Tech in the City
Montréal’s Information Technologies scene is booming, and its effects are reaching beyond accelerator hubs and the office towers of Softimage and Ubisoft—and into the entertainment industry. Here’s a few of the latest, greatest ways to get an eyeful of high tech!
One of Montréal’s foremost landmarks, the Jacques Cartier Bridge got dressed to kill in 2017 thanks to this unique interactive lighting concept by Moment Factory. For years to come, Living Connections will be activated every night in real time thanks to intelligent programming, activated by millions of data that make up the pulse of the city.
This grandiose light show at the Notre-Dame Basilica, Montréal’s most visited tourist site, makes homage to the resplendent beauty of the historic building by creating a narrative upon its very structure. Aura, a Moment Factory project, is an immersive orchestral and visual spectacle in three memorable acts.
To make history memorable they key is to bring it to life—and nothing does that more effectively that Cité Mémoire. This free pedestrian nighttime circuit through Old Montréal animates a poetic interpretation of the city’s history with large-scale projections on building, sidewalks and trees, complete with music and storytelling.
Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything
This large-scale homage to one of Montréal’s most iconic creative minds at the Musée d’art contemporain combines visual art, virtual reality, installations, performances, music and writing into a multisensory, multi-tech experience to remember. Innovative multimedia environments breathe new life into Cohen’s songs and archival material.
This Old Montréal’s cultural headquarters is always stretching the limits between the digital and the real, whether it’s in exhibitions like Lucid Realities, live projections of music shows, performances, lectures or film series. The building itself is a chef d’oeuvre of tech: it’s a LEED, totally transformable space that can go from gallery to recording studio (and more) on demand.
This activity hub in Quartier des Spectacles has brought more new music and progressive EDM to the city that any other venue. The Société des Arts Technologiques continues to push the envelope of innovation in entertainment, food and visual culture with its Satosphere, a spherical space on its top floor that’s the site of incredible immersive projection experiences where video and sound become one.
Sometimes the simplest experience is achieved through great technological innovation, as this installation on Place des Festival demonstrates. Winters are a time of extra excitement downtown since Luminothérapie’s installation of these 30 outsized illuminated seesaws, which make music and change colours when used.
In the amazing domed space of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, it feels like there’s no limit to the universe. Through animated projections that defy the mind, Space Next/EXO asks a beguiling question: is there life beyond Earth? It takes audiences off to new horizons and invites them to imagine life spreading elsewhere in the solar system and the cosmos.
The Montréal Science Center uses interactive tech to make learning fun for kids of all ages. This exhibition exploring the ingenuity of First Peoples from North America takes visitors on an interactive quest: there’s a virtual canoe race, the opportunity to build an igloo, test a kayak’s centre of gravity and discover interactive frescoes, and more.
Isa Tousignant, blogger
Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.