May 23, 2017 11:09 pm

4 new ‘Cité Mémoire’ installations unveiled for Montreal’s 375th birthday

A projection on Montreal's courthouse as part of the Cité Mémoire installations.

Jean-François Gratton/Shoot Studio
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A smartphone and some walking shoes are all you need to be transported back in time through Montreal’s history with the city’s new Cité Mémoire installations.

Every night between dusk and midnight, visuals featuring key figures and significant events are projected on the ground, trees, and buildings of Old Montreal.

Four new tableaux were unveiled Tuesday. Three of them are inspired by prominent characters: Jeanne Mance, the great Huron chief Kondiaronk, and a former hostess of Expo 67.

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The fourth is Cité Mémoire‘s piece-de-resistance, a 35-minute presentation which provides an overview of more than 375 years of history. Music and images are projected onto the walls of Montreal’s courthouse at Champ-de-Mars at set times.

“This creation builds a bridge between our roots and our future via key moments from the history of Montréal, a cosmopolitain, bold and unmissable city,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

The accompanying app, Montreal en Histoire, provides an augmented-reality experience in four different languages: English, French, Spanish, and Mandarin.

The app has daytime and nighttime walking tours that guide visitors through the various hotspots around the city, providing extra content and information.

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While the interactive content offers new experiences for Montrealers and tourists alike, the real purpose of the project is to display Montreal’s unique and diverse history through the eyes of artists.

“Celebrating an anniversary is an opportunity for remembering. For remembering where we come from, what our great achievements are and the challenges we have faced as well as for remembering and honouring our heroes,” said BMO President L. Jacques Ménard.

“That is what Cité Mémoire has brilliantly succeeded in doing. It is not a withdrawal into nostalgia but rather an inspiring look at who, over the years, little by little, has woven Montreal’s soul,” Ménard said.

It is a sentiment that the artists and companies behind the project hope everyone will be able to appreciate while indulging in the unique experience.

Follow these links for more information on Cité Mémoire and Montreal en Histoire, or download the application on iOS and Android.

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