields to the region for more than two decades. The opening of the Maison d’Ariane will allow us to broaden our reach, increase the numbers of creators and provide unique opportunities to incubate projects in neighbouring communities. The first creators will be part of a culinary residency, the only one of its kind in Canada, and an occasion to bring together chefs from across the country and connect them to the unique produce and culinary resources of the region. This is part of our mission and our new mandate to curate creativity in the community and foster exchanges that will enliven the region and contribute to its environmental health and economic future. I am so grateful to Ariane Riou and Réal Plourde for their extraordinary support, commented Alexander Reford, Director of the Reford Gardens and the International Garden Festival.




About the donors

Ariane Riou has had a career in public health, including working in Africa as a midwife to bring better health to women. She is the co-founder of the Maison de soins palliatifs de Laval where she has been a volunteer for more than twenty years. She loves to travel and enjoys spending time near the sea or in nature with family and friends.



Photo: Jean-Christophe Lemay

Réal Plourde is a corporate director and co-founder of Alimentation Couche-Tard, a leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. His leadership and unique knowledge of the industry have been key factors in the growth of the company into the largest company of its kind in Canada, the United States and Europe.


Through their Foundation, Ariane Riou and Réal Plourde have supported for many years organizations that help those in palliative care, the homeless and youth in difficulty as well as organizations offering services in health, education, arts and culture.


About the International Garden Festival

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, more than one million visitors have discovered over 180 contemporary and ephemeral gardens created by designers from 15 countries. 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 Festival is an annual rendez-vous for admirers of contemporary gardens and design as well as offering a unique creative space for those involved in the renewal of this art form.


About the Reford Gardens

Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens are located on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers in Québec, Canada. Created from 1926 to 1958 by avid gardener and plant collector, Elsie Reford, the gardens are considered one of the premier gardens in North America. Open to the public since 1962, the gardens harbour important collections of native and exotic plants, and are internationally recognized as an exceptional work of horticultural art. National historic site of Canada and Quebec heritage site, they are a must-see attraction for those visiting the Gaspésie and the Lower St. Lawrence regions. Some 60,000 visitors are welcomed each year. Hydro-Québec has been a major partner of the Reford Gardens since 1999.


Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens and the International Garden Festival are open every day until Sunday, October 6. Admission is free for children 13 and under. Visit www.refordgardens for further information.


- 30 -


Source:             Amélie Desrochers

Phone: 438 354-1818


Alexander Reford, director

Reford Gardens / International Garden Festival




[ To unsubscribe click here ]