A showcase of the quality and diversity of Montréal’s digital arts scene.
When it comes to creative high-tech, Montréal ranks among the top cities in the world, often being called the capital of the digital arts in North America. New digital arts projects, video game production, the visual effects industry and virtual reality innovations all thrive here and are among the many reasons why Montréal Digital Spring has garnered international attention. The annual citywide event promises to free your mind and your body with interactive exhibitions and audio-visual performances, architectural installations and contemporary creations that cross artistic and scientific currents. Rules are meant to be broken during Digital Spring, so follow our Survival Guide to see the city of the future, now.
The 3rd edition of Montréal Digital Spring digital arts and culture initiative, at various locations throughout Montréal from March 21 to June 21, 2016.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO
Whether you’re a forerunner in cutting-edge technology or your kids just figured out your smart phone for you, Montréal Digital Spring can take you however deep into the high-tech arts rabbit hole you desire. Also known as Printemps numérique, Digital Spring partners with local arts and culture organizations – meaning the whole city gets in on the act, from Place des Arts to the MUTEK and Piknic Électronik festivals of art and electronic music to the C2 Montréal creative tech industry conference. A bonus: many of the activities are free.
THE LAY OF THE LAND
Where everything’s happening
Digital Spring stands out as a great way to explore the city. Most of the exhibitions and events are localized around the downtown core within the Quartier des spectacles, from the Musée d’art contemporain to the SAT to UQAM, the Cinémathèque Québécoise and the National Library. But historic Old Montréal goes high-tech too – significantly at cultural hub the Phi Centre, gallery DHC/ART and archaeology museum Pointe-à-Callière – as do downtown’s McCord Museum of history, the Montreal Fine Arts Museum and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The festival also sprawls into neighbourhoods St-Henri and Griffintown, both just south of downtown and known for excellent new restaurants and cafes. The Planetarium at the Space For Life screens immersive new films in its domes, and even the Montréal Trudeau Airport gets in on the digital spring game.
How to get there
All venues are easily accessible by public transit, car or taxi, or even by bike. The Quartier des spectacles is a walkable area served by two metro stations (Place des Arts and Saint- Laurent).
WHAT TO BRING
– An open mind and an interest in experimental, future-oriented creations that break down boundaries between art, science, technology and industry – and on a practical note, these Montreal-specific apps will make your trip go even smoother
– A digital camera and/or your phone so you can take pics to prove that you were there when the next big art-tech trend hit
– Your kids – several Digital Spring participants feature workshops, games and performances for the younger set
WHAT NOT TO BRING
– Digital Spring embraces technology old and new – but especially new – so leave any neo-Luddite tendencies at home
– Open containers – liquid is no friend to all the electronic gadgetry at Digital Spring
WHAT NOT TO MISS
21 Swings – Make music with friends and strangers just by swinging on this interactive and illuminated installation outside Place des Arts, starting April 11.
MUTEK – Now in it’s 17th year, this electronic music and arts festival showcases innovative electronic music legends alongside up-and-coming artists you can say you discovered in Montréal before they became famous. Go for the mind-bending audio-visual shows or stay up late dancing, June 1 to 6.
Virtual Reality Garden – Sit down, put on a pair of VR goggles and see what’s new in the realm of virtual reality at the Phi Centre, a creative centre that encourages artistic expression using the latest technology.
Chromatic Festival – A lively art-exhibition-meets-party atmosphere for all ages, where DJs make the crowd dance and graffiti artists paint on the fly, at Hanger 16 in the Old Port, May 19 to 22.
Eurêka Festival – A science festival for curious minds of all ages, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12.
The entire program and calendar as well as ticket info for specific performances and events is all on the Montréal Digital Spring site.