Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

May 25, 2016 09:30 ET

War Flowers Exhibition Presents a New Facet of the First World War

The Government of Canada supports Reford Gardens

GRAND-MÉTIS, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - May 25, 2016) - Department of Canadian Heritage

Rémi Massé, Member of Parliament (Avignon-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia), today announced support of $250,000 for Reford Gardens. He made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister for Canadian Heritage.

This funding, provided through the Access to Heritage component of the Museum Assistance Program, will be used for the production and presentation of a multi-platform travelling exhibition called War Flowers.

The exhibition, which will open in 2017, is inspired by the correspondence from Lieutenant-Colonel George Stephen Cantlie to his wife and children during the First World War. These letters, preserved by Cantlie's granddaughter, each contain a pressed flower picked from a battlefield.

Quick Facts

  • War Flowers will present the letters of Lieutenant-Colonel George Stephen Cantlie and highlight the pressed flowers found in his correspondence by linking them to 10 people-soldiers or Canadian citizens-who played a key role in Canada's contribution to the First World War.
  • It will include sound and light effects, as well as fragrances associated with the 10 flowers and people.
  • The exhibition will be displayed first at Reford Gardens, in Grand-Métis, from June to September 2017 and then travel to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, where it will be on view from October to December 2017.


"I am pleasantly surprised by this new planned exhibition, which will let Canadians discover little-known aspects of their history in such an original way. Congratulations to the people behind the concept for showing boldness and creativity in dealing with the subject of the First World War in a unique manner."

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"The presentation of this important exhibition, which will travel all the way to Ottawa for the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, will definitely help raise awareness of the outstanding national historic and heritage sites that make up Reford Gardens. We are proud that thousands of Canadians and visitors to both the region and Canada's capital will have access to this piece of our heritage."

- Rémi Massé, Member of Parliament (Avignon-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia)

"Flowers and stories are an inextricable part of Reford Gardens. For the past 90 years, the gardens created by Elsie Reford have been covered with indigenous and exotic plants. This exhibition will give us a chance to explore the history of several remarkable people, including Elsie Reford and her cousin George Stephen Cantlie, as well as their role in the First World War. Combining innovation, conservation and tradition, the exhibition will take place in the historic Estevan Lodge, where visitors will be immersed in a journey that's both educational and emotional."

- Alexander Reford, Director, Reford Gardens

Associated Links

Reford Gardens

Museums Assistance Program

Access to Heritage Component

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Contact Information

  • Pierre-Olivier Herbert
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

    Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage