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Illumination of the Biosphère

Illumination of the Biosphère

The Biosphère, an iconic Montréal institution, lights up every evening in a nighttime display created by lighting designer Yves Aucoin in 2017.

The design was inspired by the relationship between society and the environment. It features a show illustrating the passing of the seasons and projected onto Richard B. Fuller’s geodesic dome.

Protecting biodiversity and the environment

As a museum that brings together art, science and public education in support of the transition to a greener world, the Biosphère revised its general illumination policy in December 2022 to become a better steward of biodiversity and the environment.

The following measures have been introduced:

  1. Illumination of the Biosphère will be turned off between midnight and sunrise.
  2. The total intensity—and more importantly the quantity of blue light in Biosphère lighting—will be reduced.
  3. During the migratory period (between March and May, and then again between August and November), the overall intensity of Biosphère illumination will be reduced. 

Special events calendar

The Biosphère makes use of special lighting only for causes that are consistent with the Espace pour la vie mission and the Montréal 2030 plan.

The museum has selected a dozen causes of national or international importance because of their connection to the environment and contribution to an inclusive society.

For example, the Biosphère lights up in green on June 5 for World Environment Day and orange on September 30 to mark the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

Along with the events planned by Espace pour la vie, and in exceptional cases only, the Biosphère also accepts illumination requests from non-profit organizations. The causes must be related to Espace pour la vie’s mission and deemed to be of national or international importance. In addition, they must be non-denominational and they must not be commercial or political in nature. Requests must be submitted at least three weeks in advance and are considered according to this policy and the designer’s recommended guidelines to ensure that the building’s architectural heritage is respected.

The Biosphère illumination policy’s goals at a glance:

  • Protect and preserve nature, living organisms and starry nights
  • Help ensure the consistency of nighttime panoramas with other nearby illuminated sites in the Jean Drapeau Park area
  • Continue to provide visibility to an iconic institution beloved by Montrealers
  • Respect the concept and work of lighting designer Yves Aucoin.
  • Highlight a few causes in line with City of Montréal values and especially with the mission of the Espace pour la vie municipal service

Learn more about the impacts of light pollution

The blue light shone into the environment during night lighting may cause major disturbances to flora, fauna, insects and human beings, in addition to affecting night sky visibility.


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