On May 29, 2018 — the day of the Flower Moon — MosaïCulture Gatineau opened its gates in Jacques Cartier Park for the second year in a row. A monumental fete that brings together sculpture, horticulture and leading-edge engineering, MosaïCulture was mounted in Gatineau, Quebec, in 2017 for Canada’s 150th. So popular was the exhibition that 30,000 people petitioned to bring it back in 2018, and that, and more, is exactly what happened.
Throughout the summer and until October 15, 2018, visitors can stroll along the one-kilometre “Meander” pathway through the park to discover the 45 pieces of living sculptures that depict several themes, including ones that celebrate the Canadian provinces, from lobster trapping in the Maritimes to panning for gold in the Yukon.
New to the venue this year is the spectacular Tree of Birds — a two-tonne ode to 56 endangered species, as identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List and with the help of scientists at Ottawa’s Museum of Nature where representations of many of these species can also be seen.
Also new this year is the dancing ballerina whose flowered skirts twirl to the sounds of a music box. The ballerina is the first mechanized MosaïCulture piece — a tribute to the skills of the artists and engineers who designed and built this one-of-a-kind sculpture.
Behind the scenes, 60 horticulturists start their day at 6 a.m., watering, weeding, trimming and clipping.
To maintain the larger structures, horticulturists have been trained in rock climbing and wear safety harnesses.
Although each piece incorporates an internal irrigation system, the season’s heat has meant extra watering of plant surfaces with water drawn from the nearby river.
Along with the gardening staff, 600 volunteers provide information about the sculptures, explaining how the metal frames are planted into the special growing medium that fills the inside of each one. Displays on the grounds also show the inner workings of the sculptures and how the 5.5 million plants of 80 different species are planted.
For those who have seen the exhibition in the past, MosaïCulture Gatineau 2018 offers new and innovative sculptures and informative displays. For those who have never seen MosaïCulture, you’re in for a magnificent journey!
Located in the Ottawa region
MosaïCulture is located in Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau (previously known as Hull), Quebec, across the river from Ottawa.