Luminothérapie in Montreal braves the pandemic

Ulysse Lemerise / OSA Images,

Montreal, Canada,



Canadian non-profit organisation Quartier des Spectacles Partnership holds urban events animating the centre of Montreal every year. Like past editions, this year’s Luminothérapie is an immersive voyage in discovery of interactive lights and sounds, transforming the city into a magical winter wonderland, now more useful than ever to keep people in touch with their city.

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Luminothérapie in Montreal braves the pandemic
We all know that art can have beneficial effects on our psychological and physical wellbeing. This is why it is particularly good to see that the well-known, much-loved Montreal initiative Luminothérapie has not only gone ahead but expanded for winter 2020-21, offering creative stimulation for citizens even in the age of the pandemic.
In response to the closure of a large part of the city centre due to restrictions intended to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Quartier des Spectacles partnership responded to the request of Montreal city officials to bring people back onto the streets in a way that is safe, healthy and engaging. And so the Partnership worked with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Tourism Montreal on a multifaceted initiative in the city centre, creating animated pedestrian zones, new public spaces, special performances, exhibitions and art installations, bringing a cultural offering in the city centre for about 9 km2.
Following the summer programme held between July and October, focusing on an infrastructure of safe, physically distanced public plazas in an effort to support local restaurants and businesses (https://www.floornature.com/blog/adhoc-architectes-your-place-table-installation-montreal-15771/), winter installations appeared in the form of Luminothérapie, Quebec’s biggest contest for temporary installations in public spaces, brightening up the winter for the people of Montreal for the past ten years (https://www.floornature.com/blog/luminotherapie-10-anni-di-creativita-invernale-montreal-15154/) with projects in the Place des Festivals in the city’s Quartier des spectacles.
This year, Luminothérapie | Cœur battant includes five installations, starting with Loop, a light and sound adventure in Place des Festivals taking visitors on a cultural voyage through the literature of Quebec with giant wheels of light created by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix. This interactive artwork consists of 12 giant zootropes which may be started up to view images by Québec illustrators inspired by local works of literature. In the nearby Place des Arts Esplanade, Entre les rangs (Between the Rows) is a light tribute to Quebec’s history of farming and wheatfields swaying in the wind. Made up of thousands of flexible stems topped by white spotlights, the installation creates dynamic animations in response to stimuli around it.
The installation Nouvelle Lune consists of seven self-inflating spheres featuring effects of light and shadow which reveal emblematic images and stories inspired by the culture of the Quartier des spectacles, all accompanied by original music. While Iceberg immerses visitors in a unique experience of light and sound interpreting the majesty of icebergs, and Spectrum casts light on the phenomenon of communication; speech is no longer tied to language and soundwaves are transformed into impulses of light to illustrate the fascinating movement of sound.
As the organisers point out, the light, sound and interactive installations produced by the Partnership serve as an inspiration for cities around the world faced with the challenges of animating public spaces during a global pandemic.

Christiane Bürklein

Luminothérapie | Cœur battant
3 December 2020 through 28 March 2021
More information:
Images: Ulysse Lemerise - OSA Images


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