Cité Mémoire, a walk through the past in 2016

Cité Mémoire launches its free app for their original work to be displayed in May 2016.

Cité Memoire. Photo Martin Landry, Montréal en Histoires Cité Memoire. Photo Martin Landry, Montréal en Histoires

For the last little while, Montréal en Histoires, an organisation that promotes the exploration and discovery of Montreal’s history, has been tirelessly developing Cité Mémoire. A project by artists Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, in collaboration with Michel Marc Bouchard, Cité Mémoire will be coming to a street near you on May 17, 2016.

Until then, the team has launched a free app where you can find “techno-historic circuits” that allow you to discover Montreal as it was in the past. I spoke to Jean Bérubé, assistant general manager of Montréal en Histoires, who told me more about their project.

“We wanted people to experience the sounds,” he explains. This historical guide, available for both iPhones and Androids, holds information on 51 different sites throughout Montreal. You simply download the app, make your way to Old Montreal, connect to the specified Wi-Fi, and you’re set.


Carte sans numéro (1). Cite Memoire.

Carte sans numéro (1). Cite Memoire.

Next year, they will add the next component: a series of 24 “tableaux” to be projected throughout Montreal. These projections, created by the artists Lemieux and Pilon and the designer and director, Bouchard, will be found on 30 different walls when Cité Mémoire officially launches in 2016. They will be projected for 10 months out of the year, for 5 years.

Bérubé explained that the app, which will continue to be free for the duration of the project, will detect the points of interest. Only then will the projections begin. That way, the “tableaux” will only play when someone is there to watch.

All I kept repeating during our conversation was, “Wow this is a huge project.” Bérubé then confessed that they were worried about that at the beginning, too. They had the challenge of getting 30 different building owners on board. And they were skeptical. But, 84% agreed on the first shot. “It’s a huge collaboration between artists and citizens,” he said. “It was such a nice surprise to see that people wanted to support it.”

You can download the circuits app for free from the App Store or Google Play.