International Garden Festival at Reford Gardens opens 24th edition

The 24th edition of the International Garden Festival has officially opened to the public.

Matière-Matière (Photo credit: Martin Bond)

The 24th edition of the International Garden Festival, entitled RACINES | ROOTS, is now open to the public.

The International Garden Festival stands as the premier contemporary garden festival in North America. Since its establishment in 2000, over 250 gardens have graced the grounds of Grand-Métis and other locations in Canada and worldwide.

Taking place at the Reford Gardens, situated at the entrance of the Gaspé Peninsula, the festival occupies a site adjacent to the historic gardens originally created by Elsie Reford, forging a connection between the past and present while fostering a dialogue between conservation, tradition, and innovation.

This year, Ève De GarieLamanque, the event’s artistic director, invited designers to imagine a present and a future that was “ecologically, economically, and culturally responsible” by drawing on the teachings of past generations.

Racines de mer (Photo credit: Martin Bond)

In an era marked by digital advancements, globalization, and rapid technological progress that have transformed our perception of time, the physical world, and our connections with one another, the theme “ROOTS” challenges the mindset imposed by the industrial revolution and embraces an approach that seeks nourishment from a shared heritage.

This theme counters the forces of homogenization that accompany globalization, incorporating the concept of “globality” coined by Martinique poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011).

It calls for a return to the essential by integrating native plants, local materials, whether reused or with minimal environmental impact, and traditional construction methods, all combined with a contemporary vision that encompasses regional communities and ecosystems.

Maillage (Photo credit: Martin Bond)

ROOTS aims to challenge the status quo and create innovative human scale environments and seeks to transcend generations and disciplines. The festival also invites a return to the essentials by integrating the use of native plants, local materials and traditional methods of construction combined with a contemporary vision that embraces regional communities and ecosystems.

This edition of the festival features 22 contemporary gardens created on-site, including five brand-new designs, as well as the standalone installations Mer du Vent and Absolues Jardin.

Le Jardin des quatre colonnes (Photo credit: Charlotte Garneau)

This year’s festival will feature projects including Le Jardin des quatre colonnes by architect Vincent Dumay, which aims to “raise awareness of the question of the finite character” of resources, Maillage by Friche Atelier, Matière-Matière by Studio Haricot, Rose-Marie Guévin and Vincent Ouellet and Racines de Mer by Cassandra Ducharme-Martin and Gabriel Demeule.

The event will run until Oct. 1, 2023.