Play with light at ILLUMINART

Robyn Fadden

Giant flashlights, glow-in-the-dark creatures and more bright lights await at Montréal's ILLUMINART, a playful fusion of interactive multimedia art, lighting design and cutting-edge technology in the heart of the city this winter.

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Free of charge and made for all ages, ILLUMINART adds its own element of wonder to Montréal's signature winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, February 22 to March 4, a grand celebration of gourmet food and drink, live music, fascinating art and outdoor fun – don't miss the fest's Ferris wheel, musical ice slides, zip-line, hockey games and other urban adventures.


ILLUMINART's 12 art works by Canadian and international creators brighten the streets and wide-open spaces around Place des Arts and Place des Festivals, otherwise known as festival central in Montréal. Larger-than-life vintage flashlights shine like beacons along Sainte-Catherine street in French collective TILT's playful TILTPockets installation. Around the corner, spot La Camaraderie's shadowy Luminuits creatures – use the flash on your phone or camera to bring them brightly to life. And down the street see Nexus, a massive structure made of 200 interlocking illuminated tubes symbolizing social bonds, created by Hungarian artist Viktor Vicsek.


Along the Place des Arts Esplanade, travel through the tube-light forest of Chimes, where your movements trigger gorgeous motifs of sound and light crafted by Collectif Blackbox. Daniel Iregui's NOR MINDNOR MIND reacts to touch with random geometric patterns that follow our movements. Explore Apparatus Florius, a suspended plant-like structure in search of light, created by Belgian artist Tom Dekyvere as a way of questioning how we adapt to nature or technologically intervene. And expand your mind just below the Esplanade too: inside Place des Arts, walk through psychedelic, perception-altering tunnels of light and experience the migratory movements of 500 birds in La grande nuée, a collaboration between elementary school artists and environmental design artist Judith Portier.

On the Promenade des artistes (corner of de Maisonneuve and Jeanne-Mance), do your best busy bee impression on the interactive floor lights of PropolisPropolis a game-like installation inspired by how bees work collectively to make honey. And watch as the multifaceted modules of Vague espiègle move and illuminate in patterns reminiscent of kids at play. ILLUMINART also adds its magic to epic all-nighter Nuit Blanche, closing out the festival on March 3.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden, blogger

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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