Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrews has emerged as a significant Canadian tourist attraction. Built on the grounds of the summer home of Mrs. Flemer’s parents and grandparents, the Garden was developed through a partnership involving the Flemer family, the Province of New Brunswick, the Town of St. Andrews and the community at large. Along with donating the family estate, the Flemers established a substantial endowment fund to ensure the long-term care and sustainability of the Garden. They assembled a highly qualified professional and technical team to create this horticultural reserve and then trained and employed a local team of estate gardeners and managers to ensure its long term development. In 2006, the Flemers were awarded the Minister’s Award for Tourism Excellence.
Building on this work, the Flemers have worked tirelessly to incorporate visual arts in this space. They have initiated a national sculpture competition, attracting entries from throughout North America. Personally sponsoring the prizes, the Flemers have purchased work for permanent installation at Kingsbrae Garden as well as hosting temporary throughout the seasons. In 2012, they have moved to using an independent jury process, thereby offering artists a professional and impartial opportunity for adjudication. They have simultaneously formed partnerships with Sunbury Shores and Beaverbrook Art Gallery to develop exhibitions throughout the summer months in the gardens. A gallery for the exhibition and sale of art works has been established in the Kingsbrae Garden café. A program of art in the garden has been initiated, offering opportunities for artists to work in situ in both painting and photography. The ARTRAGEOUS Festival continues to grow.
As advocates for the intrinsic value of the visual arts, the Flemers continue to plant new seeds that will surely grow as this garden has grown. In this spirit, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, in consultation with Mr. and Mrs. Flemer, has granted a $1000. Arts Advocacy Scholarship in their name to Maggie Higgins, a third year Mount Alison fine arts student. Together we embrace and support the value of the visual arts.