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The International Garden Festival, presented at the Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens in the Gaspésie region of Québec, Canada, is preparing its 22nd edition and is issuing an international call for proposals to select designers who will create the new temporary gardens that will be presented from June 26, 2021. Building on the success of the past summer (where 60,000 visitors safely toured twenty-five garden installations), the 2021 Festival is intended to deliver hope, celebrate creativity and bring colour to a world battling to emerge from months of indoor confinement after a global pandemic.

Magic Lies Outside is the theme for the 2021 Festival. We are asking designers to acknowledge COVID-19 with an imaginative response. Your challenge is to offer visitors a temporary installation that will create a visceral connection to the outdoors. Doing so within the confines of regulations and sanitary concerns is a given. This means that your project will offer experiences that can be enjoyed in small numbers or assembly points that are generously proportioned to allow the appropriate distance. The modest space you imagine will foster connectivity to the outside world, free of the screen technologies that have been our constant companion for the past year.

Being outdoors is one of the few known antidotes to extended confinement. Designed landscapes may be occupied, but still offer safe and secure environments that enhance our well-being and mental health. The installations chosen with this call for proposals will bring awareness of the importance of designed greenspaces and their special magic. They will inform the global conversation on the special value of the outdoors and the unique capacity of design professionals and artists to create vibrant landscapes. Connecting visitors to creative landscapes is the objective. Fostering a needed engagement with the outdoors is the desired result.

The Festival encourages participants to form multidisciplinary teams. Designers will be asked to imagine their garden for exhibition for at least two summers and to propose strategies for the repurposing or recycling of the garden or its materials after the end of its exhibition.

This call for proposals is open to all landscape architects, architects, artists and multidisciplinary teams from Canada and abroad. The Festival encourages participants to form multidisciplinary teams. Applicants are limited to one proposal, either as individuals or as a team. Participants can be from a single city or country or cross international boundaries. Designers who have participated in one of the last three editions of the Festival are not eligible for this call for proposals.

The jury for the 2021 Festival will choose five projects from this call for proposals. The deadline for the submission of entries is Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 5pm EST. For information on the budget, design fees, build calendar, and more, consult the 2021 Festival Guidelines document on the Festival website

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