MONTRÉAL, April 16, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Gilles Vincent, Director of the Montréal Botanical Garden, will be retiring in late April, after an extraordinary career spanning almost 30 years with Montréal Space for Life. The institution will be losing not only a great botanist and a widely renowned leader, but also an attentive colleague who has always been respected and appreciated by his peers.
He will remain active in his chosen field, however, since he will be going to China, where he has been invited to help develop the all-new Chenshan Botanical Garden in Shanghai, which opened in 2010. He will help to refine and develop the collections of this new attraction, which covers 210 hectares in the heart of one of China's great cities. The new garden, devoted to botanical sciences, has sought Mr. Vincent's internationally recognized expertise to help it reach its objective of becoming one of the world's leading botanical gardens.
In announcing Mr. Vincent's retirement, Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of Space for Life, praised his colleague: "He is leaving us a terrific legacy, both in human terms and in his achievements. Now a huge challenge awaits him in China. This will be a wonderful opportunity for him to continue to help share Quebec expertise, and he is sure to do a masterful job."
Major achievements, a tremendous legacy
Gilles Vincent was the driving force behind many initiatives during his years at the Botanical Garden: Butterflies Go Free (1998), The Great Gardening Weekend (1998), the City Gardens (1997), the Garden of Innovations (1999), the Courtyard of the Senses (1999) and the program for the Botanical Garden's 75th anniversary in 2006, to name only a few.
He was also responsible for the revamping of the Garden's reception facilities (2006), and the Tropical Economic Food Plants (2008) and Begonias and Gesneriads (2011) greenhouses, as well as the construction of the Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre on the Garden site (2011). In addition, the Montréal Botanical Garden was recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2011, on Mr. Vincent's watch.
It was also while he was at the helm over the years that the Botanical Garden joined the current green movement and even became one of its leaders. Mr. Vincent has authored many scientific publications and is a well-known authority in plant biology, more specifically phytotechnology, the "new" 21st century science that turns to plants as a tool for solving environmental problems.
He was behind a number of initiatives that confirmed the Botanical Garden's status as a leading centre for promoting the natural sciences in Canada and around the world. In particular, Mr. Vincent deserves our thanks and praise for the phenomenal success of the Mosaïcultures Internationales 2013 exhibition that attracted over 1 million visitors in 100 days.
Gilles Vincent has always been an ardent defender of the Garden's fundamental missions of education, outreach, conservation and research. He will leave his original and distinctive mark on the Garden, born of his spirit of openness and his goal of integrating the latest trends.
SOURCE: Espace pour la vie
For further information: Karine Jalbert, Communications Co-ordinator, 514 872-1453/ 514 250-3230, firstname.lastname@example.org; Marie-Joëlle Filion, Communications Co-ordinator, 514 868-4048/514 443-6801, email@example.com