A Tourism Ireland-sponsored ‘Gathering’ garden has scooped the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for best overall garden 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.”