22 March 2013


Gardens & Tourism:  A Match for Success
March 18 & 19. 2013  Delta Chelsea Hotel.  Toronto.  Canada

Toronto, Canada . . . March 19, 2013 . . . An annual awards ceremony tradition continued today when the Garden Tourism Awards were presented during the Garden Tourism Conference in Toronto, Canada.

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. Recipients travelled from across North America and as far away as Japan, France, Portugal, Italy, and Australia to proudly accept their Awards.

“It is an honor to be part of the international community that has established an awards program to recognize the invaluable contribution the world’s outstanding garden experiences make, not only in terms of environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism, but also in terms of the equally important intangible benefits that nature brings to the soul,” said Alexander Reford, Chair of the Canadian Garden Tourism Council as he handed out the Awards.

Michel Gauthier, Conference Chair, closed the event by saying, “According to Richard Benfield, author of ‘Garden Tourism’, more people visit gardens annually in the US than visit Disneyland and Disneyworld combined, and more than visit Las Vegas in any given year. Given those impressive statistics, we’re certainly on the right track as we recognize the country and the world’s finest garden experiences in this vibrant, thriving and rapidly growing segment of the international tourism market.”

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, proudly announce the 2013 recipients of the Garden Tourism Awards.

1. Garden of the Year:
Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews, NB
• sponsored by Rain Bird Corporation
2. Achievement of the Year:
Canadian Botanical Conservation Network
• sponsored by Canadian Garden Tourism Council
3. Botanical Garden of the Year:
VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC
• sponsored by VIA Rail Canada
4. Destination of the Year:
Montréal, QC
• sponsored by VIA Rail Canada
5. Destination Garden Centre of the Year:
The Enjoy Centre, St. Albert, AB
• sponsored by Horticulture Centre of the Pacific
6. Event of the Year:
Mosaïculture International de Montréal, QC
• sponsored by Canadian Tourism Commission
7. Festival of the Year:
Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa, ON
• sponsored by Canadian Tourism Commission
8. Honourable Mention:
Garden Voices of Ontario’s Historic Gardens
9. Initiative of the Year:
St. Albert Botanical Art City, AB
• sponsored by Horticulture Centre of the Pacific
10. New Garden Experience of the Year
Whistling Gardens, Wilsonville, ON
• sponsored by Canadian Nursery Landscape Association
11. Promotion of the Year:
gardenroute.ca, Peterborough & Area, ON
• sponsored by Baxter Travel Media
12. Person of the Year:
Dave Cowen, BC Garden Tourism Society/The Butchart Gardens, BC
• sponsored by Baxter Travel Media

1. Garden of the Year:
The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, Merano,Italy
• sponsored by Rain Bird Corporation
2. Achievement of the Year:
Gardens Without Limits Conference, Moselle, France
3. Event of the Year:
Gardening World Cup, Nagasaki, Japan
4. Festival of the Year:
Ponte de Lima International Garden Festival, Portugal
5. Initiative of the Year
Chelsea Fringe Festival, London, England
6. Promotion of the Year
National Garden Festival, Buffalo, NY
7. Website of the Year
8. Person of the Year:
Richard Barley, CEO Open Gardens Australia
• sponsored by Baxter Travel Media

Atlanta Botanical Garden. Atlanta, Georgia
The Butchart Gardens. Brentwood Bay (Victoria), British Columbia
Chanticleer. Wayne, Pennsylvania
Filoli Gardens. Woodside, California
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Richmond, Virginia
Missouri Botanical Garden. St. Louis, Missouri
Montreal Botanical Garden. Montreal, Quebec
Portland Japanese Garden. Portland, Oregon
Springs Preserve. Las Vegas, Nevada
Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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

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

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.

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 2015. 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. www.canadanursery.com

American Public Gardens Association (APGA)
Over the last six decades, the APGA has emerged as the premiere association for public gardens in North America.Today, APGA’s 500 member institutions are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and seven other countries. The APGA is committed to increasing the knowledge of public garden professionals through information sharing, professional development, networking public awareness and research so they have the tools to effectively serve visitors and members. APGA’s vision statement is to create a world where public gardens are indispensable. www.publicgardens.org

For more information, media only, please contact:
Garden Tourism Awards
Michel Gauthier
Garden Tourism Conference
Email: michelgo@magma.ca
Tel: 613-301-4554
Garden Tourism Awards
Alexander Reford
Canadian Garden Tourism Council
Email : Alexander.reford@jardinsdemetis.com
Tel: 418-775-2221 x 222