May 19, 2010

For immediate distribution


11th International Garden Festival

Gardens of Paradise and Berlin – Invited City

May 19, 2010. The International Garden Festival enters its second decade with a program of gardens and special events for the 11th edition. The 2010 Festival will display a record 21 gardens on the Festival site as well as extra-mural gardens in Montréal, Calgary and Toronto. The theme of this year’s Festival is “Paradise”. Berlin is the invited city. The program includes the broadcast of the new documentary film, Twice Upon a Garden, as well as culinary, musical, cultural and artistic events throughout the summer.

An Ambitious Program of Gardens 
Recognized as one of the world’s leading garden festivals, the International Garden Festival features conceptual gardens that are at the crossroads of landscape architecture, garden design, architecture, design and environmental art. The event will take place on the site of Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens from June 26 to October 3, 2010.

The 11th edition of the Festival will present 21 ephemeral gardens created by 65 designers from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, United States and the United Kingdom. The lineup of conceptual gardens includes three new gardens by designers selected by a jury following an international competition and four new gardens created by designers from Berlin invited to take part in the Festival.

New Forms of Paradise
Since the beginning of time humans have imagined paradise on earth as a garden. These places, by evoking our senses, have pulled us out of our everyday world to experience the sublime. What does paradise look like today?

Building on emerging practices in landscape architecture, participating designers have been invited to imagine their garden of paradise; inspired by the history of gardening and exploring philosophy, religion and history and incorporating aspects of contemporary society and their own personal history to bring to life new forms, tastes, fragrances and paradisiacal landscapes.

Record Participation for the 2010 International Competition
The 2010 competition attracted 276 proposals by over 600 architects, landscape architects, designers and artists from 34 countries, a record number of participants since the inception of the Festival in 2000. All of the proposals submitted for the 2010 competition can be seen on the Catalogue of Canadian Competitions (

The jury for the competition was composed of Angela Grauerholz, director of the Centre de Design of the Université du Québec à Montréal, Martin Leblanc, architect with Sid Lee Architecture, Mélanie Mignault, landscape architect with NIPpaysage, Lisa Rochon, author and architecture columnist with the Globe and Mail, Bernard St-Denis, professor in the School of Landscape Architecture at the Université de Montréal, Alexander Reford, director of Les Jardins de Métis and founder of the International Garden Festival, and Emmanuelle Vieira, artistic director of the 11th edition of the Festival.

The three designs selected by the jury are daring, imaginative and provocative and present paradise in radically different ways. The projects are:

Veil Garden by Studio Bryan Hanes (Bryan Hanes, Jose Menendez, Yadiel Rivera Diaz, Brenna Herpmann) landscape architects, and DIGSAU (Jules Dingle, Jeff Goldstein, Mark Sanderson, Jamie Unkefer, Aaron Jezzi) architects, all based in Philadelphia. Veil Garden is a contemporary interpretation of the Mesopotamian Garden of Eden, where the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) are on display;

The Grass is Greener by Habitation (David Vago, Simone Marsh and Nick Brown) landscape architects from Sydney, Australia. The Australian designers play with the notion of transgression and original sin and the powerful attraction;

Tiny Taxonomy by Rosetta Sarah Elkin, a Canadian landscape architect based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tiny Taxonomy explores with a sense of humour and a critical eye, the role of the minute universe of plants that we routinely ignore when traversing the forest floor. These micro ecosystems become magical miniature gardens when brought to visitors’ attention.

Berlin – Invited City for the 2010 edition of the Festival
The International Garden Festival has offered designers from around the world occasions to present their work in Metis as well as opportunities for Canadian designers to create projects abroad. The Festival has presented three editions with invited countries, France in 2001, the UK in 2002 and the Mediterranean (Italy, Spain and Morocco) in 2003. This year the artistic director of the Festival launched the international program not with a country, but a city – in recognition of the fact that cities have become cultural capitals and creative centres that flourish in spite of geographic frontiers and political structures. 

The city of Berlin was not chosen by accident. It is one of the cities of Europe that has the largest concentrations of landscape architects as well as designers and emerging artists in many disciplines. Four leading teams of landscape architects from Berlin have been invited to take part in this special edition of the Festival. They have responded with talent and generosity and propose gardens that explore the many facets of Paradise - and even Hell. With barbed wire, books, ladders that reach for the skies and an aerial promenade in a wooden sculpture, these four gardens explore the contemporary world and the role that landscape plays in our daily lives.

The designers from Berlin invited to take part in the Festival are:

Violence of the Garden (Land use observatory) byTOPOTEK 1 (Martin Rein-Cano and Lorenz Dexler);

Jardin de la Connaissance by Thilo Folkerts from 100landschaftsarchitektur and Berlin-based Canadian artist, Rodney Latourelle;

Tree Stands by Gero Heck and Marianne Mommsen from relais Landschaftsarchitekten;

I’m So Proud of My Paradise These Days by artist Kai Schiemenz and Atelier le balto (Véronique Faucheur, Marc Pouzol and Marc Vatinel).

Fourteen Gardens Return for the 2010 Edition

Continuing a tradition established over the past decade, the Festival has invited fourteen teams to present their gardens presented last year and to weave the theme of paradise into their projects.

The fourteen gardens to be presented in 2010 are:

Forest.Square.Sky by Suresh Perera (Montréal);
Seedling by Mateo Pinto, Carolina Cisneros,Victoria Marshall (New York City);
Dymaxion Sleep by Jane Hutton, Adrian Blackwell (Toronto), winner of the Gold Medal, Landscape Architecture Category,in the 2009 Design Exchange Award;
HAHA! by spmb (Eduardo Aquino, Karen Shanski, Ralf Glor and Matt Baker from Winnipeg) and Martin Gagnon (Montréal);
Every garden needs a shed and a lawn! by Deborah Nagan (United Kingdom);
Réflexions colorées by Hal Ingberg (Montréal);
Bascule by Cédule 40 (Julien Boily, Sonia Boudreau, Étienne Boulanger and Noémie Payant-Hébert from Saguenay);
Fractal Garden by Legge Lewis Legge (Andrea Legge, Deborah Lewis and Murray Legge from New York City and Austin, Texas);
Round Up - d’après Monet by Legge Lewis Legge;
Pomme de Parterre by Angela Iarocci, Claire Ironside and David Ross (Toronto and Montréal);
Réflexions suspendues by Francesca Moretti, Federico Brancalion, Rodolfo Roncella and Mirando Di Prinzio (Italy);
Le Bon Arbre au Bon Endroit by NIPpaysage(Mathieu Casavant, France Cormier, Josée Labelle, Michel Langevin and Mélanie Mignault from Montréal);
Oursins by NIPpaysage
The iconic Blue Stick Garden by Claude Cormier (Montréal) is a permanent installation displayed adjacent to Estevan Lodge.

Extra-mural Gardens for 2010

The Festival is also presenting two extra-mural gardens as part of the 2010 edition. Our annual Métis-sur-Montréal event will feature a new garden by architect Philippe Nolet to be presented on the Place de la Dauversière, next to the Musée du Château Ramezay Museum in Old Montréal from May 27 to October 10. Broderie bûchée is inspired by the French tradition of ornate parterres but rather than using boxwood, the curvilinear forms will be made from short logs salvaged from blowdowns in the gardens or the nearby Metis River Park.

At the invitation of the City of Calgary, the International Garden Festival is presenting Passe-moi un sapin Rita – Come Play in my Garden by Rita, the Montreal duo of designers Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard and Karine Corbeil. The garden will be one of six contemporary gardens on display at Olympic Plaza in Calgary from May to October as part of a special event, Landscapes of Celebration, to mark the centenary of the Calgary parks department. The Rita garden features 50 “little trees” that can be moved through an imaginary landscape. The garden was a popular feature of the 2008 edition of the Festival and at Canada Blooms in 2009. The City of Calgary is also presenting gardens designed by Festival alumni Pete and Alissa North, Eduardo Aquino and his team from spmb (Karen Shanski, Ralf Glor and Matt Baker) and a new sound installation by Doug Moffatt and Steve Bates.

The Festival was present at Canada Blooms in Toronto (March 17 to 22) and presented a new configuration of Oursins (the sea urchins) created by NIPpaysage where it was the most photographed garden at the show. Oursins was first exhibited at the Place de la Dauversière last summer and will be installed on the Festival site as part of the 2010 Festival.     

Poster Competition
A new feature of this year’s Festival is a competition to design the poster and visual identity of the Festival. Open to poster artists, illustrators, graphic designers and photographers from Quebec or abroad, the competition attracted 47 artists from Canada and Europe.

The four members of the jury for this first Festival poster competition were:

·         Mario Mercier, Creative Director and Founder of orangetango;
·         Sylvain Allard, Director of the Graphic Design Program of the School of Design at UQAM;
·         Alexander Reford, Director Les Jardins de Métis, founder of International Garden Festival;
·         Emmanuelle Vieira, Artistic Director of the Festival.

The winner of this year’s poster competition is the designer Patrice Bourgeault, from Royal Deluxe agency in Montreal. He proposed a poster with a white paper flower with a colorful heart at its centre to highlight the fact that humankind makes gardens by recalling the most beautiful and heavenly aspects of Mother Nature.

A Documentary on the Festival
The new film on the International Garden Festival and Les Jardins de Métis, Il était deux fois un jardin, will have its inaugural broadcast on Télé-Québec on Monday, September 6 at 9 pm. The documentary by Philippe Baylaucq premièred on March 26 in Montreal at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) where it won the Prix du Public ARTV and played to five sold-out houses. The English version of the film is called Twice Upon a Garden. The film is now on an international tour with the highlights of FIFA, with stops at the Louvre in Paris, the Studio national des arts contemporains Le Fresnoy in Tourcoing, the AIA/Center for Architecture, the Mid-Manhattan Library and the Morgan Library in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Musée national des beaux-arts in Quebec City, the National Gallery of Canada and the Tate Modern in London. The film will be shown at the gardens throughout the summer.

About the International Garden Festival
The International Garden Festival is the leading contemporary garden festival in North America. The Festival takes place on a site adjacent to the historic gardens created by Elsie Reford. A major artistic event and tourism attraction, the Festival is an opportunity to discover exceptional gardens made by some of the best landscape designers from around the world. Presented since 2000, the Festival has exhibited more than 115 gardens by 200 designers from fifteen countries as well as extra-mural gardens in Montreal, Toronto, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. The only event of its kind in Canada, the Festival is a showcase and a springboard for emerging designers in all disciplines. The Festival has attracted over 850,000 visitors since its inception.

The Festival is also known for introducing contemporary design to new audiences in Quebec and Canada. The Festival is one of the most visited exhibitions of contemporary art in Canada and thus opens new horizons for the general public, offering new forms of contemporary design, demonstrating new materials and presenting gardens inspired by the pressing environmental issues of the day.

Since its first edition, the Festival has been honoured with various prizes such as the Design Exchange Awards, the Grand Prix du tourisme québécois, le Prix d’excellence of the Société des musées québécois and le prix Hector-Fabre of Quebec’s Ministry of International Relations for the exceptional contribution of the Festival to the reputation of the region internationally. Designers have been recognized for their gardens from the Ordre des architectes du Québec, Institut de Design Montréal, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, Canada Blooms and the Design Exchange. Alexander Reford was awarded the Frederick Todd from the Quebec Society of Landscape Architectures for his contribution to landscape architecture in Québec.

Partners of the International Garden Festival
The International Garden Festival is presented with the financial assistance of many public and private partners. Partners for the 2010 edition of the Festival include: the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Economic Development Canada, Tourisme Québec and Emploi-Québec.

Specialized products for the construction of the 2010 gardens have been donated by: Atlantis, Ferme J.-L. Drapeau, IGA Alimentation de La Mitis, Miellerie Tête en Fleurs, Pépinière Charlevoix and Premier Horticulture. Our collaborators for the extra-mural Gardens are: Canada Blooms, Château Ramezay Museum, City of Montreal, Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal, Arrondissement Ville-Marieand City of Calgary.

Hydro-Québec has been a major partner of Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens since 1999 and is presenting Le Bon Arbre au Bon Endroit garden again this summer.

About Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens
Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens are located in Grand-Métis. They are open from June 5 to October 3, 2010. For more information on the gardens and the 2010 program of events and activities, consult the web site,

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Photos of the 2010 Gardens can be seen at
To download high resolution pictures, please contact Emmanuelle Vieira.

Emmanuelle Vieira, artistic director
International Garden Festival 2010
Tel.: 514 274-2421                                                                    

Alexander Reford, director
Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens
International Garden Festival
Tel.: 418 775-2222, ext. 222



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