Colourful journey through Van Gogh’s work opening in Saskatoon

Click to play video: 'Imagine Van Gogh exhibition in Saskatoon' Imagine Van Gogh exhibition in Saskatoon
WATCH: The Imagine Van Gogh exhibition has been popular across Canada, and you can now check it out in Saskatoon. Global News Morning checked it out and found out what makes the experience unique – Oct 1, 2021

UPDATE: Imagine Van Gogh extended 2nd time in Saskatoon

Art enthusiasts in Saskatoon have the opportunity to experience the work of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh through an “immersive” exhibit this fall.

Created by artistic directors Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, Imagine Van Gogh was presented first by Encore Productions in France, where it amazed audiences that included Tandem Expositions president Paul Dupont-Hébert.

“I went to see it one day in Europe and I decided to bring it (to North America). (It ) was crazy because, at that time, I was thinking of retiring from show business and I went completely crazy about it,” he said.

“And since that, we sold one million tickets, almost all in Canada. People come and come back.

“It’s not going to change your day, it’s going to change your life because you don’t see things like that every day.”

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Dupont-Hébert said the exhibit aims to bring a positive view, “something that I think is magic” for Canadians amid what has been “not a happy period,” adding that COVID-19 safety protocols are in place. “And in this (COVID-19) pandemic period, we take care of the distances, the number of persons, washing the hands (and masking).”

Organizers said Imagine Van Gogh will run in accordance with public health guidelines established by the Saskatchewan government. 

Read more: Largest piece of public art donated to Saskatoon unveiled in Brighton

The exhibition will be open to the general public from Sept. 30 to Nov. 7 in the Thatcher Avenue Warehouse, located across the street from SaskTel Centre.

“We need the size. We need to be very high. We need a lot of room … the experience requests a lot of square feet – 20, 25,000 square feet to enjoy it,” Dupont-Hébert said.

“This is like an in-between. Between a museum and maybe between cinemas, maybe between rock shows … it’s a wow factor.”

Read more: Saskatoon bus shelter art project inspired by Indigenous history, values

Organizers said this exhibit brings Van Gogh’s canvases to life through Image Totale technology as the audience takes a journey through the artist’s “world of dreams.”

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“It makes you … dream more because you don’t hear anything else than the music that fits exactly with the paintings. So it’s a total immersive thing for what you see and for you to hear. It’s a total experience,” Dupont-Hébert said.

“At the end, couples leave holding hands … You see a very warm and positive result, a romantic result.

“(Kids also) dance … Life stops for half an hour.”

This is the first time the production has stopped in Saskatoon. It has also visited Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Edmonton.

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