Main News Go Outside and Play!

Go Outside and Play!

>Go Outside and Play!

The International Garden Festival in Grand-Métis, Canada, opens its 19th edition, and is having some fun. It’s fun for the designers – but mostly fun for visitors. The Festival continues its exploration of play with Playsages II – Go Outside and Play! Landscape architects, architects, artists and designers from across Canada and around the world responded to the call for proposals to imagine creative spaces. 

Seven new projects offer imaginative spaces where families can congregate and play together all summer. Jump into a canoe to traverse a pond. Choose your own column for a photo op. Leap skyward above the walls of a corn maze. Ascend the vertical cliffs of a metallic Percé Rock. Take a spin on a forested carrousel. Caress the samara of the iconic maple. You can even make your own garden by assembling a lean-to of colourful sticks. Go outside and play – and have some fun!y responding to our growing distance and alienation from the natural world with a defiant invitation to re-think outdoor spaces. “Go Outside and Play!” – is a call to action 

We spend less time outdoors and when outside we often observe the natural world with an electronic device in our hands. We mask the sounds of the surrounding environment with ear buds. We distance ourselves from experiencing nature by cocooning ourselves in our isolation. How can we make change happen? These new installations will join the seven playsages created for 2017 edition of the Festival to offer a vast playground of designed spaces.

The International Garden Festival is the leading contemporary garden festival in North America. Since its inception in 2000, more than 175 gardens have been exhibited at Grand-Métis and as extra-mural projects in Canada and around the world. Presented at Les Jardins de Métis, 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. 

A National Historic Site and Québec heritage site, the Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens are an obligatory stop for all those visiting eastern Québec. Cultural space and tourist destination for over 55 years, the Reford Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in the Gaspésie region, providing visitors with experiences for every sense. Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers, they were created between 1926 and 1958 by avid gardener and plant collector, Elsie Reford. 

Each year the Festival exhibits conceptual gardens created by more than seventy architects, landscape architects and designers from various disciplines in a pristine environment on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The International Garden Festival is presented with the financial assistance of many public and private partners: Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Emploi-Québec, Emplois d’été Canada and the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec. Hydro-Québec has been the lead sponsor of the Reford Gardens since 1999 and presenter of The Right Tree in the Right Place garden by NIPpaysage.

International Garden Festival
(via v2com)
Photograpy: © Martin Bond