Starting Tomorrow, the Curtain Rises at Dusk

Gardens of Light
September 5 to November 2

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 4, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Montréal Space for Life is presenting Gardens of Light, from September 5 to November 2, 2014, an invitation to slow down and admire nature in a very special light in the heart of two cultural gardens at the Montréal Botanical Garden. As the day draws to a close, the gardens will become softly illuminated as they gradually take on their autumn hues. Gardens of Light is a shimmering universe imagined by talented local artists, promising an entrancing, inspiring nighttime adventure.

"These gardens contribute to Montréal's global reputation as a cosmopolitan metropolis known for being uniquely creative and innovative, a true link between our different communities, a canvas where the diverse cultures in our city can express themselves. I invite all Montrealers to come and draw inspiration from this magical setting, the perfect venue for cultural exchanges," says Manon Gauthier, Montréal Executive Committee member in charge of culture, heritage, design, Space for Life and the status of women.

For Space for Life Executive Director Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, "Gardens of Light is one of the highlights of the annual Space for Life program, with this year's Hurry Up and Slow Down theme. Since the beginning of the year, some 1,320,000 visitors have taken it easy at one or another of our institutions. Now we're inviting you to take your time and enjoy this "luminous" experience. Our gardens are all lit up in an event that's become a real ritual for Montrealers."

"Montrealers' favourite fall event is back, with even more lights this year," adds the Botanical Garden's Director, René Pronovost. "Lights on some of the Garden's tallest trees invite us to see nature differently, and the illumination of our showpiece gardens, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, is a chance to learn about other cultures and traditions."

The Chinese Garden
As daylight slowly fades along the paths through the Chinese Garden, the lanterns will light up in Zheng He – A Voyage of Discovery. This year's theme illustrates one of the seven expeditionary voyages by Zheng He, also known as the Admiral of the Seas from 1405 to 1433. Along your twilight stroll, you can admire some fabulous reproductions of his treasure ships and learn all about his seafaring exploits.

Over the past decade, My Quynh Duong, an artistic designer with Space for Life, has breathed new inspiration every year into the thematic lanterns in the Chinese Garden. Her meticulous sketches for each one are sent to Shanghai, where the lanterns are handcrafted. They are then shipped by ocean and train to Montréal, where she spends the summer supervising their assembly.

The Japanese Garden
As the Sun's last rays disappear below the horizon, the Japanese Garden is decked out in soft beams of light. The elegant play of shadows and light reveals an unexpected side of the Japanese Garden's plants and architecture. Surprising colours and details combine to produce a serene, hushed environment.

For the third year, visitors are sure to be delighted by the entrancing scene in the Japanese Garden, designed by lighting artists France Jutras and Jocelyn Bathalon from Jutras Bathalon Bureau d'études lumière. The concept invites visitors to experience a sense of emptiness and fullness, of active immobility, as they are immersed in a mysterious inner world. These light-filled "paintings" create a variety of atmospheres inspired by Japanese culture.

About Montréal Space for Life
Montréal Space for Life is made up of four attractions on the same site: the Botanical Garden, Biodôme, Insectarium and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. These four prestigious municipal institutions form Canada's largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, urging everyone to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.

For further information and to purchase tickets online, see our website montrealspaceforlife.ca.

SOURCE Espace pour la vie

For further information: Karine Jalbert, Communications Co-ordinator, 514 872-1453, karinejalbert@ville.montreal.qc.ca