Produced by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico, this travelling exhibition on display on the main floor in the Library, exemplifies true teamwork, both in its creation and in its story.

Through microphotographic images and spectacular aerial photographs, Mexican filmmaker and pilot Francisco “Vico” Gutiérrez follow the monarch’s amazing journey from Montreal, Canada, to the mountains of central Mexico. In his ultralight, decorated with the motif of the monarch butterfly and aptly named Papalotzin (the Aztec word for “small butterfly”), he covered over 6,000 kilometres in 90 hours of flight over 72 days.

Vico’s adventure to raise awareness about butterfly habitat conservation became a true voyage of discovery as he followed the extreme challenges faced by monarch butterflies during their annual migration. With a lifespan of only about two months, no one monarch can complete the entire trip on its own — it takes up to four generations of these beautiful creatures to cover the entire distance of the migration.

Butterflies and Books

We will also be featuring books from the Library’s collection featuring butterflies or inspired by butterflies. Poetry and prose that use the butterfly as a symbol are included. Vladimir Nabokov’s lifelong interest in butterfly collecting is also highlighted.