MosaïCanada 150 was a great, green success in more ways than one: the popular horticultural exhibit raked in $28 million for the Ottawa-Gatineau region and more than $32.5 million in additional spending in the province of Quebec, according to a new report by KPMG.
Part of the Canada 150 lineup of events, the exhibit surpassed its goal of attracting 800,000 visitors nearly two months before the end of its run.
More than 1.3 million people visited the display at Jacques-Cartier Park between June 30 and Sept.15, the report said.
A separate report conducted by the research firm SEGMA found 70 per cent of the exhibit's visitors came to the region specifically to see MosaïCanada 150.
Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal organized the event, which featured some 40 different plant sculptures and included works from Indigenous artists and from Canada's provinces and territories.
After the popularity of the summer exhibit, Mosaïcultures will be returning to Jacques-Cartier Park this winter with ice and snow sculptures
The exhibit will be renamed Mosaivernales, a play on the French term "hivernales," which refers to winter activities.
Mosaivernales will be open to the public from Jan. 27 to March 4, and will reuse some of the structures left over from the summer display.
"We're going to reuse the sculptures like the boats, so we take the metal structure that has already been installed and we build around that, with snow and ice," said Kim Murray, communication manager at MosaïCanada 150, in a French-language interview with Radio-Canada.
The artists who create the sculptures are coming from Harbin, China, Murray said, and are experts in creating larger-than-life artwork.
Visual effects will be added to the sculptures in the evenings, she added.
"With technology in the nighttime, we're going to have a different feel to the artwork, and it's going to be something very special and unique," she said.
The winter exhibit will run at the same time as Winterlude 2018 programming, and one of the festival's most popular attractions — the Snowflake Kingdom — may have to be altered slightly to accommodate Mosaivernales.
"The setup will be a little redesigned," Murray said. "I don't have those details exactly, but I was told that it would be very easy for both of the activities to coexist."
While entrance to MosaïCanada 150 was free, Gatineau officials said there will be a fee to visit the exhibit over the winter, though the rate hasn't yet been decided on.