The organization is active in promoting tourism, economic development and employment creation in the region and is one of the leaders in the tourism economy in Eastern Québec. Les Amis des Jardins de Métis actively solicits contributions from public partners and private donors to support its special projects and annual programs.
Les Amis des Jardins de Métis acquired Les Jardins de Métis following a privatization process initiated by the Government of Québec. The government had operated the gardens since acquiring them from Brigadier Bruce Reford in September 1961. Following the announcement of the proposed closure of the gardens in June 1994, Les Ateliers Plein Soleil, under the leadership of its president, Thérèse Beaulieu-Roy, rallied the local community in a common cause to preserve the gardens. Joining forces with several members of the Reford family, their bid for the gardens enjoyed broad support within the community. The government was similarly convinced that their bid provided the greatest assurance for the preservation and development of the gardens. Les Amis des Jardins de Métis was incorporated in February 1995. The act of sale between the Government of Québec and Les Amis des Jardins de Métis was signed on July 4, 1995.
Since 1962, more than 5 million visitors have enjoyed the beauty of the historic gardens and contemporary installations exhibited at the International Garden Festival. With its botanical collections, heritage buildings, the International Garden Festival and its exceptional site on the shore of the St. Lawrence and the Mitis River, Les Jardins de Métis is one of Canada’s leading cultural destinations. They are considered one of the “great gardens” of North America and were voted the “wonder” of the Lower St. Lawrence region in 2012. In 2014, the gardens were named “Garden of the Year” by Canada’s Garden Council and were again granted the coveted “Five Blooms” following an evaluation by Communities in Bloom this summer.
Les Amis des Jardins de Métis has a board of six members. The board includes members of the Reford family, representatives of Les Ateliers Plein Soleil of Mont-Joli, and members from the community.
Les Amis des Jardins de Métis is incorporated in the province of Québec. Its head office is in Grand-Metis, Québec.