Mother’s Day Musical Virtual Garden Tour


April 25 – May 16

Our Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour 2021 is going VIRTUAL!

Celebrate Mother’s Day, spring gardens, and the love of music with the VCM. Get an exclusive look at some of Victoria’s most beautiful private spring gardens online and listen to the wonderful music of our VCM students. Enjoy these extraordinary gardens and make a donation in honour of that special person in your life – it’s a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day while supporting the VCM’s efforts to keep music education, performance and wellness thriving in Victoria.

View our Virtual Gardens

Explore beautiful private spring gardens set to the wonderful music of VCM students HERE.

Mother’s Day Tributes

We invite you to donate in lieu of buying tickets ($35 each) and write a special tribute to your Mother or someone special HERE.

Your gift will have double the impact! Every gift will be matched up to $20,000

A huge thank you to the following generous donors who collectively have pledged $20,000 for this exciting matching opportunity:

  • Gary Karr & Harmon Lewis
  • Robert & Devi Jawl Foundation
  • Petra Janusas & Bill Majercsik
  • Wendy & Robert MacRitchie

View the Mother’s Day Tributes HERE.

With your support, we can keep the spirit of our iconic Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour alive and keep music education, performance and wellness thriving in Victoria.

Thank you!

Presenting Sponsors:




Every year we are lucky to have the generous support of Victoria Garden Owners who open up their gardens to the public to raise more than $40,000 for the VCM. This year, we are delighted to share these gardens through our virtual tour.

Thank you to all of our Garden Owners for sharing their outdoor retreats with our community.


A FAMILY TRADITION – sponsored by Munro’s Books
This beautiful garden was a labour of love rooted in family tradition for both homeowners. Coming from a long line of Italian gardeners and famers, Betty has a passion for edible plants. Vegetable beds, espaliered fruit trees, including lemon and apricot, and the grape covered pergola provide a symphony of seasonal edible delights. Chris, the son of Ann and George Nation who founded the Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour, can trace his love of ponds and perennials to his parents. Many plants originated from Ann and George’s garden, including a rose lovingly created and named for his grandmother, the Alix G. Don’t miss the waterfall and pond feature the owners created from material found on property.


EAST MEETS WEST – sponsored by Splashes
Winding paths lead you into a magical Japanese forest, stimulating all five senses. Featuring ancient trees, bamboo groves, and Japanese maple, each tree, rock and plant have a spirit that weaves a story.


ECLECTIC, ECCENTRIC, UNIQUE – sponsored by Thrifty Foods
This homeowner has spent the last ten years filling his garden with rare and unique plants. Garden features include a carnivorous plant bog, alpine beds, perennial borders, a cutting garden, and waterlily pond. Most notable are the two green houses that are filled with over 1,000 varieties of orchids – one of the largest collections on the island!


A GARDEN OASIS – sponsored by Canadian Tire
From hardscapes to vegetable beds, the homeowners rolled up their sleeves and worked tirelessly to transform this former construction storage site to an outdoor oasis. This easy-care garden is now a series of garden ‘rooms’ with vegetables, perennials, shade and sun gardens.  The homeowner has also built bee stacks to encourage pollination and bird houses for natural pest control.


VINTAGE CHARM – sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts
A beautifully restored 1926 cottage overlooks this peaceful garden of shade-loving perennials nestled under mixed canopy. At its heart is a picturesque stream gently weaving between two majestic 90 year-old giant sequoias.


MODERN SPLENDORS – sponsored by MAC Renovations
Step into this modern sunken garden of conifers, grasses, maples and perennials. Artfully designed and installed by the homeowner 6 years ago from 4 inch and gallon containers, this garden has matured into a sumptuous harmony of colour and texture.


This 20 year-old garden is home to a collection of rare and unusual rock and alpine plants.  The property features a dry Mediterranean garden, Tufa outcrops and a newly established crevice garden.


For each donation of $35 and up, we will post your tribute here!

A huge thank you to the following generous donors who collectively have pledged $20,000 for this exciting matching opportunity:

Gary Karr & Harmon Lewis
In memory of: David Clenman
One of the most extraordinary musicians we have ever known. 

Robert & Devi Jawl Foundation
In memory of:
All the wonderful mothers we lost to COVID-19.

Petra Janusas & Bill Majercsik
In memory of: llona Majercsik
Remembering llona Majercsik who passed away on December 24th 2020 at the age of 95. Born in Budapest, Hungary llona made the long journey to Canada in 1957 with her husband and four year old son William Jr, settling in Port Alberni. Tending to her garden, combined with the love of classical music was a lifelong interest and one she continued to enjoy when she moved to Qualicum in 2014. Always known as a strong, fun-loving lady who enjoyed music and her family. 

Wendy & Robert MacRitchie

In memory of: Ann & George Nation
(Ted & Susie Nation)

In memory of: Ann & George Nation
(Chris Nation)

In memory of: Ann & George Nation
In memory of my dear grandparents, Ann and George and their gorgeous gardens. I miss you! xoJill (Jill Nation)

Andrew & Wendy Nation

In honour of: Chris Nation
Thank you for persevering. I know my aunt and uncle would be thrilled in seeing Chris & Betty participating and the work you are doing. (Hilary West)

In memory of: Richard Bradshaw
We truly loved the tour of the gardens and the music provided, well done. (Patricia Bauer)

In honour of: My mother Peggy
Best wishes for continuing on in this difficult time. I come from a very musical family from the Island. An aunt and grandmother, both piano teachers. Many musical family members. Originally from Victoria, then Courtenay. Long live your music outreach!! (Monica MacDonald)

In memory of: Lynn Harper Mears
(Holly Harper)

In memory of: David Peters
Thank you to all the owners for sharing their lovely gardens on the Virtual Tour. Very appreciated. (Patricia House)

In memory of: May George

In memory of: Eric & Shirley Charman
Your incredible support and passion for Victoria’s musical arts community will never be forgotten. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. (Sandy & Ingrid Henderson)

In memory of: Mary Butler
(Joan Gilbert)

In memory of: Pamela Odgers
(Patricia Hofstrand)

In memory of: Marie Perlstrom (Milley)
In memory of my wonderful mother Marie Perlstrom (Milley) who was a gifted musician and shared her talents teaching in public schools and played with many local musical and chorale groups. Happy Mother’s Day- miss you every day. (Ellen Slanina)

In memory of: Moira Anderson
Good work on the virtual tour. Can’t wait though to return to garden sitting again as a volunteer. Next year, I hope. (Melissa Anderson)

In memory of: Angela Mitchell
(Hannah Mitchell)

In memory of: Marge MacKay
Hoping this can be put where most needed! I miss you! (Shirley Hesje)

In memory of: Pamela Odgers
In memory of my late mother, Pamela Odgers, a great opera lover and long-time supporter of classical music in Victoria. (Katherine Odgers)

In honour of: Anne Heal
(Sherry Richards)

In honour of: Ellen Anne MacLean
(Amber MacLean Parker)

In honour of: Margaret von Tigerstrom
(Maureen von Tigerstrom)

In memory of: Judy Echols
Thank you for organizing this online viewing of the gardens this year. We so missed it last year as it has become our annual tradition to attend each year. And this year is even more bittersweet as we lost the Master Gardener in our family to cancer last October. I never got to bring her to see the garden tour as she was too unwell over our recent six years living in the Victoria area. Thank you for all your hard work in coordinating this! (Jeff Echols)

In memory of: Minnie Thurmeier
In memory of my dear Mom, Minnie. She’s been gone for 30 years but still lives on in my heart. (Anonymous)

In memory of: Evelyn Walls
(Sharon Walls)

In memory of: Bess Don (1920-2008)
(Janet Morningstar)

In honour of: Virginia Jorgensen
I am so pleased my 91 year old mother can enjoy this great event from the comfort of her home! (Julie Marzolf)

In memory of: Anna John and Doreen Fraser
(Jill Yang)

In honour of: Lucy Carleton
(Laura Straathof)

In honour of: Mom/Gramma

In honour of: Ilene Crossan
(Marci Hotsenpiller)

In memory of: Doris Slater
Remembering my mother, Doris Slater, who treasured the Garden Tours for twenty years. My late husband, Jim Munro and I were honoured to have our own garden on the tour for three different years. (Carole Sabiston)

In memory of: Velma and Merle
In loving memory of my mother and mother-in-law who would have so enjoyed doing the Conservatory Garden Tour!!! (Elizabeth J Henderson)

In memory of: Anne Slanina
In memory of my wonderful Mom, Anne Slanina, who loved music and loved gardening. (Bernadette & Mohamed Mansour)

In memory of: Mom
Keep on reading those notes! Thank you. (Katherine Wittrock)

In memory of: Linda Grace
(Maria Dominelli)

In memory of: Maria G. Tassone
(Maria Dominelli)

In honour of: Penny Gilker & Robyn Peirce
(Kelsey Gilker)

In memory of: Francesca Gortan and Anne Slanina
(Lawrence and Mary Slanina)

In honour of: Dona O’Brien
(Karen O’Brien)

In honour of: Terry Wilkinson
(Graeme Wilkinson)

In memory of: Jim Geminiano
(Amabel de Lara)

In honour of: Joan Greatbatch
(Jean Greatbatch)

In memory of: Ninelia Vasconi
I donate in memory of my mother, for a special affection I feel for this institution that, through its online summer school last year, offered me the possibility of meeting very special people who have become part of my life. (Rossella Bernascone)

In memory of: Irene Fraser
In memory of my mother. (Fiona Sudbury)

In memory of: Ethel Cushing
(Stephen Cushing)

In memory of: Edith Dobson
(Julie Smith)

In memory of: Doris Cullen
(Roy Cullen)

In honour of: Marie Robillard
(Pauline Marie Robillard)

In memory of: Sheila Relf
(Kit Filan)

In honour of: Sophie Nemis
(Jean Anderson)

In honour of: Our Volunteers
You are the heart and soul of the Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour. Thank you! (Joan Milley)

In memory of: Hugh Borsman
(Carolyn Currie-Johnson)

In memory of: Neko & Angel
In memory of my beloved cats. (Paloma de la Guerra)

In memory of: Lee Soberlak
In memory of our mother. (Dianne and Carol Soberlak)

In memory of: Anne Stefura
To all the mothers that are looking down at their children. We love and miss you. (Vicky Barkley)

In memory of: John C. Van Beek
(Lavana Kilborn)

In honour of: Kelly Richter
(Laurie Sharp)

In honour of: Gillian Guy
(Laurie Sharp)

Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance, what are we?
So I say thank you for the music VCM! (Judi Scown-Geary)

In honour of: Griselda Christmas
We can listen to music together though the miles separate us. (Dana Wessel)

In honour/memory of: Mrs. Joan Henneberry; Mrs. Gizella Gyenge; Mrs. Veronika Kent; Mrs. Elizabeth Jagodics
(Dr. Anita M Gilder)

In memory of: Evelyn Weesjes
A generous and knowledgeable Gardener. (Carol Dancer)

In memory of: Alice M. Kother
(Naomi Ellis)

In memory of: Betty Riefman
My wife has been a member of the Joy of Life choir for many years. We appreciate the music it brings in our life and for the benefit of the community. (Michael Riefman)

In memory of: Betty Eileen Yusep
We believe strongly in the importance of music in the lives everyone. Music education is essential and we are thankful that we can help to make that happen for as many people, both young and old, as possible. Thank you for the work that you do. (Catherine Norrie)

In honour of: Lorna Elder
(Lori Elder)

In memory of: Michael Lam and Greg Younging
(Cathy Praud)

In memory of: Louise Lemire-Elmore
Master Gardener and Musical mom of 4 children all of whom benefitted from VCM Suzuki piano. (Bruce Lemire-Elmore)

In memory of: Jane Glassey
The beginning of 7 generations of music lovers in Victoria. (Linda B. Gower)

In memory of: Ursula Thomas
(Donald Hodgson)

In memory of: Elizabeth Lee Mogridge
Such a beautiful musical garden tour- thank you! (Laurie Beverley)

In memory of: Rev. Ralferd Freytag
(Harriet Freytag)

In memory of: Andrea Nelles
(John Lattimet)

In memory of: Agnes and Margaret White
(Eleanor White)

In memory of: Harriet
(Andy Stephenson)

To honour all Moms. (Carolina Anderson)

In honour of: Florence and Ken Millions
(Nancy Curry)

In memory of: Mary Jane Curry
(Jeff Curry)

In memory of: Pola Jakacka
Looking forward to the Musical Garden tour. (Irena Jazwinski)

In memory of: Shirley Fellowes
A wonderful lady who loved her gardens. (Terri Myhr)

In honour of: Sophie Shackleton

Thank you for you all! (Jane Woodland)

In memory of: Shirley Holmes
(Roxane Newell)

In honour of: Chary Caren
(Anthea Piets)

In honour of Mom’s love for the piano. (Hannah MacLeod)

In memory of: Nellie Godbold
(Dorothy Zelley)

In honour of: Marilyn Fox
Happy 70th Birthday to a superb music educator! Cheers! (Linden & Denise Holmen)

In memory of: Marjorie Maggie Crowther
Dear Mom (1921 – 2020): thank you for creating a binder of my music career from when I started piano lessons in the 1950’s – I cherish each handwritten anecdote, newspaper clipping, adjudicator’s write-up, and Victoria School of Music report card, saved by your labour of love. I miss you and love you. (Diane Crowther)

In memory of: Guy Ronald Crowther
Dear Dad (1924 – 2021): thank you for supporting my music career from when I started piano lessons in the 1950’s. You came to every concert and festival whenever you weren’t at work, and enjoyed the garden tours immensely, as you were an avid gardener yourself. I miss you and love you. (Diane Crowther)

In memory of: Lillias Myhr
A beautiful light that shines in our hearts. (Terri Myhr)

In honour of: All mothers
(Ed Chwyl)

In memory of: Karen McKim
Keep the music flowing. (Anonymous)

In memory of: Jean G. de Burgh
In memory of our dear Mother. (Sheila Wowchuk)



Music is at the heart of the Tour!

Every Sunday from April 25th to May 16th we will highlight current and past student and faculty performance videos. Featured here and on our Facebook page, turn up the Sunday Sounds’ and enjoy in your backyard or patio garden!

Follow us on Facebook HERE 


And follow the music to the Grande Finale! Our virtual gift to you in celebration of the 2021 Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour is a special online premiere of Opera Studio Duets, six famous works from our advanced vocal students. Fresh off the stage and into your home on Mother’s Day, May 9th at 4:00pm on the Victoria Conservatory YouTube Channel.

Watch “Opera Studio Duets” HERE








A huge thank you to our wonderful sponsors who have continued to support us to keep music thriving in our community!








Splashes logo









This Garden Tour has been a treasured annual event in the community since 1982, bringing music lovers together to enjoy beautiful private gardens and delightful music from students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

VICTORIA BC April 25, 2012- (FRANCES LITAN, TIMES COLONIST). For House Beautiful story by Grania Litwin.

Ann and George Nation created the Mother’s Day Musical Garden tour as a way to raise funds for the Victoria Conservatory of Music.  The couple, along with a dedicated group of their friends and volunteers, organized every aspect of the tour – coordinating the gardens, publicity, sponsorship, plant sale, and offering tea and music to the hundreds and thousands of visitors who have attended the Garden Tour over these many years. George, an avid gardener, grew every single plant and cutting that he submitted every year to the Plant Sale; there are many people today who can look at their own magnificent gardens to see what is now a beautiful tree or plant that was created by the hands of George Nation!

The Nations nurtured the tour to become one of the most loved and successful annual fundraising events in Victoria. They also continued the work started by Ann’s mother by providing very generous, loyal financial support that helped sustain the VCM over all of those many years. Their enormous contribution to the VCM was recognized by naming the “Ann and George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music” as a lasting legacy when the VCM celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2014.

George passed away on March 12th 2017 at the age of 97, and Ann passed away on June 1, 2019. We honour them for their energy, spirit, and unfailing support of and dedication to music education. May their love of music and gardening live on through the Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour for generations to come!


When Ann and George Nation created the Garden Tour in 1982 , it quickly became one of the most loved and successful fundraising events in Victoria. Today, a new generation of devoted volunteers, as led by the volunteer Garden Tour Committee, coordinates the operations of the tour to ensure its continuing success. Meet our volunteers:

Cathy Wong
Garden Committee Chair
Volunteer since 2018

Initially I was asked by a good friend and he thought I might be interested in volunteering with VCM.

As I was nearing retirement, it was an opportunity to look into other volunteer programs, learn, keep myself busy, meet new people, help with the organization and learn about their community.

I started volunteering in 2003, before I retired, so far, it’s been a wonderful experience for me, meeting others, organizing small and large events and learning about opera, art and culinary creativity and of course now more about gardens and the VCM.


Mary Slanina
Plant Sale Coordinator
Volunteer since 2010
Garden host in 2011

I bought a ticket for the VCM Mother’s Day Garden Tour in 2010 and absolutely loved it. Our garden was selected to be on tour in 2011, and that’s really where it all began. I started volunteering with the Organizing Committee and was asked to coordinate the plant sale and it’s 30 plus volunteers.

So now I’m closing in on 10 years and I’m happy to report that each year has been an adventure. I love seeing our volunteers, and of course how excited everyone gets when selecting their plants and treasures. It’s a happy place to be!

I’m very proud to be a part of the Organizing Committee knowing all funds raised assists the VCM and its various programs which in turn help so many community members.


Holly Harper
Garden Committee Member
Volunteer since 2012

As a Master Gardener and Realtor for Newport Realty, Holly puts her exclusive access and keen eye for landscape to good use, scouting beautiful private gardens for our Garden Tour.


Belinda Owen-Flood
Garden Committee Member
Volunteer since 2006
Garden host in 2006 and 2015

I am so happy to be a part of the annual VCM Garden Tour, it is such an inspiring event that honours Mothers and celebrates the timeless beauty of music and of gardens.


Bryan Emery
Garden Committee Member
Volunteer since 2020
Garden host in 2021

This self-described plant-addict joined our committee in 2020 to help us find awe-inspiring gardens to include on future tours. You can see Bryan’s rare and unique collection of orchids, carnivorous plants, perennials and so much more on this year’s virtual Garden Tour!


If you enjoy plants or love gardening, like working with the community and want to join this close-knit fun group of volunteers, click here to see volunteer opportunities for this exciting event and contact [email protected].