Jennie Butchart Inducted into British Columbia Hall of Fame


We are pleased to announce that Jennie Butchart, née Kennedy, creator of The Butchart Gardens in 1904, was inducted into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame on May 20, 2015.

Intelligent and artistically gifted, Jennie attended one of the most prestigious schools in Canada at the time, The Brantford Young Ladies’ College. A testament to Jennie’s gift was a scholarship opportunity to study art in Paris offered to her at the completion of her studies. Jennie never took the opportunity to study in Paris, and instead put her focus on getting married and starting a family.

Meeting through various social circles, Jennie Kennedy and Robert Butchart were deemed to be a well suited match; they were married in 1884 in Buffalo, New York. Following their wedding, they travelled to England to embark on their honeymoon where Mr. Butchart obtained the cement recipe that would make him one of the first in Canada to successfully manufacture portland cement. Later they headed west and opened a plant in Victoria in 1905, having settled on what was to become The Gardens in 1904, taking advantage of the rich limestone deposits necessary for cement production.

The Butchart estate included both the Butchart home and the quarry. When Mr. Butchart’s cement company exhausted the limestone in the quarry, it left a three and a half acre hole on the property. In efforts to making the area more appealing to the eye, Mrs. Butchart’s creativity was sparked, transforming the hole into a beautiful garden appropriately named the “Sunken Garden”.

The garden proved to be so successful and it continued to grow and so did the public interest surrounding it. The Butchart’s suitably named their home “Benvenuto” which is Italian for welcome. This naming reflects the Butchart’s spirit when it came to allowing people in their home to visit the gardens, as well as, to have tea. Today, the Gardens are a National Historic Site of Canada and approximately one million people visit from all over the world each year.

2015 Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame Inductees

The Butchart Gardens is an internationally renowned 55-acre (22 hectare) display garden located near Victoria, British Columbia. Created in 1904 by Jennie Butchart, and still privately owned and operated by her great granddaughter, The Gardens has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada and welcomes over one million visitors a year.

The Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame is an initiative created by Junior Achievement of British Columbia to honour British Columbia business leaders who have made outstanding contributions to our province and country. The Hall of Fame stands as a testament to the positive legacy the Laureates provide to future generations of business leaders.


Daphne Gardner
Public Relations
The Butchart Gardens