The Friends of the Public Gardens (TFPG) became a registered society in 1984. TPFG’s mandate is to encourage and support: the preservation and conservation of heritage features; protection of the ecological and cultural integrity; and education and promotion of the Halifax Public Gardens for the ongoing enjoyment of the general public.

The Halifax Public Gardens enjoy remarkably high visitation from both residents of Nova Scotia and visitors to the province. In 2013, at the Tourism Summit hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS), the Friends received the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Crystal Award of Excellence.

The TPFG annually holds The Jarvis Lecture, a public education event on garden related topics, named for Gardens’ benefactor, Mary Margaret Jarvis.
A weekly free public tour of The Gardens from May through November is provided by a TPFG Member, Tour availability will be increased during 2017.

In 2011 through 2012, The Friends launched the Victoria Jubilee Campaign to fulfil their commitment to contribute $200,000.00 towards the restoration of the iconic Victorian artefacts, the historic Bandstand and the Victoria Jubilee Fountain, in partnership with HRM and Canadian Heritage.

For the city’s October 2012 festival, Nocturne, Art-at-Night, TPFG hosted an event that allowed the public to enjoy the Gardens at night. The restored Victoria Jubilee Fountain was unveiled and the public were regaled with spectacular colour-changing lights dancing to Haydn’s Water Music. Halifax’s 2012 Poet Laureate wrote and recited a poem for the occasion. At the same time a history of the Gardens’ memorable events since 1836 was presented on large screens mounted on the Bandstand.

The book The Halifax Public Gardens, published by TPFG in 2008, was very well received and sold out by early 2013. During 2012-13, the Board of Directors conducted research to produce an accurate map of the Gardens’ current horticultural features. This enabled The Friends to publish a separate Pocket Guide and a revised edition of The Halifax Public Gardens book in September 2013. It is available online at and in some local bookstores.

In 2016, the Suellen Murray Educational Bursary was established and is awarded annually for projects related and beneficial to the Halifax Public Gardens
Our website,, and social media, i: e Facebook, Twitter, maintained by Members, enjoy phenomenal visitation providing visitors and world-wide audiences with a superb visual and informative online garden experience.


• TPFG is producing a spectacular celebration of the Gardens 150th Anniversary in 2017.
• TPFG is investigating the potential for the reactivation of the Halifax Public Gardens Protection Act which was passed in 1993, but never proclaimed.

The TPFG Board members are all volunteers. All are involved in the 150th Celebration preparations in addition to their Board positions:
Judith Cabrita Chair
Barbara Bickle Vice-Chair
Dwayne Tattrie Treasurer
Karen Guenther Volunteer Coordinator, Recording Secretary
Colin Stuttard Past Chair
Margaret-Anne Bennett Communications Chair
Joan Dawson Archives Chair
Jayne Gillis Events Chair
Claire Halstead
Elizabeth Irwin
Helen MacLean Membership Chair
Janet Murray Bursary Chair
Susan Nixon 150th Committee Chair