Two International Garden Festivals Join Forces


On the eve of the inauguration of its anniversary edition, which will run from June 22 to October 6, 2024, on the theme The Ecology of Possibilities, the Reford Gardens International Garden Festival announces that it will partner for the first time with the Festival International des Jardins, the emblematic event of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, in France. 

International Garden Festival organizers first reached out to Chantal Colleu-Dumond, director of the prestigious Domaine, in 2022, eventually leading to a reciprocal invitation to participate in the festivals’ 33rd and 25th editions, respectively. 

An all-female team from Québec will represent the Reford Gardens International Garden Festival at the 2024 edition of the Festival International des Jardins of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, which will be held from April 24 to November 3, 2024, on the theme Jardin source de vie [The Life-Source Garden]. Festival and Reford Gardens Director Alexander Reford, and Festival Artistic Director Ève De Garie-Lamanque will join the designers for the inauguration ceremony at Chaumont-sur-Loire on Friday, May 3.

The following month, the French delegation will travel to Grand-Métis to complete the installation of their unique garden and to take part in the opening ceremony and the Journées de réflexion on June 21, 22 and 23. The keynote speech will be given by our guest of honour, Chantal Colleu-Dumond, on Saturday, June 22, at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

33rd Festival International des Jardins of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire (Centre-Val de Loire, France)
Carte verte to the Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens International Garden Festival 

LNpaysage (Luu-Thuy Nguyen, landscape architect)
Champ Libre, studio créatif (Émilie Tanguay-Pelchat, landscape architect and scenographer)
Ève De Garie-Lamanque, curator
In collaboration with Yvette Michelin, sash finger weaver

FolkFlore is set against the backdrop of the dawn of the digital age, globalization and the frenetic pace of technological advancement—all elements that are profoundly altering our relationship with time, the physical world and each other. It stands in stark contrast to the homogenizing force of globalization and offers an in-depth reflection on the garden as a cultural construction.

By evoking both the boreal forest and the art of sash-weaving, FolkFlore embodies our vision of an ecologically, economically and culturally responsible future. Interdisciplinary and resilient, it speaks to the need to showcase, pass on and safeguard our intangible heritage.

Reford Gardens 25th International Garden Festival (Québec, Canada)
Guest of honour: Festival International des Jardins of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire
Bruissement d’ailes

Bernard Chapuis, landscape architect
Georges Vafias, architect and scenographer

Bruissement d’ailes highlights the need to get back to basics, to be as close as possible to our natural environment. Climate change and the destruction of natural habitats—these are the new conditions that the world’s temperate zones are now facing. Fragility, imbalance and uncertainty are now the order of the day, requiring each and every one of us to adapt to a changing climate by doing everything possible to temper the harmful effects of rising temperatures, by rethinking our behaviour, by battling heat islands, and by using new or traditional ways to address the problem of water and shade scarcity. Bruissement d’ailes encourages visitors to rekindle their relationship with nature and to pause for a moment in the shade of three elaborate sails, like outstretched wings over a waterlily pond.

An important partnership 
The timing of this collaboration could not be more opportune: Not only is the Reford Gardens International Garden Festival celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this summer, but it is also an opportunity to recall that it was the Domaine’s own garden festival that inspired the creation of the Reford Gardens festival in the first place, in 2000.

The partnership between these two flagship events in the world of contemporary gardens—both of which favour an interdisciplinary, eco-responsible approach—will undoubtedly contribute to the sharing and pooling of expertise, not to mention visibility on both sides of the Atlantic for the innovative work of the landscape professionals from Québec and France. 

About Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire 
Since 2008, the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire has been owned by the Centre-Val de Loire region, which created a new Établissement public de coopération culturelle [Public cultural cooperation establishment] (EPCC) to spearhead an ambitious artistic project. The Centre-Val de Loire region was one of the first in France to apply to acquire the Domaine national, especially prestigious due to its history and its prime location on the banks of the Loire, an area designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The mission of this public establishment is to protect and enhance the estate’s buildings and heritage, including the Château, the stables, the outbuildings, the park and the collections, and to develop a range of contemporary nature-themed activities in both the Château and the park, including the Festival International des Jardins, created in 1992, and a contemporary art season, which will celebrate its 17th edition in 2024. Each year, 30 new gardens are installed.

About the International Garden Festival
The International Garden Festival is recognized as one of the most important events of its kind in North America and one of the leading annual garden festivals in the world. Since its inception in 2000, more than 180 contemporary gardens have been exhibited at Grand-Métis and as extra-mural projects in Canada and around the world. Presented at Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens, at the gateway to the Gaspé Peninsula, the Festival is held on a site adjacent to the historic gardens created by Elsie Reford, thereby establishing a bridge between history and modernity, and a dialogue between conservation, tradition and innovation. Each year the Festival exhibits over twenty conceptual gardens created by more than seventy architects, landscape architects and designers from various disciplines. The event acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the RBC Foundation, Fondation Ariane Riou et Réal Plourde and Premier Tech. This bilateral exchange is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts; the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec; the ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie, in collaboration with the Service de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle (SCAC) of the Consulat général de France à Québec and the Délégation générale du Québec à Paris, as part of the Fonds Émérillon de la Commission permanente de coopération franco-québécoise (CPCFQ); and Premier Tech.