Canada Blooms

Gilda’s Club Gnome Garden

Gilda's Club Gnome Garden

In 2020 Canada Blooms reached out to celebrities and artists to see if they would help us to create a Gnome Garden for Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto.

Margaret Taylor, who is a member of the Garden Club of Toronto, an international floral design competitor and winner, an instructor and floral judge, took on the project of the Gnome Garden at Canada Blooms.

Margaret assembled a team of volunteers who reached out to celebrities and artists to see if they would be interested in painting gnomes to bring awareness to Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto. The gnomes were to be displayed in the Gilda’s Club Gnome Garden and each of the gnomes were to be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto.

Margaret then travelled the countryside looking for a couple dozen gnomes that would look fun and interesting. Each gnome is between 12″ and 24″ and no two look alike. Then after getting the commitment from each of our painters, Margaret and her team then had the fun task of delivering each of the gnomes to their destination and then retrieving them and storing them until the final reveal at Canada Blooms.  And during all of this Margaret was planning her design for the WAFA India competition which took place just before Canada Blooms.

It has been a  journey, sometimes fun and sometimes strange — we lost one gnome along the way, as it was accidentally dropped — oops.  One of the wonderful artists who offered to paint a gnome passed away suddenly, and her niece stepped in and completed the gnome as a way of honouring her aunt.

But each gnome was completed, and names where chosen and pictures taken.  You may have seen some of the finished gnomes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as both the artists and the members of Margaret’s team were busy teasing people leading up to the festival.

Then it happened, Canada Blooms, and their partner — the Home Show, made the fateful decision that they would have to close the festival the day before opening day, much to the disappointment of staff, exhibitors and attendees. But we all agree that safety comes first.

So because most of you never had to opportunity to see all the gnomes or meet the wonderful artists who donated their time and talent to create each masterpiece, please see below. Then decide which gnome you would like to bid on, because the Silent Auction will take place at Canada Blooms 2021.


MISSION:  The mission of Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto is to ensure that all people impacted by any cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.  Emotional and social support are essential to a complete cancer care plan.  All networking and support groups, educational workshops and social activities are provided free of charge.

ABOUT OUR CHARITY : The burden of cancer is not only physical but deeply emotional. Where physicians provide medical expertise following a cancer diagnosis, Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto  is the expert in managing the emotions, behaviors and social relationships impacted by this diagnosis when cancer is the greatest stressor in one’s life.  Their proven psycho-social programs focus on support for the whole family i.e. cancer support groups for the person with cancer as well as support groups for the caregivers, spouses/partners and children in the family and they don’t charge for membership. Their 5 core programs are: support groups for adults, teens and children, education workshops, healthy lifestyle activities, art base programs and referrals and resources. Gilda’s Club also hosts a March Break Camp and a July summer camp for children whose lives have been affected by a cancer diagnosis in the family. Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto has been coined “The missing link in the cancer care system.”

By supporting Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto, you are helping them ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.

To find out more or donate, please visit:

Meet the Artists:

Gnomes Artists


Bluejay by Judy James and Roberto Alomar


Roberto Alomar
Roberto “Robbie” Alomar Velázquez is a former Major League Baseball player who played for the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Judy James
Judy is a Floral Artist and Artist. She volunteers at Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto.


Roberto Alomar


Mini Joe and Mini Jack by Angela Argentina


Angela is the chef and vegan food consultant at Kindred Kitchens. She is also an artist and a yoga instructor.


Angela Argentina


Chanel by Jeanne Beker


Jeanne is a Canadian Journalist, Media Personality, and Fashion Entrepreneur. Jeanne started her career as an actress, but moved into radio and then television on The NewMusic and CityPulse News. She then went on to become the hose of the Fashion Television (FT), which aired for 27 years and had viewers in more than 130 countries. Jeanne was recently named Style Editor of The Shopping Channel, and hosts a regular series for the channel entitled “Style Matters with Jeanne Beker”. She was recently appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014 for her support of the Canadian fashion industry


Jeanne Beker


Pobbles by Sue Clarkson


Sue is a floral designer and artist.



Flower Place Holder


Gnomenclature by Ben & Mark Cullen


Ben Cullen
Ben is a fourth generation gardener. Ben spent several years working in the food industry before travelling across Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China on his own, then joining his dad, Mark, in the business a few years ago. Ben has a passion for food gardening and the environment. Ben is co-author of
Escape to Reality.

Mark Cullen
Mark has been broadcasting and writing about the gardening experience since the early 80’s. He has written 23 books, including Escape to Reality. In 2016 Mark was awarded the Order of Canada for “his connections with everyday Canadians through his gardening and environmental messages.” He is the Volunteer Chair of the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign.



Mark & Ben Cullen


Valentine by Bruno Duarte


Bruno grew up surrounded by flowers on his family’s farm in Madeira. His approach to floral design is both sculptural and emotional, blending organic materials and found objects together to create works of art. When he’s not at his studio, Bruno can be found creating arrangements in front of a live audience in many places in the USA, Northern Ireland and the UK. Bruno represented Canada in Singapore in 2018 in Windows of the World at their garden show. He won Floral Artist of the year 2019 at Canada Blooms, received second place at Maple Leaf Cup 2019 and won the CAFA award for most creative use of materials at the Maple Leaf Cup 2019. Bruno won Judge’s Choice at Canada Blooms 2020.


Bruno Duarte


Dandy by Jayne Eastwood


Canadian Icon Jayne Eastwood is a renowned actor who has had plenty of experience showcasing her comedic talents in TV shows like King of KensingtonSCTV and Little Mosque on the Prairie. For her latest project – web series, Hey Lady– she amps up the laughs as an older woman navigating the challenges that come with aging. Jayne received the ACTRA Toronto 2019 Award of Excellence that recognized her 50-year career in film, TV, stage and voice animation.
IMBD.COM – Jayne Eastwood


Jayne Eastwood with Dandy


Norm Gnomey by Frankie Flowers


Frank A.K.A. Frankie Flowers is one of Canada’s most trusted gardening and weather experts.  With 4 best selling books including Power Plants, Pot it Up, Get Growing and most recently Food to Grow Frankie’s books exemplify his mission to motivate people to garden.  Frankie can be seen daily on CityTV Breakfast Television, he is a regular garden expert on CityLine and also has been the gardening expert for the Dr Oz show. Frankie’s family operates one of Canada’s largest combined greenhouse and garden centre operations located in Bradford and Barrie.




Frank Ferragine




Hortensia by Denis Flanagan



Denis has just retired as PR Director at Landscape Ontario, he was the host of HGTV’s One Garden, Two Looks and Indoor Gardener, a frequent Canada Blooms speaker, and garden designer, teacher and consultant.  Denis combines over 30 years gardening experience with a sense of humour that makes him a popular speaker at events across the country. Denis also appears as an expert guest on many other gardening shows on TV and radio.



Denis Flanagan painting Hortensia


Albert by Albert Graves


Albert has been teaching at Humber for more than 20 years and is an internationally recognized expert in floral design and the commercial floral industry. Trained in the Netherlands, he came to Canada in 1987 and opened Bloemen Décor, a Toronto-based floral design studio, in 1995. Continually searching for the new and novel he has the unique talent of keeping things within a strict design ethos. Whether it’s decorations for the Dutch Queen’s birthday, flowers for visiting dignitaries, glamorous celebrities or an appearance on various television shows, you can be sure that Albert’s designs always bear his unique signature.


Albert Graves


Rex by Rex Harrington


Rex is one of the most accomplished and acclaimed male dancers of his era, he brought seemingly limitless panache, energy, style and showmanship to the vast range of characterizations he created during his 20 years with The National Ballet of Canada. He joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1983 and a Principal Dancer in 1988, remaining in that position until his retirement in 2004. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 and was given a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2005. In 2006, he received an Honorary Degree from York University and was appointed Artist-in-Residence with the National Ballet. Rex was a frequent judge on the popular television programme, So You Think You Can Dance Canada.



Rex Harrington


Gulliver by Jacqui Jacobs


Jacquie is a renowned artist how has had her art displayed in Canada and many European Countries.



Jacqui Jacobs


Judy by Judy James


Judy is a Floral Artist and Artist. She volunteers at Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto.


Flower Place Holder


Claude the Gnome by Nicole Katsurus


Nicole received a Master of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins School of art and design in London, UK and has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. Her work can be found in numerous corporate collections. Nicole is currently working on three solo exhibitions in Vancouver, Arkansas and Toronto.


Nicole Katsuras


Eco Ed and Forrest The Frog by Anwar Knight


Anwar is a proud Canadian broadcaster, blogger, and self-proclaimed “weather weenie”. Anwar Knight joined the CTV News Toronto team as the Weekend Weather Reporter in 2007 and in 2009 transitioned to reporting the weather weekdays on CTV News at Noon. Anwar is proud to be an integral part of Toronto’s #1 Newscast. He anchors the local morning news briefs, followed by live reports from various community events in the GTA on CTV News at Noon while delivering his always engaging forecast.



Anwar Knight


Portrait of a Gnome by Darlene Kulig


Darlene was awarded the CSEA/Berol Prismacolour National Art Scholarship awarded to six Canadian students entering Fine Arts based on outstanding potential in visual arts.  TorontoHOME and Ottawa Life Magazine have featured Darlene’s award winning work, showcasing her vibrant, coast to coast Canadian landscapes. Currently, Darlene is focusing her creative efforts full time on developing a recognizable, signature Kulig Canadian landscape as well as traveling with an eye for her next painting series. You can find her work in galleries across Canada and the United States as well as private collections around the world.


Darlene Kulig


Pride Gnome by Colin Mochrie & Deb McGrath


Colin Mochrie
Colin is a Scottish-born Canadian actor, writer, producer and improvisational comedian, best known for his appearances on the British and US versions of the improvisational TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Deb McGrath
Debra is an actress and writer, known for Expecting, Getting Along Famously and The Joe Blow Show.
IMBD – Debra McGrath


Deb McGrath and Colin Mochrie


Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil by Camille Muller


Camille studied at McMaster University, the University of Western Ontario, London Teachers College and the Ontario College of Education. On graduation, she has had an extensive teaching career spanned grades 5 to 13 – including adult education groups.
Camille enjoys working in watercolor, acrylics, collage, mixed media and print making. In the medium of porcelain/china she has earned the designation of Certified Master Artist and Master Teacher.


Camille Muller


Sweetie by Mara Sciavetto


Mara’s award-winning work has been accepted into numerous prestigious juried shows, including the Ontario Society of Artists (OSA) and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. She has also exhibited in many group shows and several solo shows. Her work can be found in collections throughout North America and Europe. She is a member of several art organizations, including Neilson Park Creative Centre, where she often paints with like-minded passionate artists.


Mara Sciavetto


Mary by Meghan Thompson


Meghan is a Visual arts teacher with the Toronto District School Board. She also creates comics and illustrations, with online galleries at and Meghan stepped in painted Mary in memory of her aunt Mary Shaver, a west end artist, who started painting the gnome but then had a tragic accident.


Meghan Thompson


Papa Gnome by Tanja Taylor


Tanja is the Director, Creative Services at RBC Global Asset Management.


Tanja Taylor


John by Mayor Tory


Mayor Tory has spent his life giving back to the city he loves, through his tireless work in public, private sector and philanthropic roles.

Elected as the 65th Mayor of Toronto in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, John Tory is making the city more liveable, affordable and functional.


Mayor John Tory


Happy Gardener by Paul Zammit


A graduate of the University of Guelph’s Plant Agriculture program, Paul is an active member of many Canadian and international gardening communities. He lectures on a wide array of subjects, including container gardening, perennials, ground covers and tropicals.

A popular and engaging speaker, Paul has given presentations at many garden clubs and large garden shows such as the Canadian National Exhibition, Success With Gardening and Canada Blooms, and other horticultural trade shows in both Canada and the United States


Paul Zammit

What is Canada Blooms?

Canada Blooms is an annual world-class festival that connects people to the joys and benefits of nature through experiences with gardens and flowers, by promoting, educating, inspiring and celebrating all aspects of horticulture....


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