Canadian Architect


The International Garden Festival is seeking a guest curator for the Festival’s 10th edition in 2009

January 20, 2008
by Canadian Architect

The Fondation des Jardins de Mtis is seeking a guest curator for the 10th edition of the International Garden Festival to be held at Les Jardins de Mtis / Reford Gardens from June toOctober 2009. The guest curator will also participate in the realization of the 2008 edition of the Festival. The guest curator will develop an exciting theme for the 10th anniversary edition of the Festival that will stimulate reflection on the art of the garden and generate interest among visitors. The deadline for submitting candidacies is Friday, February 29, 2008.

Initiated in 2000, the International Garden Festival is held every summer from the end of June to the beginning of October on the site of Les Jardins de Mtis (also known as Reford Gardens), a national historic site located in Quebec’s Lower St. Lawrence region. The Fondation des Jardins de Mtis is responsible for the organization of this ambitious event. Among the goals of the Festival is to present cutting-edge design and to contribute to the renewal of the art of gardens. The Festival also seeks to introduce contemporary design of gardens and landscapes to the general public and the horticultural industries and to encourage the use of new forms and materials. The event is a major cultural event and tourist attraction in eastern Quebec. The first event of its kind in North America, since 2000 the International Garden Festival has exhibited 65 contemporary gardens created by designers from nine countries (Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom). The event offers visitors the unique opportunity to discover conceptual gardens and explore the gardens that traverse the boundaries of landscape architecture, the visual arts, architecture, design and the environment. Presented adjacent to the historic gardens created by Elsie Reford between 1926 and 1958, the Festival builds on the unique heritage of this horticultural pioneer.

The Festival encourages the exploration of the garden in its many facets, anchored in the sense of place and creating sensorial experiences that foster emotional and intellectual responses from visitors. The Festival seeks to use new forms and technologies without neglecting the botanical and horticultural tradition. It encourages the exploration of the garden as a multisensorial space and encourages designers to reflect upon the visitor experience, provoking interaction, participation, exchange and exploration. It promotes the exchange between disciplines and encourages designers to form multi-disciplinary teams.

Photographs of the gardens created for the first eight editions of the Festival can be viewed on the Festival’s website at and in the recent publication Hybrids : Reshaping the Contemporary Garden in Mtis, under the direction of Lesley Johnstone.

Under the supervision of the director, the guest curator will perform the following tasks:
manage the selection process for the designers;
promote the Festival and its designers;
contribute to the preparation of grant applications;
prepare texts for publications;
oversee the preparation of promotional and interpretive material;
elaborate a program of activities held in conjunction with the Festival

The guest curator will work in close collaboration with the staff of Les Jardins de Mtis and s/he will be assisted by the director and technical coordinator of the Festival. S/he will have to be available at Les Jardins de Mtis/Reford Gardens for the construction period of the contemporary gardens in May and June. The proposed contract is from April 2008 to October 2009.

Candidates should:
have a degree in landscape architecture, architecture, art history, museum studies or a related domain;
have a solid understanding of the garden;
have at least two years of experience in project management;
demonstrate a high degree of independence and creativity;
be an excellent communicator.

Dossiers should be sent to the address listed below by Friday, February 29, 2008 and should include a letter of interest, a curriculum vit and a selection of articles or publications realized under the candidate’s responsibility. You may submit other documents to illustrate the exhibitions or events in which you have participated or that you have organized.

Please send your dossier to:

Les Jardins de Mtis
Guest Curator Application
200 Route 132
Grand-Mtis, Qubec
G0J 1Z0
[email protected]

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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