The enchanted world of MosaïCanada 150 is being dismantled bit by bit by the same team of horticulturalists and craftspeople who meticulously assembled the organic menagerie of giant dragons, red foxes and killer whales at Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau.
The outdoor exhibit featured living plants of every description — 3.5 million of them — covering the towering steel frames that gave shape to the sculptures. Now all the flowers and greenery are being removed, to be composted in Gatineau's recycling plant and at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa.
MosaïCanada 150, which ran from June 30 to Oct.15, proved hugely popular, recording 1.3 million visits. Tourists and locals alike flocked to the attraction as it changed with the season.
'So much pride'
"There's so much pride, so much extreme satisfaction with what has been presented." said MosaïCanada spokesperson Geneviève Ménard.
"Does it feel a bit odd to see our colleagues taking down these masterpieces? Absolutely." she added.
Some of the larger sculptures including The Prospector and Red Foxes will be stored at the headquarters of parent company Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal. Others such as Saskatchewan's Royal Canadian Mounted Police Horse and Rider will be returned to the province that sponsored the sculpture's creation.
As for Mother Earth, the immense creation that welcomed visitors to the park, she will be stripped of her plants, but her structure will remain in place throughout the winter, perhaps to bloom again next spring.
"It certainly is everyone's wish that it returns," Ménard said.