Flowers in the heart of town!

Published on July 10 2018

They’re back, the fabulous Mosaïcultures horticultural sculptures! What’s new this year? I toured the exhibition on opening day, and I wasn’t disappointed.

If you saw the exhibition in 2017 and are wondering whether to return this year, you should know there are 5 MILLION more plants to amaze you! 4 million, ho-hum, but 5 million—now that’s impressive. Several sculptures have been modified or enhanced: for instance, Glenn Gould’s piano is now accompanied by a cellist and a graceful ballerina doing a slow pirouette. Beautiful.

As last year, entrance to the site is via the train station, just like one of the 350 built by Canadian Pacific. The huge train is still there, an exact replica of the first one to travel across Canada. But there’s something new on the platform: a large dog who seems to be waiting for his master. Meet Hachiko, a dog who actually existed and who waited for his master for nearly 10 years at the Shibuya station in Japan. How did I know? I had a guide!

Guide or no guide?

With a guide, you definitely get an extra layer of enjoyment. You’ll learn about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the exhibition, and you’ll get a lot of information that isn’t on the interpretive panels, which enhances your appreciation of your visit. Note that the guided tour is not included in regular admission, but it’s well worth the extra cost.

Thanks to my guide, I learned the legend of the aurora borealis. Did you know that they’re produced by the howling of wolves? Looking up at the inukshuk, I suddenly saw the colour variations evoking an aurora borealis. At the base of the immense sculpture, a wolf. Everything made sense. And to think I didn’t notice any of this last year!

My favourite work is still there: The Man Who Planted Trees. The solitary old shepherd is about to plant a seed, while his dog keeps an eye on passers-by. At the train station, interpretive panels tell the story of the work behind this sculpture, which was created in 2009 and produced in close collaboration with filmmaker Frédéric Back.

A little further on is the exhibition’s anchor work, The Bird Tree. This imposing sculpture depicts 56 endangered or threatened bird species. It’s an emotional experience to see this work, which illustrates the fragility of our planet. No doubt about it: with my Accès Gatineau card, I’ll be back to see how Mosaïculture evolves over the summer. I have until October 15 to do it!

GOOD to know: Did you know that this year, visitors can take home a lasting souvenir of their visit? You can buy an impressive variety of the plants used at Mosaïculture—about 150 kinds!

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