Gardens of Light, Even Bigger and Brighter!

Isa Tousignant

The Montréal Botanical Garden’s most amazing fall tradition is expanding, with a whole new lantern universe. Welcome to the 25th edition of Gardens of Light, running from September 8 to October 31 2017, when the already spectacular Chinese and Japanese Gardens get joined by the First Nations Garden for the first time in this annual festival of lights. Wander the meandering footpaths, set ablaze in a million colours with delicate silk lanterns and ethereal light projections, and watch Mother Nature’s own works of art come to life.

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Enter the Dragon

Every year the Gardens of Light are different, decorated with hundreds of new multicoloured lanterns. For this 25th edition, the Chinese Garden at the Montréal Botanical Garden will be decked out from top to bottom to tell a whole new narrative starring the Dragon: he’s a beneficial yet dangerous creature that lives in the heart of the oceans and clouds. He’ll be accompanied by his nine offspring in this illuminated tale, each of whom will protect the Chinese Garden’s newly restored pavilions. They’ll be surrounded by flying red-crowned cranes, symbolizing the longevity of the friendship between Montréal and Shanghai.

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Zen and the Art of Illumination

The Japanese Garden at the Montréal Botanical Garden is a perfect site for contemplation. During the Gardens of Light, from September 8 to October 31, 2017, it’s all subtlety and Zen: when night falls the garden’s unique features get washed in tranquil lights that denote each shape and texture. Compared to the high-colour narrative in the Chinese Garden, this is more of a hushed experience: a true homage to the changing season, and an invitation to take the time to admire the subtle or spectacular changes that occur in nature. Stroll through a series of scenes in this peaceful garden, or take a spot on a bench and soak in the beauty – and check out the Botanical Garden schedule here for special nights featuring live music among the lights.

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Lighting Up the Circle of Life

For the first time ever, the Gardens of Light event at the Montréal Botanical Garden will include the First Nations Garden. This celebratory, 25th edition illumination will concentrate on the Sacred Tree, the giant poplar that stands as the star of this garden, which will shine in a multitude of colours to represent the circle of life, a First Nations symbol of the birth of seasons and nature’s perpetual transformations. The light show will happen to the sounds of a heart beat and against a projection of fire, the unifier between the which earth and the celestial bodies. The sky and forest will be set ablaze in unison.

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant, blogger

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.

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