September 15, 2010

For immediate distribution



For immediate distribution

Grand-Métis (Québec, Canada), September 15, 2010 – The International Garden Festival, presented at the Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens in the Gaspésie region of Quebec, is preparing its 12th edition and is issuing an international call for proposals to select designers who will create temporary gardens that will be presented from June 25 to October 2, 2011. This call for proposals is open to all landscape architects, architects, designers and artists from Canada and abroad.

For complete information on the call for proposals, consult the web site .

The deadline for the submission of entries is Friday, November 12, 2010, 5 pm EST.

The Theme of the 2011 Festival: "SECRET GARDENS"
This year the theme of the Festival is "Secret Gardens". Each year the Festival chooses a theme that guides the spirit of an edition while also exploring a very particular aspect of contemporary garden design.

Secret gardens are part of our lives, figuratively and literally. Who has not had in childhood a secret space? Everyone has experienced at once the need to create a territory enveloped by nature and in touch with the inner world. Secret gardens are re-assuring, they wrap us in a protective cocoon and stimulate the imagination. Both a shelter and a refuge from the world, they act as doors for a dialogue both with oneself and with the universe. From a scientific perspective the secret garden offers a complete ecological system in which living organisms live in symbiosis. This ideal biodiversity makes the secret garden the perfect place to connect with nature and to be inspired by it.

Secret Gardens of the future

At a time when design and landscape design in general are being pushed towards the superficial and the materialistic, it is important to bring these disciplines to a more human scale and closer to existential questions. By focusing on the theme of "Secret Gardens", designers should consider their projects with the idea of a "protective" space, full of emotions, mysteries and wonder and connected to the natural world. For the 2011 edition of the Festival, designers are asked to imagine the secret garden for the 21st Century and are asked to create a "scripted space", a unique place that speaks to the designer but also offers an environment that is perhaps strange or mothering, healing or inspiring.

The strength of landscape architecture and its role in our society

What will the 2011 Festival gardens look like? They will be at first fertile spaces, personal platforms of exploration as well as strong voices of community concerns. These experimental secret gardens will be a way to demonstrate the strength of landscape architecture and its role to resolve the world’s internal and external conflicts. With the help of plants, living organisms and materials of all kinds, designers will be able to create stimulating living environments that relieve us from the daily grind. Such strange and unusual spaces will provide an oasis of calm and place for thought? What will the secret gardens of tomorrow look like? What role might they play in contemporary landscape design?

In choosing this theme for the 2011 edition, the Festival wishes to invite landscape architects, architects, designers and artists to return to the roots of all artistic creation which is to bring beauty and poetry to life. The "secret gardens" of the 2011 edition will therefore illustrate the role of design in our culture, which is to bring us closer to our ideals and sustain our lives.

The International Garden Festival, with its history (the past) and vision (the future), offers the ideal platform for designers who have carte blanche to imagine their secret garden.

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 900,000 visitors have explored 110 gardens created by over 220 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.

Winner of numerous awards and recognitions, the Festival has received the prix Hector-Fabre 2007 by Québec’s ministère des Relations internationales in recognition of the event’s contribution to the international reputation of Québec and the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspésie regions. The annual International Garden Festival is made possible by the support of La Fondation de Jardins de Métis, a non-profit organization whose mission is the development, the education and interpretation of contemporary art in the field of garden art. The event is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Economic Development Canada, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Tourisme Québec.

Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens

The Reford Gardens is located on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers in Québec, Canada. Created by avid gardener and plant collector, Elsie Reford, the gardens were declared a national historic site in 1995 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. They are considered one of the premier gardens in North America and an obligatory stop for all those visiting eastern Quebec. Hydro-Québec has been a major partner of Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens since 1999.

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Source :

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

Emmanuelle Vieira
Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens
Artistic director, International Garden Festival
T: 514 297-2421



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