Cool Gardens Competition Registration open for 2017

The Cool Gardens 2017 competition registration is now open.

Presented by StorefrontMB and The Forks, Cool Gardens celebrates the interface between nature, art, urbanism and design. The exhibition has run in Winnipeg for the past four years, with 2017 marking its fifth anniversary. Past presenters include BGL, SPMB, Scatliff+Miller+Murray, Ewa Tarsia, ATLRG, Micah Lexier and Claude Cormier [providing a visiting garden from the Jardins de Métis].

The event is highly accessible to a broad audience including children, tourists, shoppers, cyclists, and business people. Mirroring Winnipeg’s internationally acclaimed Warming Huts Exhibition on Ice, Cool Gardens places design culture at the centre of summer activities in Winnipeg and Brandon, while offering pleasant relief from summer’s exasperations.

In Winnipeg, installations will run from Main Street to Provencher Boulevard, highlighting this generally unrecognized pedestrian linkage that bridges the Anglophone and Francophone communities. Installations along this axis provide an engaging, creative, and active experience for downtown Winnipeg. A satellite site in Brandon includes the Riverbank Discovery Centre.

Cool Gardens will take place from July 2nd to September 24th, 2017. In addition to the three new gardens selected by competition, Cool Gardens 2017 will include an invited garden by Calgary-based architect Marc Boutin, as well as the re-mounting of four previous gardens: 2° [ LADR Landscape Architects ], Cure de Ville [ Janelle Tougas ], Cool Dots [ Ewa Tarsia ], and Le Rendez Vouz [ LaTourelle + Witthöft ].


The Call for Entries 2017 seeks creative entries that prompt curiosity, play, and appreciation of urban spaces by highlighting the significance of nature, art, and design. Central to Cool Gardens is the idea that contemporary design can instigate participation in public spaces in interactive, critical, poetic, and meaningful ways. The intention of this emergent festival is to provoke questions about our public spaces and about the role of landscape architecture and design to give enhanced meaning and value to our urban culture.

Cool Gardens thus animates our public spaces with a critical collection of experiences – expanding the idea of what a garden might be. Cool Gardens expands the vocabulary of garden design and serves as a learning tool. As we go back to our boulevards and backyards we hope to spread the creativity of Cool Gardens to the everyday practice of gardening in our city and region, creating in the process a dialogue on contemporary design with our sister cities across Canada and the world.

Evaluation Criteria:

While there is no overarching competition theme, entrants are expected to be responsive to the specificity of their selected site conditions, within the overall framework of cooling. Proponents may also wish to indicate how their garden would be feasible to re-mount in subsequent years. Winning proposals will be selected by the jury based on: creativity, originality, clarity, durability, provisions for barrier-free access, ease of fabrication and decommissioning, budget, interpretation of the site and cooling, safety, and most importantly, potential for public engagement.

For more information, please click here.
To register, please click here.