As we mark our city’s 375th anniversary this year, Montréal Space for Life is hosting a captivating and festive program of activities (#Herestolife) that will bring visitors together around the theme of celebrating nature. All year long, they will be invited to use all their senses to hear, touch, see, taste and feel the natural world around them. They will be invited to explore all the diversity and beauty of the living world, through original, thought–provoking experiences that will awaken them to the ways nature heals, feeds and inspires us.
Here’s to life! Learn how Nature heals us
Throughout the year, Montréal Space for Life will be offering experiences that are just plain good for us, real invitations to reconnect with nature a little more with every visit. For scientific studies have confirmed that immersing ourselves in a natural environment helps us relax. It just feels… natural. Total well-being! That’s why a stroll through Butterflies Go Free in the Botanical Garden’s Main Exhibition Greenhouse, through the lush greenery, in warmth reminiscent of southern lands and surrounded by over 1,500 butterflies flitting about, browsing from one flower to the next, is so good for us! Springtime Awakening, at the Biodôme, is a reminder of just how much light regulates our lives. It’s also an opportunity to admire Quebec’s reptiles and amphibians: snakes, frogs, toads, turtles and salamanders just emerging from hibernation. And while encounters with other species can sometimes be scary or even unsettling, Spiders Unmasked will show that they’re worth getting to know. In fact, they can be downright useful and entertaining!
Every Sunday, as a way of adding to the pleasure of this contact with nature, The Arts Put on a Show at the Garden lets visitors relax beneath the flowering crabapples and enjoy a unique musical treat for the senses. The season will kick off on June 25 with The Lost Fingers and their repertoire of lively tunes. Remember that there will also be a partial eclipse of the Sun visible in Montréal on Monday, August 21, at exactly 2:38 p.m. A perfect opportunity to come together and marvel at an amazing natural phenomenon.
Butterflies Go Free – Botanical Garden – February 23 to April 30
Springtime Awakening – Biodôme – March 4 to May 22
The Arts Put on a Show at the Garden – Botanical Garden – Sundays – June 25 to August 27
Partial eclipse of the Sun – meet at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium – August 21
Spiders Unmasked – Insectarium – October 6 to 31
Here’s to life! Learn how Nature feeds us
We all know that we need nature to feed us. But perhaps it’s time to rethink our gardening practices and find new foods, as a way of addressing some environmental concerns? That’s the challenge accepted by the team organizing the 20th Great Gardening Weekend, Quebec’s largest gardening fair. It will be an opportunity for avid gardeners to learn more about foodscaping, the new trend that promotes gardens that not only beautify our surroundings, but also provide edible plants. At the Insectarium, with a new edition of Insect Tastings, the goal is to dispel misconceptions and show how insects could well become the food of the future – and why not of the present, too? The rich local foods available to us will also be in the spotlight, with tastings of products from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Quebec’s forests during a delicious event entitled Tastes of the Forest and Sea. Lastly, Esmeralda, our friendly witch and urban gardener, will be celebrating the abundance and diversity of autumn harvests in Quebec, during the Great Pumpkin Ball.
Great Gardening Weekend – Botanical Garden – May 26 to 28
Insect Tastings – Insectarium – June 15 to September 4
Tastes of the Forest and Sea – Biodôme – June 15 to September 4
Halloween – Great Pumpkin Ball – Botanical Garden – October 6 to 31
Here’s to life! Learn how Nature inspires us
All year long, the artisans at our institutions and local and international artists will be sharing their delight in the living world and building public awareness of the urgent need to act to protect biodiversity, through original and authentic experiences.
Mira, The Little Star will be a perfect introduction to the starry sky for ages 4 to 8. The all-new immersive musical theatre show created by the musical company La Nef is sure to inspire them and satisfy their curiosity. And for older visitors who wonder whether we’re alone in the Universe, EXO will take a look at this constantly evolving field of scientific research. And there’s more! Thanks to collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), visitors will be able to share in cosmic motion and journey through the universe of waves, with KYMA, an immersive experience created by filmmaker Philippe Baylaucq.
The natural beauties of the Botanical Garden’s Arboretum will also inspire internationally renowned land artist Patrick Dougherty, who will be creating two pieces from willow branches in front of audiences, and laying the groundwork for a collective work of art that visitors can add to over the summer. Willows are an inspiration for our researchers at the Botanical Garden, too. Our phytotechnology experts are using them as a tool for solving environmental problems. In fact this is one of the subjects to be discussed at the Face to Face with a Researcher encounters between scientists and the public, held occasionally at the Biodiversity Centre. And then fall will bring the new incarnation of Gardens of Light. This year’s version will feature not only huge and colourful lanterns in the Chinese Garden and an intimate experience in the Japanese Garden, but also a new dimension honouring the Tree of Life in the First Nations Garden.
Mira, The Little Star – Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium – February 10 to April 17
Monumental Dougherty – Botanical Garden – June 15 to September 4
Face-to-Face with a Researcher – Botanical Garden – May 18 to August 31
KYMA – Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium – starting May 9
Gardens of Light – Botanical Garden – September 8 to October 31
EXO – Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium – starting November 7