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Call for Proposals – 24th International Garden Festival: Roots

Canada Architecture News - Oct 22, 2022 - 17:22   1084 views

Call for Proposals – 24th International Garden Festival: Roots

The International Garden Festival is launching a call for proposals to select designers to create the new temporary gardens for the Festival’s 24th edition, which will open on June 23, 2023, on the site of Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens. 

Building on the success of the past summer (where 60,000 visitors safely toured twenty-five garden installations on the theme of Adaptation), the Festival is seeking projects that explore the valorization, transmission and reactualization of traditional knowledge and savoir-faire. 

Racines / Roots is the theme to which we are inviting designers to respond with their proposals to imagine a present and a future that is ecologically, economically and culturally responsible by drawing on the teachings of past generations.

With the advent of the digital age, globalization and the rapid speed of technological advancement that are changing our relationship with time, the physical world and each other, Racines / Roots rejects the unrooted vision implanted by the industrial revolution to embrace an approach that seeks to be nourished from a common heritage. The theme counters the forces of homogenization that is part of globalization, incorporating the notion of globality coined by the Martinique poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011). It invites a return to what is essential by integrating the use of native plants, local materials – whether reused or with limited environmental impact –, as well as traditional methods of construction combined with a contemporary vision that embraces both regional communities and ecosystems. Racines | Roots intends to challenge the status quo and create innovative human scale environments. It seeks to transcend generations and disciplines.

The jury for the 2023 Festival will choose five projects from this call for proposals. Designers are invited to design a garden that can take place in one or other of the axes of the Festival. The artistic and technical committee of the Festival will identify, in collaboration with the designers, the site that will best showcase their project. Designers will be asked to imagine their garden for exhibition for at least two summers and to propose strategies for the repurposing or recycling of the garden or its materials after the end of its exhibition.

Eligibility of Candidates

This call for proposals is open to all landscape architects, architects, visual artists and multidisciplinary teams from Canada and abroad. The Festival encourages participants to form multidisciplinary teams. Applicants are limited to one proposal, either as individuals or as a team. Participants can be from a single city or country or cross international boundaries.

Designers whose work has been exhibited in one of the last three editions (2020, 2021 or 2022) of the Festival are not eligible for this call for proposals.

Deadline to Submit Proposals

The deadline to submit proposals electronically is Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at 17:00 EST. 

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. All the details are available here.

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 2000, over 1 million visitors have discovered the more than 195 contemporary gardens created by designers from 15 countries. The Festival is a unique forum for innovation and experimentation and an exceptional showcase and launching pad for participating designers from a host of disciplines. It provides an annual rendez-vous for admirers of contemporary gardens and design as well as offering a unique space for those involved in the renewal of this art form. This artistic and tourism event also gives visitors a chance to discover inspiring spaces bringing together the visual arts, architecture, design, landscape and the environment.

Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens

are located on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers in Québec, Canada. Created from 1926 to 1958 by avid gardener and plant collector, Elsie Reford, the gardens are a national historic site designated. Les Jardins de Métis are considered one of the premier gardens in North America. They are an obligatory stop for all those visiting eastern Québec and the Gaspésie region. 

Hydro-Québec has been a major partner of the Reford Gardens since 1999.

For more information, visit the website

Top image © Martin Bond.

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