The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, a non-profit organization responsible for animating Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles with a year-round slate of cultural activities and animated public spaces, is proud to be doing its part to combat the impacts of COVID-19 on the local economy and the vitality of the downtown and its cherished cultural milieu.
As cities around the world continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic, the Montreal initiative provides a beacon of light through its provision of engaging artistic and cultural attractions. The initiative taps into civic pride, provides a much-needed release in the form of safe and enjoyable activities, and lays the foundations of renewed urban planning.
In response to shutdowns of much of the downtown core due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership heeded the rallying cry of the City of Montreal officials looking to bring people back to the streets in safe, healthy, and engaging ways. While COVID-19 lowered the curtain on the city’s annual calendar of internationally-recognized summer festivals, the Partnership embarked with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Tourism Montreal, on a multifaceted downtown initiative to create animated pedestrian zones, new public spaces, special performances, artistic displays and installations, and to infuse a cultural offering into an expanded territory of approximately 9km2 of the downtown core.
“We had a choice to make: we could either stand by and watch the decline of our downtown core, or we could roll up our sleeves and get to work,” says Monique Simard, Chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. “Our mission was more important than ever in 2020, and our team has redoubled its efforts to create a participatory, welcoming, and creative route within the framework of public health guidelines.”
The initiative’s summer schedule, from July through October, is focused on an infrastructure of safe, socially-distanced public squares that support local businesses and restaurants, and is infused with inspiration from Montreal-based artists, designers, performers, and collectives. As a result, the summer featured an abundance of animation courtesy of more than 150 musicians, dancers, actors, street artists, circus performers, and improv artists who illuminated the pedestrian zones and public squares.
The success of the summer initiative laid the foundations for a full winter program that includes the warm embrace of Luminothérapie, Quebec’s largest competition for temporary public art installations and a captivating annual winter experience anchored in downtown Montreal’s Place des Festivals. The initiative, which has celebrated winter life on a smaller scale in past years, has expanded in scope to feature an innovative circuit of 5 installations this year, infusing greater vibrancy and pleasant distractions into the city at a much-needed moment.
Launched on December 3rd, the immersive journey of interactive sound and light has converted the darkness of an unforgettable winter into a magical winter wonderland that is keeping people connected to the city. Each night at 6 p.m., the Moment cœur battant sound and light show begin illuminating building façades, bringing the streets of the Quartier des Spectacles to life with a mix of dancing lights and original music that embodies the spirit and beating heart of the city’s cultural community.
The Luminothérapie | Cœur battant initiative includes five creative and thought-provoking installations, beginning with Loop, an adventure in sound and light at Place des Festivals that whisks visitors away on a cultural journey through Quebec literature. On the nearby Place des Arts Esplanade, Entre les rangs pays luminous tribute to the wintery wheat fields of Quebec’s ancestral farmlands, while Nouvelle Lune presents a series of giant luminescent spheres as a framework of shadow theatre. Iceberg immerses visitors in a unique sound and light experience in its interpretation of majestic ice flows, while Spectrum is a fun and interactive work that converts speech soundwaves into the light.
“A recent survey revealed that visitors thoroughly enjoyed the temporary public squares and performances that brought life to the downtown area in the summer months, and we hope to replicate those successes throughout winter,” explains Simard. “With this very special edition of Luminothérapie, we’re inviting people to come and feel the magic of an essential winter event that celebrates the immense talent of our local artists, in a unique and luminous setting.”
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. The installations have already been entertaining audiences around the world, showcasing Montreal, a UNESCO City of Design, as a global capital of digital art and creativity. Since 2016, 12 works created for the Quartier des Spectacles have been exhibited on nearly 120 occasions in more than 50 cities in North America, Europe, and the Middle East, sharing the city’s Joie de Vivre with the rest of the world.
In the current climate of constantly evolving restrictions, that creative force has been leveraged as a countermeasure, and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership has risen to the challenge of helping ensure that Montreal remains a vibrant, lively, and safe destination to visit, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
Source: V2com Newswire