Elsie 150 - Year Long Celebrations at Les Jardins de Métis


Elsie 150 is the title given the project piloted by Les Amis des Jardins de Métis to commemorate and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Elsie Reford. 

Les Jardins de Métis are the living legacy of Elsie Reford – so we celebrate her work every day of the year. How to celebrate a woman who entered this world 150 years ago? For the current generation, her achievements are long past – and her example of female leadership mostly unknown. The 2022 program is built around the passions that drove Elsie Reford to achieve much in many walks of life and bring her story to Quebec and Canada. 

Opening the Gardens to the Community

Sharing the Gardens with local residents and the community with Free Admission on Special Days Throughout the Year 

  • Open House to celebrate the opening of the Grand Hall Desjardins (Sunday, June 5)
  • Radio-Canada Launch Event (Friday, June 24) with live broadcast from the gardens of the International Garden Festival 
  • Free Sundays in June, July, August, September and October

Sharing the Love of Music

The musical picnics on Sundays throughout the summer featuring musicians from the Conservatoire de musique de Rimouski are back for a second season.

Elsie Reford’s violin is to be played for the first time in more than a century as the focal point of a summer concert and celebration. Learn more about Elsie and her relationship with music here:

We have commissioned a new work of music by Juno-nominee Mathieu David Gagnon and an inaugural performance in the Grande Salle Desjardins.

Finally, we will have performances by the Estevan trio in Estevan Lodge and selected venues in the region. 

Opening a Portal to the Past Through Exhibitions and Innovative Installations

Fishing Guides 

A new travelling exhibition that will begin its voyage from Metis down the Matapedia River in Estevan Lodge in June 2022. A celebration of the remarkable collection of objects, fishing flies and stories of guiding and fishing for Atlantic salmon.

Moments in Time

A large-scale display along the entire length of the interpretive screen to introduce visitors to the remarkable history of the gardens and the women and men who created them 

Au fil du temps

An installation by photographer Louise Tanguay to illustrate her work over twenty years to capture the beauty of Elsie Reford’s Gardens 

Gaelic Crossing 

A massive stone sculpture by land artist Bill Vazan that illustrates Elsie Reford’s roots in Scotland and Ireland

Olmsted 200

Featuring the work of photographer Geoffrey James and his work to capture the achievements of landscape architect Frederic Law Olmsted, in honour of his 200th birthday.

Power Up

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of power generation on the Mitis River with a new parcours of installations and exhibitions designed by Atelier Pierre Thibault leading from the gardens to the falls on the Mitis River. 

Walking with Artists 

A curated art walk integrating works of outdoor sculpture by works selected by the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts 

Creating a Library of Memories Through Publications

Three new publications will celebrate Elsie’s gardens and her life and times. 

Elsie 150 Passions 

A curated album of 150 objects selected to illustrate the life and achievements of Elsie Reford. This book is a collaboration with Les Éditions Umanium. 

Au fil du temps

Au fil du temps, a celebration of the work of photographer Louise Tanguay at Les Jardins de Métis for the past twenty years, to capture its beauty and magical moments. Published by Gallimard.

Elsie’s Paradise 

A new coffee table edition of Elsie’s Paradise and Treasures of the Reford Gardens by Alexander Reford will be published by Les Éditions de L’Homme.

Creating Moments to Celebrate Gardens and the Environment

Be there for planting of a food forest, with 150 trees to nourish future generations.

Shoreline cleanups are also planned to highlight the pioneering work to preserve the Mitis River and the St Lawrence shoreline.

Feasting on Local Produce

Our Outdoor Feasts in aid of Les Amis des Jardins de Métis and the International Garden Festival are coming back this year again.

Making the Gardens Come Alive with Performances

The Cartes Blanche series of performances on the Veranda by Atelier Pierre Thibault:

-Walden, musical performance by Richard Séguin

-Fin de vie utile by actress Christine Beaulieu

-Dance by the Carré des Lombes featuring choreography by Danièle Desnoyers 

Promoting Leadership Among Women

We invite you to a series of roundtables promoting female leaders who are shaping Quebec and Canadian society and making a difference in their professions and creative work through out the summer.

A marquee event will be held in Montreal to commemorate the role of Elsie Reford in founding the Women’s Canadian Club of Montreal and promoting the voice of women in shaping public policy. 

Story-telling Through Technology and the Spoken Word

Les Jardins de Métis are proud to present an 8-part podcast broadcast by Radio-Canada illustrating the life and times of Elsie Reford.

An audio-guided tour of the Gardens with excerpts from François Cheng's Meditation on Beauty, music by... , will give visitors a whole new experience.

Literary teas, in collaboration with the CLAC, will also be held once again in the gardens.


A Landscape of Creativity

Grand Hall Desjardins – the centrepiece of the transformation of the gardens’ creative spaces to make them accessible year-round 

Wave Walk – a new pathway built along the top of the escarpment overlooking the St. Lawrence River 

Bridge to the Future – the promenade plantée from the visitor centre to the entrance to the International Garden Festival 

Finally, for a 23rd edition, five new installations on the site of the International Garden Festival will be constructed in May and June on the theme ADAPTATION.