A Tourism Ireland-sponsored ‘Gathering’ garden has scooped the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for best overall garden 2013 at Canada Blooms in Toronto, the largest flower and garden festival in Canada.
Tourism Ireland arranged for leading Canadian landscape designer, Anna van Maris, to create a ‘Spring Gathering Garden’, to highlight The Gathering Ireland in Canada. Canada Blooms is a hugely popular show – attracting over 200,000 visitors – providing an excellent opportunity to showcase The Gathering and the wonderful gardens right around the island of Ireland to a large audience of potential Canadian holidaymakers. Voting for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ took place among visitors to the ten-day Canada Blooms show. The garden also took two other awards – ‘outstanding use of natural stone’ and ‘outstanding interpretation of sponsor’s message’. It has featured on major networks in Canada, including CP24 (a Toronto-based news channel), The Weather Network and on Canada AM on CTV (an English language TV network); as well as on Zoomer Radio and in the Toronto Star and Canadian Gardening magazine.
The winning ‘Spring Gathering Garden’ was a 2,600-foot lush green landscape – designed to bring the beauty of Ireland’s rich culture, history and scenery to life for visitors to the show. Features included archaeological, cultural and geological elements – such as the Passage Tomb at Newgrange, the gardens at Blarney Castle, the peatlands of Co Offaly and the Giant’s Causeway, standing stones, dolmens and Dublin’s famous cobble streets.
Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Canada, said: “We are delighted that our ‘Spring Gathering Garden’ has won three awards at Canada Blooms, helping us to raise awareness of The Gathering Ireland and the many wonderful festivals and events taking place around Ireland this year, as well as our world-class gardens. Our aim was to extend a special Irish welcome to visitors to Canada Blooms – giving Canadians a flavour of the fantastic experiences that await them on a visit to Ireland this year.
“Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions happening in Canada right throughout 2013, with a major focus on The Gathering. Over 4 million Canadians claim Irish ancestral links or affiliations with the island of Ireland and we are reaching out to those people, to encourage them to come home to Ireland in 2013 for a truly special experience. In our promotions, we promise our visitors an experience that will be unique, full of engagement and great fun. Our message for Canadian holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
With the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for best overall garden at Canada Blooms are (l-r) Jonathan Sargeant, Tourism Ireland; Gerry Ginsberg, Canada Blooms; Tom Shellenberg and Alex Zalewski, both of Parklane Nurseries in Canada.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• In 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.