With long, dark nights and increasing restrictions on bars and dancing already in place and more imminent, what’s a Montréaler to do? Well, hopefully more than last winter now that we almost all dutifully got vaccinated. But still, with the current Covid spike, it’d be good to have somewhere to go that isn’t your own living room. While it may not fill a night, and it may not even fill an hour, Luminothérapie at Place des Arts, is worth the trip.
This year, the highlight is a whale (Echoes — A Voice from Unchartered Waters by Mathias Gmachl). The fact that the one whale I’ve ever seen visit Montreal died not longer after his trip is an irony not lost on me… but nonetheless, a rather impressive wood and led lit whale sits at centre court between St Catherine and Maisonneuve, between Balmoral and Jeanne-Mance. Whale songs play on speakers, reminding us that we’re not the only music makers, and a backdrop of waves projected onto the building behind makes for a multimedia installation.
Following that, you can continue on to the beloved lit up musical see saws (Impulse by Lateral Office and CS Design). If you wait around a bit, one will open up and you can join young and old in this ever fun interactive piece. Movement varies the tone and intensity of each see saw, so make sure to bring a friend to check it out.
Carry on along Maisonneuve behind Place Des Arts to reach a veritable garden of white lit up dandelion like sculptures (Entre les Rangs by Kanva Architecture). Walk through, like you’re Dorothy on the yellow brick road, only your little dog is home asleep, its cold, and nothing is in technicolour because it’s dark
Walking down St Urbain and along St Catherine, pass Iceberg by Felix Dagenais and Louis-Xavier Gangon-Lebrun. This “tunnel” made of metal arches each make a particular sound. See what happens as you move through and how you can change the experience.
Now if you manage this whole circuit — and chances are, you do — if you time your visit right, you can check out the nightly sound and light projected spectacle of Coeur Dansant by David Drury, Bruno Rafie, and Benoit Piccolini. Enjoy five minutes of light and music to dance to between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. nightly.
The brightly lit sculptures of Place des Arts may not be a full night out, but at least it’s something to get Montrealers out and about in winter… and this is something that won’t close down.
Luminothérapie takes places at Place des Arts/Quartier des Spectacles from December 2 to February 27. For info, click HERE.