Espace pour la vie, the largest natural science museum complex in Canada, posted impressive visitor numbers in 2017, eloquent proof of the efforts by the city’s four science museums. Overall, the record attendance of nearly 2.2 million visitors, 45% of them from outside Quebec, was up by some 10% over 2016, itself a record year. And to top it all off, a customer survey* showed a 97% satisfaction rate with the Gardens of Light event in the fall at the Jardin botanique.
“The incredible popularity and renown of the Biodôme, Insectarium, Jardin botanique and Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan over the past two years can certainly be attributed to the quality and originality of our programming,” says Espace pour la vie Director Charles-Mathieu Brunelle. “People learn new things, have fun and get closer to nature when they visit us. What makes our events and the experiences we offer so special is the uniquely moving and thought-provoking way they combine science and art.”
Major success stories in 2017
For the city’s 375th anniversary, Espace pour la vie invited visitors to explore all the diversity and beauty of the living world, with a captivating and festive program of activities bringing everyone together. The Here's to Life!theme focused on nature that heals, feeds and inspires us. A few highlights:
- Summer saw the eagerly awaited return of the Insect Tastings event (very popular back in the early 90s) to the Insectarium. Entomophagy was on the menu for a host of visitor activities and at a colourful snack bar offering tasty meal choices featuring insects prepared by the garden’s chef, Rafaël Martinez.
- The partial solar eclipse on August 21 drew more than 30,000 people to the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan, which had organized a special day of free, educational activities run by its science educators, Quebec vision professionals and members of the Société d'astronomie du Planétarium de Montréal.
- The sunny weather on the 20th Great Gardening Weekend brought together over 80 exhibitors and thousands of visitors at the Jardin botanique around the theme of foodscaping – landscaping or vegetable gardens that also feed pollinating insects, butterflies and birds.
- At the Biodôme, nature buffs and animal lovers enjoyed special express behind-the-scenes tours and chats with the animal keepers. A special program of activities was offered all summer long to mark the institution’s 25th anniversary.
For more details on the mission and activities of Espace pour la vie, see montrealspaceforlife.ca.
* BIP (Bureau d’intervieweurs professionnels) survey conducted on site from September 13 to October 28, 2017, with 753 respondents.