Gatineau’s popular green sculptures go snowy in latest tourism draw

Mosaïvernales

Gatineau is putting a frosty twist on a popular Canada 150 attraction with Mosaïvernales, a snow sculpture exhibit opening Friday in Jacques-Cartier Park.

Coinciding with the annual Winterlude festivities, Mosaïvernales will feature 25 ice and snow sculptures along the one-kilometre path, paralleling the topiaries on display this past summer during MosaïCanada150.

That event proved to be a big tourist draw during the National Capital Region’s sesquicentennial celebrations. More than 1.3 million visitors took in the outdoor exhibit from July to mid-October, surpassing organizer’s expectations of around 800,000 attendees.

Nearly 10 per cent of those visitors came over the initial July 1st weekend, despite the rain.

MosaiCanada
MosaïCanada150

MosaïCanada150 also attracted attention over social media, with more than 10,000 Instagram posts tagging the event.

Some of the same shapes from the summer event will be revived in the winter version, with frames such as the Mother Earth sculpture receiving a fresh coat of snow.

Mosaïvernales solicited the help of more than 20 artists from Harbin, China to shape the frigid frescoes. In a statement, the exhibit’s creator Lise Cormier said she was excited to work with her long-time friends, who she called “the best sculptors of this artform.”

The event opens at 6 p.m. on Jan. 26 and will run daily in the afternoons and evenings until March 4, weather permitting. Unlike its summer counterpart, Mosaïvernales will have a cost to enter: it’s $10 per person and free for children 12 and under.