Montreal is one of those cities I always enjoyed growing up. It really is one of the only cities in North America with a rich history, which I find rather thrilling as a History nerd. But for all the times I traveled to the city to tour the museums, marvel at the architecture and enjoy their lower drinking age I never got around to experience the art scene. Now I would never call myself an ‘art person’, so when I was told I was traveling to the city to cover a Digital Art festival I was slightly terrified. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to understand the art, let alone review it, but never one to reject an opportunity to visit one of favourite cities in the world I jumped at the opportunity before someone else snatched it up…
The city was exactly as I remembered; stunning, inspiring and friendly. Where I usually seek out accommodation in the East end of the city, I was drawn to the West this time by the Loews Hotel Vogue. Is it proper to say that the room was offensively gorgeous? Because it was. From the moment I walked through the front door I felt like Anne Hathaway in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’… or maybe Meryl Streep, I just really like Anne Hathaway. Staying more downtown/west Montreal opened up an entire new corridor to the city that I had never seen before.
The weekend of Digital Spring festivities kicked off immediately with Chromatic closing night party at Espace MASSIVart, and I’m not ashamed to say that I was a bit apprehensive walking through the door. A shallow Anglophone jumping into a trendy art party in the most creative city in Canada? I was sure they were going to smell it off me. To my delight everyone was so lovely, their passion for art eliminated the need to ostracize people deemed unworthy of the product. I spent the evening starring at abstract collage art and dancing to crazy electronic music and woke up with a bit of vice on my head… as it were.
In the following days I attended several other parties, exhibitions and installations and with every experience I felt that I understood it all a little bit more. The most exciting thing I found about Printemps Numérique is the amount of support the city of Montreal provides to the arts. Rather than being hidden away in the back of an old gallery, the festival engulfed the entire city! Where else in the world could you find a 90-day festival dedicated entirely to Digital Arts?
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