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Butterflies Go Free - Make the Most of Nature’s Balm

Montréal, February 23, 2017 - 

For its 20th anniversary, Butterflies Go Free is hosting a beautiful, colourful celebration of all the ways nature benefits us. Inspired by this year’s theme of Here’s to Life!, Montréal Space for Life is inviting everyone to experience “nature’s balm” in the midst of the lush greenery and welcome tropical warmth as they admire all the butterflies flitting about in the Botanical Garden’s Main Exhibition Greenhouse. This magnificent immersive adventure, mounted by the Insectarium team, is sure to banish all thoughts of winter and make visitors aware of the importance of biophilia in our lives.

Pure relaxation

Since 1998, no fewer than 2,244,053 visitors have experienced nature’s balm, that innate need for contact with the living world and the physical and mental benefits it brings. Scientists call it “biophilia,” the instinctive affinity humans have with nature. Over time, this connection generates significant health benefits and, in return, creates a deep-seated desire to protect biodiversity. So just imagine the relaxing effect of being surrounded by over a thousand butterflies as they flit from flower to flower, sometimes brushing by you, in the Main Exhibition Greenhouse, where temperatures range between 24 and 29°C. Such a pleasure!

All along the pathway, the Insectarium’s nature interpreters will be pleased to answer visitors’ questions – and pique their curiosity! Before leaving, visitors are invited to add to their Butterflies Go Free experience by leaving a brief note describing an extra-special moment they have spent in nature.

Here’s to Life!

As Montréal marks its 375th anniversary this year, Space for Life is celebrating nature that heals, feeds and inspires us, with a captivating and festive program of activities for everyone, focusing on nature’s many benefits. (#Herestolife)

Some interesting facts and figures

  • Every day, 1,500 to 2,000 butterflies and moths flit about freely in the Main Exhibition Greenhouse; about 100 are released daily.
  • A grand total of some 15,000 to 20,000 butterflies and moths are released during the event.
  • You can see about 50 different species during your visit, of the 75 that are active during the entire event.
  • Lack of contact with the natural world can lead to what is termed “Nature deficit disorder,” with symptoms ranging from anxiety to depression, attention deficit, chronic fatigue, obesity, lower productivity, etc.1 Reconnecting with nature can greatly alleviate these symptoms.
  • Children these days spend an average of just 40 minutes a week playing outdoors, as compared with over four hours 20 years ago.2
1.LOUV, Richard. 2008. Last Child in the Woods. Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Workman Publishing Company. 390 p.
2. KELLERT, Stephen R. 2013. Birthright. People and Nature in the Modern World. Yale University Press. 242 p.


For the best experience, there’s nothing like buying your tickets online, at

Dates and times

Date : February 23 to April 30
Hours : Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open on Monday, March 6 (March Break) and April 17 (Easter)


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Contact our team

Caroline Bergeron
Communications and public relations advisor
514 849-4554 / 514 914-5138
Nadine Fortin
Communications Co-ordinator
514 868-3053 / 514 250-7753

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