Montréal is a green city. Escaping its city noise, traffic, and hectic only takes a short Bixi or metro ride. There are many nature nooks that restore and rejuvenate Montréalers after a week at the office (its various parks, Mount-Royal, Île Sainte-Hélène, Canal Lachine). One of Montréal’s hidden treasures is the Botanical Garden, which currently features two special exhibitions, Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal (MIM) and the Gardens of Light.
From September 6 to 29, 2013, the two exhibition events will be running simultaneously at the Botanical Garden, and the ticket price (valid for two visits) includes admission to both.
Created in 1998, the non-profit corporation Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal (MIM) launched the first-ever Mosaïcultures in the Parc des Éclusiers (Old Port of Montréal), in association with the city’s Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces Department. Its mission is to promote gardening and horticulture as both an expression of new millennium values and a vital component of the urban landscape.
Mosaiculture is a refined horticultural art that involves creating and mounting living artworks made primarily from plants with colourful foliage (generally annuals, and occasionally perennials).
This multifaceted and complex discipline, an ornamental art, draws on numerous practices: on sculpture for its structure and volume, on painting for its palette, and on horticulture in its use of plants in a living, constantly changing environment.
Mosaiculture should be distinguished from topiary, which features mostly shrubs pruned to create different shapes.
Mosaiculture began as a local competition with a unique expertise in conception, realization and maintenance of exhibits, gardens and art works, expanding to an international competition in 2003, and pushing the boundaries of the mosaiculture art form.
The International Mosaiculture Committee was created in the first year of the event in Montréal (MIM 2000). Its mission is to foster development and innovation in mosaiculture as well as regulate competitions held in the framework of local, national and international events. It is also mandated to promote the art of gardening by encouraging friendly and professional relations between the various stakeholders with an interest in mosaiculture.
All works presented in the competitions must represent something of the participant’s culture while responding to a predefined theme and complying with the principles of sustainable development. Mosaïcultures Internationales, a triennial competition, also offers participants a chance to promote their specific attractions.
The winners of the competition are determined by the international jury composed of key figures in the field. Visitors to the event are also invited to vote for their favourite work. The results for this year’s competition will be revealed in a few weeks, at the closing ceremony on September 29th, 2013.
From September 6 to November 3, 2013 the Montréal Botanical Garden also opens its Gardens of Light at sunset for an evening stroll in the Chinese and the Japanese Gardens, featuring traditional, colourful lanterns and lights.
In the Chinese Garden, The Magic of Lanterns pays tribute to the great biodiversity of the lush tropical rainforest of Xishuangbanna, known as the jewel in the crown of the plant kingdom.
Don’t miss the magnificent Strangler fig tree in the centre of Dream Lake, surrounded by frogs, butterflies, Mekong giant catfish, water buffalo, hornbills and more. There are also works depicting the people of Xishuangbanna, the Dai and the Hani.
The lanterns were designed in Montréal by the Botanical Garden’s artistic designer, My Quynh Duong, and then made in Shanghai. The use of decorative lanterns to illuminate and embellish festivities goes back to the Han dynasty (206 BC to AD 220).
These days, lanterns are most often used to mark the start of the Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar.
For the second year, the Japanese Garden is illuminated by the Québec firm Jutras Bathalon Bureau d’étude lumière, revealing the autumn colours of the garden’s plants as well as many of its key features, such as stones, lanterns, bridges and waterfalls. The rhythm of the seasons is profoundly echoed in the Japanese spirit.