Grand-Métis, March 6, 2023 – Les Jardins de Métis is launching a new publication that celebrates the life and contributions of Elsie Reford. The book is being launched at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre, the National Library and Archives in Ottawa and at the Morrin Centre in Quebec City. The Ottawa launch will be held on International Women’s Day, on Wednesday, March 8.
Beautifully illustrated with photographs commissioned for the book, Elsie Reford 150 Objects of Passion recounts the life and times of Elsie Reford through 150 objects that she owned and used during her long life. The objects are presented on each of the 350 pages of this book published by Les Jardins de Métis in collaboration with Les Éditions Umanium. The book is just one of the legacies of the celebrations of a woman who contributed to Quebec society and who created one of the best-known gardens in Canada. The book caps the year-long festivities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth of Elsie Reford in 1872. With the book, Les Jardins de Métis is also initiating a campaign for Elsie Reford to be recognized as a “personnage historique” by the government of Québec under the Loi sur le patrimoine culturel.
Elsie Reford 150 Objects of Passion is the fruit of much work by its many contributors. Collaborators and experts have brought their talents to create not one but two books in separate English and French language editions. Among the authors is historian Alexander Reford, director of Les Jardins de Métis (and great grandson of Elsie Reford), Karine Hébert, professor of history in the Département des lettres et humanités de l’Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), Marjelaine Sylvestre, director of exhibitions at Les Jardins de Métis (she previously held the position of collections archivist from 2015 to 2021) and Patricia Gallant, horticulturist at the gardens since 1998.
The publication was made possible with a generous grant from the Drummond Foundation. Jack Herbert has donated 100 copies of Elsie Reford : 150 objets de passion to local libraries and schools.
To learn more about the book and its numerous contributors, click here.
Elsie Reford 150 Objects of Passion is available for purchase from the online shop laboutiquedesjardins.com.
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.
The Elsie Reford 150 Legacy Project
Born in 1872, Elsie Reford dedicated her energy to improving Montreal and the life of Montreal women. She was the co-founder of the Women’s Canadian Club of Montreal. Through her inspired leadership of the Montreal Maternity Hospital, the Montreal Council of Social Agencies and the Victorian Order of Nurses, she demonstrated her commitment to women’s health. She led the fight for access to medical services for the underprivileged. Her example of philanthropy in action is today inspiring a new generation of women.
In 2022-2023, Les Amis des Jardins de Métis is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Elsie Reford with a series of events and special projects. To perpetuate her memory after 2022, Les Amis des Jardins de Métis established the Elsie 150 Fund, an endowed internship program that will contribute to incubating the next generation of women leaders in various fields.
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