The Reford Gardens Unveil a Celebration of Salmon


Grand-Métis, July 13, 2022 – The Reford Gardens invite you to join us for several special events and exhibitions to celebrate the Atlantic salmon, part of the Elsie 150 celebrations Discover two new temporary exhibitions and participate in special activities with artists and performers  


  • Screening of Edgar Fritz's The Veranda with actor Christine Beaulieu and architect Pierre Thibault on Wednesday, July 13 at 5:00 p.m. in the Great Hall. To reserve, click here:
  • Gyotaku workshop with artist Alexis Aubin-Laperrière, Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 at the Arboretum. Demonstration from 9 to 11 am, discussion at 4:45 pm. Held on Sunday in case of rain.
  • Les saumons de la Mitisipu, performance created by Christine Beaulieu, July 15, 16 and 17
    (SOLD OUT).
  • Guided tour of the Fishing Guides exhibition with Alexander Reford, Director of Les Jardins de Métis, on Friday, July 15 at 3 pm.
  • Dinner in aid of Les Amis des Jardins de Métis, Friday, July 22, at 5 pm. The culinary theme is salmon from start to finish. With chef Frédérick Boucher offering a tasting experience revealing the many tastes and textures of the Atlantic salmon. $200/ticket ($125 tax receipt). Reserve by calling 418 775-2221, ext. 221.

For more information about our programming, please consult:


Fishing Guides

At times, their identities were known, and at others, they were a mystery. From Indigenous, francophone or anglophone backgrounds, fishing guides were truly the heart and soul of this activity practised in Les Fourches, later renamed Matamajaw, and in Grand-Métis. Their vast knowledge of the rivers running through the fishing camps helped them guide anglers to the best salmon fishing spots. The guides were also indispensable resources for anglers—and their biggest fans when they made the catch of the day. Fishing guides truly set themselves apart from others working on the river and garnered respect from anglers alike, appearing in photographs and letters, and receiving gifts of gratitude for their knowledge of the land and fish-finding talents.

This exhibit pays tribute to the many fishing guides who lived in the region, exploring in depth their hard work, the friendships they forged with those they guided, and their knowledge of the river’s natural resources that they strived to protect.

Look-à-tout, par Alexis Aubin-Laperrière

The salmon fisherman’s arsenal contains a tool with a surprising name: the “look-à-tout.” Designed as an inverted periscope, the look-à-tout is used to locate salmon underwater when it’s impossible to see through the surface of the river. Inspired by this tool, visual artist Alexis Aubin-Laperrière created Look-à-tout by simulating a second or two of viewing salmon in a pool. Printed using the ancient Japanese technique of gyotaku, this six-frame series shows, frame by frame, three salmon in action. In the words of the artist:

Gyotaku [gyo] : fish, [taku] : print

“The Japanese developed the practice of gyotaku as a way to inventory species, certify fishing stories (trophies), and pay homage to the nurturing sea. The oldest known and preserved fish prints date back to the early 19th century. Founded at the crossroads between art and scientific recordkeeping, this discipline meshes perfectly with my artistic approach. In this spirit, I can’t help thinking about the first time a fisherman saw a fish print. I can relate to the person who was curious and motivated enough to appropriate this craft, most likely purely by coincidence: A cuttlefish caught in a net release its ink, staining the other fish, which leave imprints on the deck of the boat. This view of the origins of gyotaku is what guides me to pursue this spontaneous method.” – Alexis Aubin-Lapierrière

Alexis Aubin-Laperrière was born in Chicoutimi in 1987. Established in Montreal since 2005, he undertook university studies there which led him to develop his artistic practice which he now pursues alongside his career as an art teacher.


About the Reford Gardens

A National Historic Site of Canada and a Quebec heritage site, the Reford Gardens is a must-see stop for anyone visiting the Gaspé and the Lower St. Lawrence. A cultural space and tourist destination for 60 years, the Reford Gardens are an iconic landscape that offers visitors soothing and innovative experiences of connection to nature. Located at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers, they were designed by the adventurous horticulturist Elsie Reford from 1926 to 1958 and are listed as one of North America's most famed gardens and one of the world's top 150 great gardens. Hydro-Québec has been the lead sponsor of the Reford Gardens since 1999.

Reford Gardens is open daily from 8:30 a.m. until Sunday, October 2, 2022. Admission is free for children 13 and under. Visit for full program details. Hydro-Québec has been a partner of the Reford Gardens since 1999.

On the first Sunday of the month, the Reford Gardens participate in the free admission to museums for Quebec residents of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications.