Mosaïculture returning to Gatineau in 2018

The group behind a horticulture exhibit that drew more than a million visitors to Gatineau last year is returning to Jacques-Cartier Park, but this year they won't be putting the event on for free.

Horticulture exhibit was free last year, but will cost $15 to $20 this year

Mosaïculture will return to Gatineau with a new exhibit at Jacques-Cartier Park in 2018. (Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada)

The group behind a horticulture exhibit that drew more than a million visitors to Gatineau last year is returning to Jacques-Cartier Park, but this year they won't be putting the event on for free.

Last summer's MosaïCanada 150 exhibit, part of a number of events to mark Canada's 150th anniversary, attracted more than 1.3 million people to the park.

The free exhibit, put on by Mosaïculture Internationales de Montréal, was considered one of the bigger successes among the events to celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial.

While that event received more than $9 million funding from three levels of government, the 2018 event, announced Tuesday at a news conference in Gatineau, will be relying on both government assistance and ticket sales.

The City of Gatineau and the province of Quebec will each contribute $2 million, while the federal government is granting $1 million to support Mosaïculture's marketing activities outside Quebec.

Event organizers also plan to charge visitors $15 for Gatineau residents and $20 for people from outside the city.

The exhibit will feature all 35 of the works from last year plus 10 new pieces, according to Mosaïculture president and founder Lise Cormier.
MosaïCanada 150 drew more than 1.3 million visitors to Jacques-Cartier Park last year.

10 new exhibits

Cormier said when her group asked visitors to last year's event whether they would have paid to attend, they were generally receptive to the idea.

"They told us if we had more exhibits and it was spectacular, they would come back," Cormier said.

Most notable among the new exhibits: a 100-tonne "bird tree" sculpture representing 56 endangered birds.

The exhibit will run from June 24 to Oct. 15.

A winter version of the exhibit featuring snow sculptures, called Mosaïvernales, had a ticket price of $10. That event struggled with attendance, in part due to unseasonably mild weather.

Officials give a glimpse at the 2018 version of Mosaïculture, the incredibly popular plant sculpture show that drew hundreds of thousands of people to Gatineau's Jacques-Cartier Park last summer. 0:38

With files from Nathalie Tremblay