16 April 2012


 Vancouver, Canada . . . April 13, 2012 . . . An awards ceremony tradition was continued today at the Annual Canadian and International Garden Tourism Awards Luncheon sponsored by VIA Rail Canada and hosted by VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Garden Tourism Awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction.

“Gardens are among Canada’s premier tourism destinations, offering unique experiences and attracting visitors from our core and emerging markets,” said Michele McKenzie, President & CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission as she presented today’s Awards.

Dave Cowen, Chair of the B.C. Garden Tourism Coalition, and General Manager of Butchart Gardens closed the event saying, “Given the enormous number of Canadian and American travellers – almost 14 million annually, as quoted in the latest TAMS (Travel Activity and Motivation Study) -- who include visiting Canadian gardens among the top ten things they want to do while on a holiday, it has been a pleasure to recognize Canada and the world’s many and varied garden experiences as vibrant tourism products.” 

The inaugural Garden Tourism Awards were presented at the 2011 Garden Tourism Conference held in Toronto. To view past winners, visit:  www.gardentourismconference.com  and click on the ‘media’ tab.

In the spirit of highlighting Canada and the world’s most dynamic garden experiences and Garden Tourism’s limitless potential, the Canadian Garden Tourism Council, in consultation with a Canadian and international jury network, is proud to announce the 2012 recipients of the Garden Tourism Awards.


1.            Canadian Garden Tourism Garden of the Year:
                Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC
                  sponsored by Canadian Nursery Landscape Association                                                                                                                                                                                   
2.            Canadian Garden Tourism Person of the Year: 
                Raymond Carrière, Communities in Bloom, QC
                  sponsored by Baxter Travel Media
3.            Canadian Garden Tourism Festival of the Year:
                Festival international de jardins, Jardin de Métis, Grand-Métis, QC
                  sponsored by Canadian Tourism Commission

4.            Canadian Garden Tourism Event of the Year:
                Le Rendez-vous horticole, Montréal Botanical Garden, QC
                  sponsored by Canadian Tourism Commission
5.            Canadian Garden Tourism Initiative of the Year:
                Rooftop Garden, Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto, ON
                  sponsored by Horticulture Centre of the Pacific
6.            Canadian Garden Tourism Promotion of the Year:
                Downtown Gardens, Centre Eaton Montréal, Montreal, QC
                  sponsored by Baxter Travel Media
7.            Canadian Garden Tourism Achievement of the Year: 
                Visitor Centre, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver BC
                  sponsored by Canadian Nursery Landscape Association
8.            Canadian Garden Tourism Honourable Mention: 
                Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC  


1.            International Garden Tourism Garden of the Year:
                Singapore Botanical Garden, Singapore

2.             International Garden Tourism Event of the Year: 
                Ellerslie International Flower Show, Christchurch, NZ

3.             International Garden Tourism Festival of the Year: 
                National Blossom Festival, Washington, DC

4.             International Garden Tourism Person of the Year:
                Piet de Vries, General Manager, Keukenhof, Lisse, the Netherlands       

                Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens.  Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

                Descanso Gardens. La Cañada Flintridge, California

                Ladew Topiary Gardens.  Monkton, Maryland

                Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Niagara Falls, Ontario

                The High Line. New York, New York

The Patrons of The Garden Tourism Awards are:  Canadian Garden Tourism Council, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) and Garden Tourism Conference. 

The Garden Tourism Awards are supported by:  Ontario and BC Garden Tourism Coalitions, Associations des Grands Jardins du Québec, Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association (LO), Communities in Bloom, Jardins sans limites, Metz, France and the American Public Gardens Association.

The Garden Tourism Awards are sponsored by: VIA Rail Canada, Baxter Travel Media, Canadian Tourism Commission, CNLA, Air Canada and the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific.

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Canadian Garden Tourism Council
The Canadian Garden Tourism Council, founded in 2011, is the national umbrella body for provincial Garden Tourism Coalitions. Until it is incorporated, the Council operates as a committee of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA).

Garden Tourism Conference
The Garden Tourism Conference takes place every other year in Toronto, Canada.  In recognition of the importance of Gardens and garden experiences as tourism generators, it is the opportunity to showcase best practices of both the Garden and Tourism industries in order to grow both sectors.  The next Garden Tourism Conference will take place in Toronto on March 18 & 19, 2013 during Canada Blooms, Canada’s largest, annual, flower and garden festival.  For more information, visit:  www.gardentourismconference.com

Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA)
The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) is a national federation of nine provincial green industry associations representing over 3,600 members in the landscape horticulture, retail garden centre, and nursery (primary production) sectors.  For more information, visit:  www.canadanursery.com

For information, please contact:

BC Garden Tourism Coalition                            or                            Garden Tourism Awards
Graham Bell                                                                                          Michel Gauthier
Public Relations                                                                                    Canadian Garden Tourism Council,  
Email; grahambell@butchartgardens.com                                      Email: michelgo@magma.ca                          
Tel:  250-544-4479                                                                              Tel:  613-301-4554