MosiaCanada 150–Over But Not Forgotten

The Muskoxen

(My personal favourite – Muskoxen – an offering from the Northwest Territories. I could almost feel his grassy hair blowing in the breeze.)

MosiaCanada, a signature event of Canada’s 150 celebrations in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, was our countries biggest horticultural event.

Lise Cormier, head of Mosaicultures Internationales of Montreal, instrumental in bringing this event to life, says, “Canada is space and this is really a place for imagination.” So true!

The Canadian Horse

(The Canadian Horse – New Brunswick)

I had the great pleasure to visit this installation, a tribute to our country’s history and its founding peoples, in late September when the temperature soared to the mid-30’s -uncharacteristic for that time of year.

Bill Reid's Killer Whale 2

(Bill Reid’s Killer Whale – British Columbia)

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My son, Doug, and I strolled over the bridge from downtown Ottawa to Jacques-Cartier park in Gatineau, with incredible views of Canada’s Parliament Buildings the whole way.

View of Parliament Hill

Once in the park, we marvelled at the incredible pieces of mosiculture artwork arrayed around a winding one-kilometre path through the park. Though I felt somewhat wilted due to the heat, the plants were fresh and trimmed to exquisite form with a multiple of gardeners snipping away in the shadows.

The Drum Dancer

(Another favourite – The Drum Dancer – Nunavat)

The pieces combined three different art expressions – sculpture for the structure, a palette of colour and horticulture as the medium to create a living, ever changing form. Each piece consisted entirely of annual plants, most chosen for colourful, season-long foliage instead of flowers, grown in soil sandwiched between layers of a geotextile supported by metal frames and watered by internal irrigation systems.

The Puffins

(The Puffins – Newfoundland and Labrador)

Ahead of the June 30th opening, almost 100 gardeners – some from the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing, which sent pieces to celebrate Canada’s birthday – were at work installing what would total over three million plants of 80 different varieties.

Blessing of the Good Dragon

(Blessing of the Good Omen Dragon – Beijing)

A horticulture friendship between Canada with Shanghai and Beijing led to coloured works of art that delighted the eye.

Celebration of the Nine Lions

(Joyful Celebration of the Nine Lions – Shanghai)

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The biggest sculpture was a 15-metre tour-de-force – Mother Earth: The Legend of Aataentsic.

Mother Earth

Mother Earth sits in contemplation with her gentle face of silvery grey santolina and long hair of tumbling sweet potato vine and purple petunias. Water pours from her car-sized palm, where a bird alights to drink, into a shimmering pool below.

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MosiaCanada 150 closed on Oct. 15th after more than 1.3 million visitors took in the sheer delight of living mosiculture. I am so happy to count myself among those who wandered in wonder.

The Lobster Fisherman

(The Lobster Fisherman – Nova Scotia)

8 comments on “MosiaCanada 150–Over But Not Forgotten

  1. Wow that’s really cool! I wish Edmonton had such awesome art (but they would’ve froze and died by now, brrr ☃️)

    • It was a real treat to take in such an incredible Canada 150 installation. With the heavy rains and high winds hitting the coast of BC right now, I am happy to remember such a warm day in Ottawa. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Thomas 🙂

  2. jane tims says:

    Love the various dragons!

  3. Jane Fritz says:

    Great pics, Fran. You captured the magic. We were in Ottawa in late August (celebrating our 50th!) and had similar weather. Ottawa was shining for the entire world, and the MosiaCanada was particularly enchanting. Thanks for sharing.

    • What a treat to visit Ottawa for such a special occasion 🙂 I have visited Ottawa yearly since my son moved there in 2000 – every year discovering some new and special gem of an activity or sight. Our nation’s capital city has much to offer and despite ups and downs of weather this year, Ottawa put on a good show for Canada 150. Glad to share with someone who experienced MosaiCanada.

  4. Gallivanta says:

    What a treat to see this. Incredible works of art and horticulture.

    • I look at my photos and it’s like I’m there again marvelling at how such objects could come into being – the hours of intricate planning and planting and tending. Quite amazing.

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