Project 365 – Day 197: The Biosphère and Week-ends du Monde festival

July 15 2012

Another hot day here in Montreal. I thought it would be a bit cooler over on Ile Sainte-Hélène and since it was the last day of the Week-ends du Monde festival, we decided to head across to Parc Jean-Drapeau. I was wrong about it being cooler, and seeing people swimming at the Aquatic Complex or heading to the beach with towels under their arms, made us wish we had come to go swimming.

I didn’t actually take too many photo’s of the du Monde festival which featured music and food from 60 countries around the globe, in the end spending only about an hour on the island.

A key attraction on Ile Sainte-Hélène is the Biosphère environment museum that since 1994 has promoted the study of water and the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence ecosystem. Built in 1967 as the United States Pavilion for the 67 world’s fair. Designed by Richard Buckminster Fuller it was one of the largest attractions at the fair.

In 1976 while the building was being repaired a fire broke out destroying the transparent acrylic skin. It was decided not to replace the outer covering despite Fuller suggesting solutions for its’ repair. In 1990 Environment Canada signed an agreement with the City of Montreal to transform the structure into the present eco museum which opened in the summer of 1995.

In June this year it was announced that due to Federal Government cost cutting, the future of the Biosphère is now threatened and all 25 employees at the center received notice that their positions would be affected in the latest round of cuts. Hopefully a way will be found to save it and allow the educational activities it provides to continue.

Biosphère on Ile Sainte-Hélène

Biosphère on Ile Sainte-Hélène
ISO 100 – 10mm – f11 – 1/250 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

The Biospère on Ile Sainte-Hélène

The Biosphère on Ile Sainte-Hélène
ISO 100 – 10mm – f11 – 1/250 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

The Biospère on Ile Sainte-Hélène

The Biosphère on Ile Sainte-Hélène
ISO 100 – 20mm – f11 – 1/250 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Today’s shots of the Biosphère were a bit last minute. I’ve been planning to go shoot the Biosphère for a while and will return to shoot in more detail as the structure has some great photographic potential. I just better make sure to go soon before it closes :-(

Following are a couple of other shots I took while walking around the Week-ends du Monde festival. The first image shows the great sculpture by Alexander Calder called L’Homme that was made for Expo 67. You can see more images of this and other sculptures on Ile Sainte-Hélène in a previous post on expo 67 sculptures.

Week-ends du Monde festival at the L'Homme sculpture

Week-ends du Monde festival at the L’Homme sculpture
ISO 100 – 13mm – f6.3 – 1/250 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Foosball beneath Montreal skyline

Foosball beneath Montreal skyline
ISO 100 – 70mm – f11 – 1/100 sec

Accordion player

Accordion player
ISO 100 – 70mm – f11 – 1/80 sec

Ile Sainte-Hélène

Ile Sainte-Hélène
ISO 100 – 70mm – f11 – 1/60 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

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Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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2 Comments

  1. Lisa at fLVE July 16, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    I have pictures of the Biosphere from when I visited. I love these… :)

    • Montreal in Pictures July 16, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      I really love photographing the Biosphère…I took some shots from inside the dome a few years back and intend to revisit soon for a more detailed look at this Montreal icon :-)