Oh Canada, Oh Canada! Or in this case, more specifically Montreal and Quebec...I’ve often wondered what they put in the water up there, or if creativity just runs freely through their veins. After all, Canada is the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil, as well as Robert Lepage and his company, Ex Machina, which are, in my book, two of the most creative driving forces of the past few decades.
In recent years, Canadian creativity has really ramped up. Montreal alone is teeming with content creation companies, LED wristband technology, and lighting and video design.
Let’s start with Luz Studio. Masters of lighting and video design, they first came to my attention when Matthieu Larivée, creative director at Luz, reached out about their work. Check out their recent lighting and projection design for Billy Idol at The Palms in Las Vegas. Winner of a Live Design Award in 2015, it’s great to see Larivée and Luz get even better.
PixMob, also based in Montreal, first drew our eye when they created the first human video canvas at the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show in 2014 when 500 people on the field and 80,000 in the stands wore ski hats with interactive LED technology during Bruno Mars’ performance. Turning to bigger bits of kit, they had moving head projectors on Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour, used as what they call “digital paint brushes.” They also do cool LED wristband technology. Take a look.
Then there is Moment Factory, a Montreal-based multimedia studio where creativity pours out of their collective pores! Theirs is a high-tech means of public storytelling, as they hone interactive experiences in many different environments. Meet the “factory workers.”
Perhaps it’s the long, cold winters in Montreal that keep the creative juices flowing, and the city itself offers artistic relief in the form of Luminiothérapie (light therapy). The most recent edition of this outdoor winter playground of light, sound, and video event ran through the end of January 2019. And running now through March 3 is the 20th edition of the Montreal En Lumière Festival (Montreal In Lights), which includes illuminart, a combination of light, art, and technology. And if you're not cold enough yet, try Igloofest, the "bill chill" of music festivals, with technical supports from Solotech, a Canadian supplier of cutting-edge audiovisual gear, which supports these kinds of projects.
One of these days I’d like to don my winter coat and boots and trek to Montreal for these outdoor interactive events that light up the Canadian winters, and take a tech tour of the city, stopping in to see all these creative folks. So if you’re up there and I didn’t mention you, be sure to let me know. I’d love to add you to my itinerary!