17 March 2015



Toronto, Canada . . . Tuesday, March 17, 2015 . . . Today at the North American Garden Tourism Conference, the Canadian Garden Council is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Canadian Garden Tourism Awards which were presented by The Honourable Peter Kent, MP, Thornhill, Ontario.

“As baby boomers age, garden tourism in Canada will be on the rise for the next decade,” predicts Dr. Richard Benfield, author of ‘Garden Tourism’, and chair of the International Garden Tourism Network.

Confirming the prediction, Larry Hodgson, Canada’s Garden Route spokesperson, tour leader, prolific author and horticultural expert for Fleurs Plants Jardins magazine said, “My garden tours, most of which are in Canada, have been filling up like never before, and I'm doing more and more of them all the time. 10 years ago, I did about 6 or 7 a year (I'm including out of country tours): this year, it will be 15. Most of these are 2 to 4 day tours to various gardens in Quebec and Ontario.”

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. Now presented annually, the inaugural Garden Tourism Awards were bestowed at the 2011 North American Garden Tourism Conference held in Toronto, Canada. To view past winners, visit www.gardentourismconference.com and click on the ‘media’ tab.

In the spirit of highlighting Canada’s most dynamic garden experiences and Garden Tourism’s limitless potential, in consultation with a Canadian jury network and with thanks to the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association for sponsoring the 2015 Awards Program, the Canadian Garden Council is honoured to announce the 2015 recipients of the Canadian Garden Tourism Awards.


1. Garden of the Year
Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, NS
Sponsored by: Canadian Nursery Landscape Association
2. Botanical Garden of the Year
Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden, NFLD
Sponsored by: VIA Rail Canada
3. New Garden Experience of the Year
UBC Botanical Garden Greenheart Canopy Walk, BC
Sponsored by: Canadian Nursery Landscape Association
4. Garden Destination of the Year
Niagara Falls, ON
Sponsored by: Baxter Travel Media
5. Garden Festival of the Year:
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, BC
6. Flower Festival of the Year
Canadian Tulip Festival, ON
Sponsored by: VIA Rail Canada
7. Garden Event of the Year
Allan Gardens at Christmas, ON
8. Flower Event of the Year
MUN Botanical Garden’s Pink Days in Bloom, NFLD
9. Garden Exhibition of the Year
Royal Botanical Gardens’ Earth Art, ON
10. Destination Garden Centre of the Year
Rideau Woodland Ramble, ON
11. Community of the Year
Town of Boissevain, MB
Sponsored by: Communities in Bloom
12. Initiative of the Year
Misa Tours International, QC
13. Website of the Year
The Butchart Gardens, BC
14. Person of the Year
Brian Minter, BC
Sponsored by: Baxter Travel Media
15. Journalist of the Year
Steve Whysall, BC
Sponsored by: Enterprise Canada
16. Media of the Year
Canadian Gardening Magazine, ON
Sponsored by: Enterprise Canada
17. Honourable Mention
Fleurs Plantes Jardins Magazine – 25th Anniversary, QC
18. Honourable Mention
Halifax Public Gardens – Outstanding National Recognition

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Canadian Garden Council
The Canadian Garden Council is the national umbrella body for provincial and national garden organizations. Its vision is to champion the garden experience sector’s contributions to the well-being of Canadians and the sustainability of our communities and to promote the joys and benefits of gardens, landscapes and green infrastructure.

The Council manages: Garden Days www.gardendays.ca , Canada’s Garden Route www.canadasgardenroute.ca , Garden Tourism Awards and Garden Tourism Conference www.gardentourismconference.com

The Canadian Garden Council Board is comprised of members from the BC Garden Tourism Society, Ontario Garden Tourism Coalition, Associations des grands jardins du Qu├ębec, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, Communities in Bloom and representatives from public and botanical gardens in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador.

For more information (media only) please contact:

Michel Gauthier, executive director, Canadian Garden Council
Tel: 613-3014554 email: michelgo@magma.ca