From September 29 to October 31, Halloween is taking over Espace pour la vie, blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality. The Sorcerer Kalbacius will be seizing the opportunity to take control of the Jardin botanique’s Main Greenhouse, along with his fantastic creatures and—surprise!—his apprentice, Petiole, who will soon be obtaining his bewitchment diploma.
Children and their parents are invited to come help Petiole learn new skills and practice their own sorcery technique! There’ll be a wand handling class, potions workshop, the power of squash revealed and Magic Steps Circuit—everything is set to wow Kalbacius! Visitors will also have the opportunity to see a play featuring none other than Frisson l’écureuil (Scaredy Squirrel), a much-loved children’s book character created by author Mélanie Watt. A fun, bewitching time awaits you!
Main Greenhouse – Daily, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Guided activity between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, and between 10 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. on weekends
The sorcerer’s haven is home to a menagerie of strange creatures. As harvest season comes to a close at the Jardin botanique, Kalbacius has gathered a wide variety of squashes to exercise his powers.
You can see Batterfluff, bizarre gourds and cat-spiders; discover a strange vegetable garden and a chilling tunnel; keep an eye out for bewitched creatures and meet Kalbacius (who’s always busy studying our world) and his apprentice Petiole, who’s curious to learn sorcery skills!
Classes are in session!
Classes offered daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn how to wield a magic wand and master its unsuspected powers!
The power of squash revealed
The large cucurbits family has much to reveal at Halloween. Learn about the different types of squash and their secret powers to help you hone your witchcraft skills!
PULL OUT YOUR BOOK OF SPELLS and join in the fun!
Hospitality Greenhouse – Daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Here, it’s all about experimenting! To become a sorcerer, you first have to master the art of potion-making. The plant witchery class is a program requirement for all apprentices. This potions workshop puts the focus on plants and the power of the imagination!
Frisson l’écureuil et la course aux bonbons
Play for children aged 4 to 8
Frisson l’écureuil (Scaredy Squirrel), a character created by author Mélanie Watt, is worried: How do you prepare for the scariest day of the year when you’re afraid of everything? Will he be ready to go trick-or-treating?
Auditorium – In French only
Sept. 29 to Oct. 6, Oct. 10 to 13 and Oct. 31: at 11:30 a.m.
Oct. 7, 8, 9 and Oct. 14 to 30: at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Space limited. Specific tickets (free) can be reserved online. Valid upon presentation of a Jardin botanique or Gardens of Light admission ticket for the same date. Passes also available at the Welcome Desk, subject to availability. Reservations recommended for groups (514-868-3000).
Magic Steps Circuit
From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
With guided activities Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday (and Sunday October 8), 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Have fun exploring and searching the garden for creatures that have escaped from Kalbacius’s clutches and run away. Fun activity for the whole family!
KOWAI! Des histoires à faire peur…
– for children aged 4 to 8
Japanese Pavilion — Monday to Friday, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Japanese folklore teems with spooky characters: ogres, witches, spirits and demons. Are you brave enough to listen to tales of their evil deeds? Yield to the charm and power of kamishibai—Japanese paper theatre. Your imagination will take care of the rest!
Two for one!
Gardens of Light (Jardins de lumière) continues until October 31. Take advantage of your visit to combine two magical events at the Jardin botanique.
Tickets for Gardens of Light provide all-day access to the outdoor gardens and greenhouses.
The Gardens of Light visit takes place at the time indicated on your ticket.
We are grateful to the Friends of the Garden for their financial support for the Halloween shivers activities.- 30 -
Did you know that agriculture, food waste and waste management generate more greenhouse gas than all the cars, trucks, trains and boats in Canada put together? It was to find a solution to this and for other reasons that researchers from the Jardin botanique and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) are working with partners from the Montréal agrifood sector.
Waste turned into fertilizer – and even into food!
Thanks to the circular economy, problems related to agrifood waste have been transformed into a win-win partnership. What’s happening is, bakeries, breweries and other local manufacturers of fruit- and vegetable-based products are supplying organic waste used as raw materials by Montréal-based entrepreneurs. By using innovative biotechnologies like composting, mushroom growing (myciculture) and insect rearing (entomoculture), these companies are turning waste into food or fertilizer.
Science for optimizing ecological profitability
These processes of organic-waste transformation depend largely on microorganisms that waste contains, which at this point are not well understood.
Over time, the project Omics to Close the Loop will allow for a better definition of these biological mechanisms and therefore for improvements in their efficiency – for example in diagnosing the health of agricultural systems, in making the most of how these perishable raw materials are used, or in improving the health of agricultural soils with fertilizers truly suited to urban conditions and able to increase carbon storage.
With the aim of more fully understanding these processes, the scientists from the Jardin botanique are studying how the microorganisms specific to these materials work. They’re examining the way in which agrifood waste is digested and then how the organisms that exist in these products improve soils and crops.
To unveil this infinitely small world of microorganisms, microbial DNA and existing biochemical mechanisms are studied by way of so-called omics technologies. This integrated approach, consisting among other things of isolating the microorganisms of interest, creating a series of databases and doing a computer modeling of complex systems, enables an understanding of the roles that each one may play with regard to greenhouse gases, carbon storage in the soil, and the health of crops.
Concrete, applicable results
Omics to Close the Loop brings together institutions, scientists and stakeholders from the urban agrifood industry to process waste in a way that reduces the use of fertilizers and foods with a higher carbon footprint:
- by improving the production of composting, of mushrooms and of the rearing of edible insects;
- by generating byproducts of great value for the health of agricultural soils and of crops;
- by combining genomic research with studies on social, economic, and environmental impact.
In the longer term, the project will offer solutions that can be implemented by the entire Canadian agricultural sector. In processing a greater volume of agrifood waste through decentralized composting (10%), through mushroom farming (5%) and through insect farming (5%), 220,791 tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided and 202,379 tonnes of carbon fixed in the soil in 2035 in Canada.
- Joan Laur, biologist-researcher, Jardin botanique
- Louise Hénault-Ethier, associate professor and centre director, INRS
This project is supported by a $6.5 million grant from Genome Canada.
Gardens of Light will be illuminating the Jardin botanique this year from September 1 to October 31. As part of its signature fall event, Espace pour la vie invites you to walk the paths of the Botanical Garden’s three illuminated cultural gardens. Don’t miss the Chinese Garden’s latest feature showcasing one of China’s greatest legends, the butterfly lovers.
At the Japanese Garden The cycle of the seasons
Japanese culture is marked by great sensitivity to the present moment and to the many signs of the changing seasons, with the impermanence of things making the transformations all the more precious. The illuminated Japanese Garden is a living work of art where the landscaping and the plants themselves, with their myriad forms and colours, take pride of place. The pine forest, dressed in the sounds of acoustic instruments representing the wind, offers visitors a moment of serenity.
At the First Nations Garden The rhythm of life
At the heart of the circle of the seasons of life, flowing one after another in an endless stream, the Moon marks time and sets the rhythm. Embodying the fundamental principles shared by Indigenous peoples and given voice by the words of Innu poet Joséphine Bacon and the songs of Moe Clark, the First Nations Garden’s illuminated path beckons visitors on an immersive and poetic journey into the circle of life.
At the Chinese Garden The legend of the butterfly lovers
In the middle of Dream Lake, the two most famous butterflies in Chinese culture have come to light on a luxuriant stand of lanterns. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the Chinese butterfly lovers, have transcended time, and this fall they have come to light up the Chinese Garden to the strains of the Violin Concerto, one of the best-known works in Chinese music. This beautiful, timeless legend has inspired and sustained people for centuries with its profound vision of love and life.
Timed tickets, a popular and effective admission reservation system, are back. To make the most of your experience, you will have to choose a set time for your visit when purchasing your tickets. Your timed ticket will allow you to wander freely through the Jardin botanique’s three cultural gardens. It will also give you access to the entire Jardin botanique, which can be visited at any time on the same day.
Ticketing and schedule: espacepourlavie.ca/ticketing
Gardens of Light is funded in part through the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal between the City of Montréal and the Government of Québec.
La Presse, Partner of the Gardens of Light event- 30 -
In 2020, the Jardin botanique launched a participatory initiative called Imagining the Jardin botanique. The aim was to initiate a process of reflection and creation by our employees and the general public in order to conceptualize the Jardin botanique of 2031—its centenary year. Our thinking would take into consideration the socio-ecological transition, equity and inclusion, citizen participation, and innovation.
In preparation for this 100th anniversary in 2031, the Jardin botanique has set forth a vision and direction aimed at the following: ensuring the long-term viability of its infrastructures; pursuing its mission in a consistent manner; updating its services to Montréal residents; and maintaining its international profile as one of the 10 leading botanical gardens in the world.
Accessibility and inclusion a priority
A key objective of the Master Plan of Montréal’s Jardin botanique is to offer a botanical garden that is both inspiring and universally accessible to all. Enhanced gardens, exhibitions and services that make the experience and information accessible and inclusive are therefore fundamental. This objective is also consistent with the priorities of Montréal 2030 and Espace pour la vie.
Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in an intersectional perspective
Projects will be considered following a gender-based analysis (GBA+), in an intersectional perspective. This approach makes it possible to identify and rectify exclusions, by considering all groups who may suffer forms of discrimination based on such factors as age, ethnicity, gender, and physical and intellectual limitations.
Starting in 2022, the Jardin botanique team began implementing citizen consultation workshops so that projects could be planned in collaboration with groups experiencing exclusion. Their input has been essential in ensuring that their particular situations are taken into account right from the beginning.
Refurbishment of the western gardens
This area of the Jardin botanique includes the gardens along its western boundary, adjacent to Pie-IX Blvd. It comprises the Perennial Garden, Food Garden, Garden of Innovations, Québec Corner, Monastery Garden, medicinal and poisonous plants, and the Shrub Garden. Work will be carried out in this sector between 2025 and 2028. A new space, currently being discussed, will be adapted for families in this area.
The families and children space
This is the first of four areas being created with families in mind. It will include games and hands-on experiences under the theme of a participatory and water discovery garden. The Garden of Innovations is, by its nature, an ideal place for demos and experimentation activities.
Rehabilitation of the Jardin botanique’s walkways
With a focus on improving the clarity, accessibility and safety of our pathways, this project aims to identify and rehabilitate the entire system and develop a new, fully accessible walkway network for visiting the Jardin botanique. This will include a review of the overall traffic flow in order to ensure a fluid, immersive experience for all visitors.
Citizen consultation workshops. Sign up!
You too can participate, whether you have a particular condition or not, or know little or nothing about the Jardin botanique!
A number of citizen consultation workshops are being planned, open to everyone. Fill in the form to receive more information as soon as it is available.
Refurbishment of the western gardens
- Workshop 1 – September 2023 (how to participate)
- Workshop 2 – Spring 2024 (how to participate)
Creation of a new space for families and children
- Workshop 1 – April 30, 2023 (completed)
- Workshop 2 – Spring 2024 (how to participate)
Réaménagement des voies de circulation du Jardin botanique
- Workshop 1 – Fall 2023 (registration?)
- Workshop 2 – Spring 2024 (registration?)
Throughout the year and through its programming, Espace pour la vie aims to contribute to reconciliation with First Peoples. Whether we're talking about our relationship with nature and the land, history, current realities, artistic creation,and the diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, many of our museums’ activities offer an opportunity for a significant encounter.
Learning, understanding, and engaging dialogue
One of Espace pour la vie museums’ missions is to raise awareness and educate the public. Through their respective programming, citizen participation projects, and artists’ residencies, the museums offer the opportunity to learn, understand, and engage in a dialogue with First Peoples.
June 21st, the public is invited to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day at the Jardin botanique.
Special entertainment at the First Nations Garden and tasting of annedda tea, a symbol of First Peoples’ know-how and of mutual aid between nations.
1 - 4 pm | First Nations Pavilion | Free with purchase of ticket to the Jardin botanique
Special screenings of shorts films from Wapikoni Mobile selected by Indigenous curators, followed by a discussion led by the Indigenous ambassador and the guest filmmaker.
2 to 3:30 p.m. | Henry Teuscher Auditorium | Free activity
Inaugurated in August 2001, the First Nations Garden provides an opportunity to learn more about the rich cultures of the First Peoples of the Americas. It is worth noting that, when the garden was founded, a committee of First Nations representatives was formed specifically to work in close collaboration with the Jardin botanique on this project. Together, they set the direction and parameters for the design and creation of the site.
On June 21 and September 30, the Biosphère’s geodesic dome is illuminated in the evening to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Innu author Maya Cousineau Mollen was invited to come and work in the museum spaces, reflecting on environmental issues. Artist in residence for a year, she meets the public on a regular basis.
The outdoor exhibition Still, in motion presents two artists, including the work of Camille Seaman, of Indigenous and Afro-descendant origin.
As part of Cinéma sous les étoiles, two documentaries featuring indigenous communities will be presented: Coextinction on August 10, and Aquarela, L'Odyssée de l'eau on August 24.
The community science project Nunavik Sentinels is organized in Nunavik communities. It aims to teach younth aged 12 to 17 to inventory, preserve, and identify insects found in their environment, while at the same time giving them an introductory job experience.
This year, the project extends to the Chisasibi Resource and Research Institute to study insect diversity at their research station; to the Pye Center for Northern Boreal Food Systems in Happy Valley Goose Bay Labrador with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to introduce Nunatsiavut youth to insects and discover the entomofauna of this region; and to the Pingualuit National Park Interpretation Centre to train youth in the collection, assembly, and identification of the park’s insects.
Schools in Nunavik were also contacted to offer insect-related activities.
Espace pour la vie invites you to a summer of music and discovery at the Jardin botanique, starting July 9. Explore plant biodiversity on your plate thanks to our Botanical Flavours event’s many activities. Meet chefs from here and elsewhere, savour tasty plant-based canapés, discover local flavour producers and more! On Sundays, The Arts Put on a Show at the Garden is back to delight music lovers. Six artists will take turns performing intimate, open-air concerts in an enchanting natural setting
With a mouth-watering menu of activities for the whole family, Botanical Flavours will open up new gourmet horizons from July 10 to August 12.
Chefs from several Montréal cultural communities with roots in Japan, Haiti, Brazil, Syria, Senegal, Hungary, Afghanistan, China) as well as First Nations chefs will present their culinary offerings. Afterwards, the public will be invited to sample the products.
Mondays to Saturdays | 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
No More Scraps - The Adventure of Those Left behind
Learn more about food waste with this activity and avoid throwing away some surprisingly delicious flavours.
For everyone (children aged 5 and over) | Every day from June 24 to September 4 | From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Artisans and craftspeople present plant-based products from near and far. An opportunity to taste some wonderful new finds and maybe pick up a few gifts!
Fridays and Saturdays | 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
This play area lets youngsters try their hand at cooking ... using sand and pebbles! It’s a place to weigh, sift, stir, shop and cook up imaginary recipes. There’s also a food-themed guided activity where kids get to make their own weird pizzas.
For ages 3 to 8 | June 24 to September 4 | Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SAVOUR THE JARDIN BOTANIQUE’S FIRST-EVER WEBSERIES, POTAGERS DU MONDE.
Follow rising gourmet pop-up star Camilo Lapointe-Nascimento as he meets up with six passionate vegetable growers who share their know-how and give us a glimpse of their culture, their memories and the stories behind their produce in Potagers du monde, the Jardin botanique’s first webseries broadcast on La Fabrique culturelle, Télé-Québec's digital cultural platform. (In French only)
The Arts Put on a Show at the Garden – Six Sundays in summer
Why not spend your Sunday at the Jardin? Start the morning with brunch at the Jardin botanique restaurant, then head over to the Rose Garden. Sit back and enjoy an intimate concert under the trees with a wide range of offerings from Louis-Jean Cormier (July 9), Milk and Bone (July 16), Ouri (July 23), Flore Laurentienne (July 30), Maude Audet (August 6) and Anachnid (August 13).
Summer Sundays: Bringing a little taste of happiness to the Jardin!
All performances are free with the purchase of Jardin botanique admission. For this event, chairs are allowed on site. Shows will be cancelled in the event of poor weather.
All audiences | Sundays at 2 p.m. | Starting July 9
Télé-Québec and La Presse are partners of The Arts Put on a Show at the Garden.
The Espace pour la vie Passport
Get your Espace pour la vie Passport at 25% off until June 23, and visit the country’s largest natural-science museum complex for 12 months!- 30 -
Espace pour la vie, in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada, is proud to present Regeneration, a contemporary digital art piece that tells the story of a phytoremediation research area at the Jardin botanique. The product of an art-meets-science collaboration, this work documents in real time the regeneration through plants of a plot of land.
The light and sound installation uses cameras and sensors to record the plant and environmental activity of an area of land, to show how, over the years, living organisms can act to restore the ecological integrity of an ecosystem. Both artistic and experimental, the work documents the renewed vitality of the land while demonstrating the decontamination potential of plants. Regeneration is a sensitive, stimulating and engaging experience that lets visitors witness the passage of time in plant terms.
At the crossroads of art and science
The piece was created through a close collaboration among artists Alexandre Burton and Mélanie Crespin, Jardin botanique researcher Joan Laur and the Jardin botanique’s museology team. The artistic installation includes a mobile made from bioplastic products derived from material collected at the plot. The lighting is modulated based on the digital data, showing a time-lapse view of the very slow evolutionary process.
The power of plants
The project is one in a series of phytotechnology stations that reveal the power of plants to solve a range of environmental problems. Regeneration showcases phytoremediation as a technique to decontaminate soil using plants. As the soil is re-oxygenated, life is restored – hence the title of the work.
“Phytotechnologies represent innovative solutions to conventional engineering approaches,” explained Jardin botanique director Anne Charpentier. “For several years, the scientists at the Jardin botanique and the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV), along with specialists in landscaping, in horticulture and in museology at the Jardin botanique, have been working together on building a series of phytotechnology stations that integrate educational elements intended to explain the functioning and the role of plants there. With the phytotechnology stations, Espace pour la vie is demonstrating the full potential of plants for the ecological transition, one of the principal goals of the Montréal 2030 strategic plan.”
“Regeneration shows to what extent the encounter between art and science offers vast possibilities for creation and knowledge. At the NFB’s Interactive Studio, we support openness to new fields of experimentation and greater integration of practices for creators, resulting in works that explore innovative forms of storytelling. I also want to underscore the continuing collaboration with Espace pour la vie, which makes interactive and digital works even more accessible, as well as the collaboration with the Jardin botanique, which highlights environmental concerns that are crucial for the future.” – Louis-Richard Tremblay, Executive Producer, NFB French Program Interactive Studio- 30 -
Potagers du monde, a Jardin Botanique web series
Follow the rising star of the gastronomic pop-up, Camilo Lapointe-Nascimento, as he meets up with six passionate vegetable growers who share their know-how, open a window into their culture, their memories, and the stories behind their crops. Meet...
- Nora, a pharmacist originally from China, she draws from her wealth of childhood memories and feels challenged by the complementary and preventive contribution of the plants she grows;
- Nadia in Ville-Marie where this fashion designer originally from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, grows experimental textile plantations;
- Dominic, a semi-retired physician from Italy who reaps all the benefits of gardening for both mental and physical health;
- Haja, of Malagasy parents and raised on Reunion Island, for whom identity is developed largely through food and by growing a garden in Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
- Marc, a native of Cameroon and a lover of the earth who has set up a green roof among the skyscrapers of Griffintown, filled with plants to share;
- Félicienne, an 82-year-old “magician” gardener from Haiti who cultivates in Laval a tropical garden that is as colorful as it is impressive;