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Photo: Martin Bond


Since 1962, Reford Gardens — also known as the Jardins de Métis — has been a National Historic Site of Canada, open to the public. Reford’s legacy lives on across twenty acres of lush and scenic land, home to more than 3,000 species of plants from different locations worldwide. 

For its 18th edition, the Festival has added six new installations, chosen from 162 submissions received from 30 countries. The call for proposals invited candidates to put the concept of “play” into practice—resulting in interactive pieces that inspire visitors to engage with landscapes. The designs are conceived as antidotes to the creep of nature-deficit disorder, bringing back the magic of the outdoors. 

Together with projects retained from past years, this summer’s visitors enjoy some 26 installations that encourage them to pause and reflect—or get moving and play. The following projects are new or revamped for 2017, and are on view until October 8. 

Inspired by a cocoon and constructed directly into a tree, La Chrysalide beckons to visitors to climb inside and escape from their surroundings. 

“Our installation reflects the pause in time between childhood and adulthood,” says Lacombe, describing the metaphor of a cocoon as a place where caterpillars become butterflies. “It invites you to climb inside and experience a moment of reflection and introspection.” La Chrysalide is a place to dream, reflect, and focus on your feelings. 

Lacombe is a landscape architect and co-founder of Atelier MAP. He is also a teaching assistant at the University of British Columbia. Roy-Mazoyer is a landscape architect at Lemay in Montreal. [1] 


[1]     Moore, Shannon. “The Practice of Play: International Garden Festival, 2017.” Canadian Architect, May 2, 2019. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/the-practice-of-play/.

Additional information

“Architects and Designers Challenged to ‘Re-Think Play’ for International Garden Festival.” CLAD. Accessed May 29, 2021. https://www.cladglobal.com.

“International Garden Festival 2017 – Announcement of the Designers for Its 18th Edition – International Garden Festival / Reford Gardens.” v2com. v2com newswire, January 19, 2017. https://www.v2com-newswire.com.

“International Garden Festival Canada 2017.” The Garden Drum, August 19, 2017. https://gardendrum.com/2017/08/19/international-garden-festival-canada-2017/.

Moore, Shannon. “The Practice of Play.” Canadian Architect, August 2017.

“The ‘Playsages’ at the Jardins De Métis.” Westmount Magazine. v2com, August 24, 2017. https://www.westmountmag.ca/playsages-aux-jardins-de-metis/.

Profil des jardins. Accessed May 29, 2021. https://www.festivalinternationaldejardins.com/La-Chrysalide/.

“Six Winning ‘Playsages’ for the 2017 International Garden Festival in Reford Gardens.” Bustler, January 24, 2017. https://bustler.net/news/5429/six-winning-playsages-for-the-2017-international-garden-festival-in-reford-gardens.

La Chrysalide. Youtube. Jardins des Metis, 2016. https://youtu.be/UqFPBZwgdkM.

Project Title: La Chrysalide
Artists: Gabriel Lacombe and Virginie Roy-Mazoye
Place: Price, QC

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