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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Governments of Canada and Quebec and City of Montreal commit to the Biosphere’s future

Collaboration is key to protecting the environment and combatting climate change. Joining forces is crucial, particularly when it comes to informing and educating citizens about priority environmental issues.

That is why the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson; the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region, Benoit Charette; and the Mayor of the City of Montréal, Valérie Plante, today announced that they would be devoting $45 million over five years to ensure the continuity of the Biosphere.

By bringing the Biosphere’s operations into the fold of the Space for Life museum complex, the City of Montréal is increasing the scope of the key players in its ecological transition plan, which is a priority for the municipal government. Montréal is thereby increasing the impact of its museums, whose missions are focused on environmental protection and education within a perspective of biodiversity protection and ecological transition. Once the transition is complete, the Biosphere will become the fifth Space for Life museum and will continue to respond to the public’s concerns about environmental issues and engage citizens through its programming, activities, and exhibitions.

The three partners—the governments of Canada and Quebec and the City of Montréal—intend to each invest $15 million over the next five years. With this financial support, the City of Montréal’s Space for Life museum complex—which already includes the Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Garden, and Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan—will become responsible for implementing the Biosphere’s mission, which is to make visitors aware of climate change, biodiversity conservation, and pollution, particularly plastic-waste pollution. This collaboration stems from the work done by the committee on the Biosphere’s future, launched in spring 2019.

For more than 25 years, the Government of Canada offered rich and updated programming at the Biosphere. Now, the governments of Canada and Quebec and the City of Montréal are combining their resources to ensure a promising future for the only environment museum in North America. This support will bolster environmental education and awareness and allow the Biosphere to share scientific information with the public to ensure the commitment of future generations in the fight to preserve our natural heritage.

The Biosphere will be able to resume its activities once its operations have been fully integrated into the City of Montréal and the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic make it safe for staff and visitors to return.


“The Biosphere is an important institution that educates Canadians about climate change and nature conservation. Its mission is directly related to the environmental issues of the day. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting, with its partners, the Biosphere’s ongoing mission through the activities of Space for Life, the largest natural-science museum complex in Canada.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Our government recognizes the heritage value of the Biosphère and its cultural and scientific mandate. Thanks to a shared political will, we have joined forces to ensure that this flagship institution can continue to disseminate research and raise awareness of climate change. It is one of the last remaining pavilions of Expo 67 and a true emblem of Montreal, which I visited many times during my years of activism and still today on family bike rides. The Government of Canada’s contribution to the Biosphere is a legacy of which I am particularly proud, and I look forward to knowing that this place of knowledge will continue to raise the ecological consciousness of its many visitors for years to come.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“Quebec’s 2021–2022 budget provides $15 million over five years to ensure the survival of the Biosphere museum. I am therefore pleased to confirm that the Quebec government will be contributing to the relaunch and smooth operation of this cultural and scientific institution entirely devoted to the environment. The Biosphere museum is helping to engage Quebecers in the fight against climate change and efforts to protect the environment. This contribution is more essential than ever at a time when we are striving to limit global warming. Best of luck to Space for Life in pursuing its activities!” – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region
“A powerful symbol of Montréal since Expo 67, the Biosphere evokes strong feelings in people. This environment museum has a unique mission to educate and raise awareness of environmental issues. It makes perfect sense for the Biosphere to pursue its activities within the Space for Life family. This investment also reflects our desire to position Montréal as a leader in biodiversity protection and increase the scope of its ecological transition plan. It will ensure this unique space for discovery has a promising future.” – Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal
“Space for Life is eager to welcome the Biosphere into the museum complex and be able to expand into the heart of the magnificent Parc Jean-Drapeau. The missions of the Biosphere and the other four Space for Life museums naturally converge around environmental concerns.” – Julie Jodoin, Acting Director, Space for Life

Quick facts

  • A Montréal architectural icon designed for Expo 67 by architect Buckminster Fuller, the Biosphere fosters a dialogue between science, culture, and the environment to facilitate understanding of the major environmental issues of today and tomorrow.

  • In 2019, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, and the City of Montréal announced the formation of a tripartite working committee intended to ensure the Biosphere’s visibility and the continuity of its activities as well as its public and environmental vocation. Inspired by the conclusions of Montréal’s Office de consultation publique consultation on the future of Parc Jean-Drapeau, a consultation was launched with members of the Montréal community.

  • In its 2021–2022 budget, the Government of Quebec earmarked $15 million over five years to ensure the Biosphere museum’s future.

  • Montréal’s Space for Life—which comprises the Biodôme, the Insectarium, the Botanical Garden, and the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan—forms the largest natural-science museum complex in Canada. Together, these institutions are launching a daring creative and urban movement where the relationship between humans and nature is being rethought and where a new way of life is being developed. The Biosphere is joining these prestigious Space for Life institutions.

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