Bright Lights, Big City
Montreal will finally have a beating, visible heart that takes the city’s pulse. On Thursday, mayor Coderre and federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel announced Living Connections, a $39.5-million light art project that will illuminate the Jacques-Cartier bridge for at least 10 years, starting in 2017. Set up as a dual celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian confederation and the 375th anniversary of the founding of the city, the Moment Factory production will have 365 different shades of colour for every day of the year. They will be grouped by seasons: blue for winter, green for spring, yellow for summer and red for autumn. The colours will also have the ability to reflect the activities of the city. “If the Canadiens were to win the Stanley Cup, we could change the colour of the bridge,” says Gilbert Rozon, Commissioner of the Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary. “If there ‘s a huge festival, or the fireworks, or something amazing going on, the bridge from the outside will vibrate, so you will feel the activity.”
Prince-Arthur Street East will also be celebrating Montreal’s 375th birthday in its own way. The struggling pedestrian thoroughfare is getting an old-fashioned farmer’s market, the first of a series of changes aiming to make-over the street by the end of 2016, in time for the 375th anniversary. The market will be open every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. starting on Aug. 13.
In other colourful news, the three-day whirlwind of Osheaga capped off the week in controversy. Action Bronson cancelled his scheduled Saturday appearance at the last minute. Osheaga organizers announced on their Facebook page that “[…] Action Bronson had last minute travel issues and won’t be able to perform.” The controversial rapper has a song called Consensual Rape, which sparked an online petition for his removal from from the festival. At time of reporting, it has reached 20,000 supporters.
Flying Under Pressure
Hate rap was not the only danger in the city this week. A British Airways flight from Las Vegas to London was forced to land at Pierre-Elliot Trudeau in the early hours of Wednesday morning due to an unconfirmed bomb threat. After the plane landed safely as far as possible from the buildings of the airport (as a precaution), the 312 passengers and 17 crew members on board the Boeing 747 evacuated the aircraft peacefully without incident. “The safety and security of our customers, crew and aircraft are our highest priorities at all times. We are looking after the customers and will provide hotel rooms for them and will rebook them to other flights as soon as we can. We are working with the Canadian authorities and giving them our fullest support,” the airline said in a statement. At time of reporting, authorities have still not traced the origin of the threat.
In less dramatic bad news, tennis king Roger Federer has announced that he will not be participating in this year’s edition of the Rogers Cup. The world’s second-ranked male tennis player cited scheduling issues as the reason behind his withdrawal. According to a spokesperson, he “wants to pace himself and not overload his calendar” in preparation for the fast-approaching U.S. Open.