Montréal Space for Life is inviting everyone to the Gardens of Light, a fall “highlight” running from September 8 to October 31. This year it includes a new lighted path through the Botanical Garden’s three cultural gardens, each looking at nature from a different perspective. Once night falls, you can explore the newly restored Chinese Garden festooned with immense dragon-shaped lanterns, mythical creatures associated with water. Then you can continue to the First Nations Garden, to enjoy a new multimedia experience set to the intense heartbeat of the cycle of life. To finish off your evening, stroll through the heart of Japanese Garden and take the time to appreciate the natural beauties around you in the poetic lighting.
“The illumination of the Botanical Garden started 25 years ago with the Chinese Garden, and then the Japanese Garden was added six years ago. This year, we are very proud to announce that the First Nations Garden is joining this fabulous Montréal fall celebration,” says Chantal Rossi, Associate Councillor, Culture, Heritage and Design and Montréal City Councillor for the Marie-Clarac District.
SITE #1 Chinese Garden
The Land of Dragons
To mark its reopening after the complete restoration of all its pavilions, the Chinese Garden invites you to learn about dragons, creatures that have featured in Chinese mythology for 5,000 years. They are associated with water, one of the five elements. But have no fear! These magnificent dragons fashioned from coloured lanterns are very approachable, to get a photo or a selfie. You’ll be able to admire the most imposing lantern ever created at the Botanical Garden in the festival’s 25-year history: the Shen Long dragon, bringer of rain, is 15 metres wide by 5 metres tall. Don’t leave without admiring the huge pearl that Shen Long hides in the folds of its chin or between its claws – a real treasure, standing for energy, prosperity, wisdom or immortality. Keep an eye out for the dragon’s nine sons, too, and don’t forget to take a picture under the dancing dragon lantern.
SITE #2 First Nations Garden - NEW
An intriguing projection and a soundtrack in symbiosis with the Sacred Tree
Imagine a heartbeat resounding deeply all around you in the woods. Thump, thump… Take your place around the huge illuminated poplar and feel the power of this Sacred Tree embodying the intimate contact between the Sky and Mother Earth. The unique sensory experience takes us back to our ancestors and recalls our bonds with nature through the Cycle of Life: birth, adolescence, adulthood and old age). It’s an intense, immersive sensation. You can feel a strong connection with nature in all its immense splendour.
SITE #3 Japanese Garden
Shedding light on the transience of nature
The Japanese are very sensitive to the impermanence and beauty of the cycle of the seasons. Huge numbers of people travel around the country to admire the finest displays of spring blossoms and fall colours. And right here, in the midst of Gardens of Light, the pure landscapes, the calm surroundings and soft lighting invite you to take time for introspection and contemplation. It’s a moment of grace, a way of enjoying the art of living in the gentle twilight.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL VISIT
• Buy your tickets online (montrealspaceforlife.ca) and go straight in. • Visit Gardens of Light in September, when the evenings are warmer and more pleasant.
• Start your visit at dusk, the magic hour!
• Take advantage of our complete food services, open until 8:30 p.m.
• Note that ticket counter hours have been extended to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It will be open until 9 p.m. on all other days.
Here’s to life!
As we mark our city’s 375th anniversary this year, Montréal Space for Life is saluting life and everything it gives us. Our institutions are hosting a captivating and festive program of activities bringing us all together to celebrate nature that heals, feeds and inspires us. (#Herestolife)
Montréal Space for Life is made up of four attractions on the same site: the Biodôme, Botanical Garden, Insectarium and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. These four prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, urging everyone to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.
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