Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens in Nova Scotia has been named the Garden of the Year in the Garden Tourism Awards presented by the Canadian Garden Council. The award was presented at the North American Garden Tourism Conference in Toronto. Located in Annapolis Royal, a town of fewer than 550 people in Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens have attracted almost 1 million visitors since its opening in August 1981.
In receiving the award, Trish Fry, manager, and Karen Achenbach, horticultural manager, acknowledged the hard work of volunteers and the support of the community in creating and extending Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens as a tourist destination.
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. Other 2015 awards include:
- Botanical Garden of the Year: Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden, in Newfoundland.
- New Garden Experience of the Year: UBC Botanical Garden Greenheart Canopy Walk in British Columbia.
- Garden Destination of the Year: Niagara Falls in Ontario.
- Garden Festival of the Year: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.
- Flower Festival of the Year: Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa.
- Garden Event of the Year: Allan Gardens at Christmas in Toronto.
- Flower Event of the Year: MUN Botanical Garden’s Pink Days in Bloom in Newfoundland.
- Garden Exhibition of the Year: Royal Botanical Gardens’ Earth Art in Ontario.
- Destination Garden Centre of the Year: Rideau Woodland Ramble, located in Merrickville, Ontario, between Kingston and Ottawa. This is a new award category, recognizing that some garden centres are expanding into offering extensive display areas.
- Community of the Year: Town of Boissevain, Manitoba, as part of Communities in Bloom.
More than 100 people from 10 countries attended the Garden Tourism Conference, which included presentations over three days on a range of topics focused on promoting garden destinations.
“As baby boomers age, garden tourism in Canada will be on the rise for the next decade,” says Professor Richard Benfield of Central Connecticut State University, who is author of the book Garden Tourism and chair of the International Garden Tourism Network.