Every summer, the Gay Village is blessed from May 17 until September 3 with Aires Libres, the car-free, pedestrian-only, patio-filled stretch of Saint-Catherine street. The 2012 Aires Libres carries over “Les Boules Roses” from last year.
Montreal’s Gay Village shows its colours as the Pride flags come out and Les Boules Roses, aka the Pink Balls, go up in the 2012 edition of Aires Libres!
200,000 pink resin balls are strung across and down 1 kilometre of Sainte-Catherine from St-Hubert to Papineau, creating a canopy of bubble-gum bliss. The massive installation piece was created by landscape architect Claude Cormier, who is also responsible for some of Montreal’s favorite spaces like Dorchester Square, Clock Tower Beach, and Place D’Armes.
Aires Libres brings many other installations to the Gay Village this summer. Mémorama by Daily Tous Les Jours, a series of drop-in booths – wired with cameras – that passersby can take a photo of themselves in fun and creative ways, and then share it in an online photo album.
With Montreal’s Gay Village turning the big 3-0 this year, there will be an exhibition celebrating the anniversary created by SDC du Village and André Gagnon. Banque National will return again this year with a new installation yet to be released, but based on the massive popularity of their Le Manifeste last year, they have their work cut out for them!
The activities taking place this year during Aires Libres are plentiful, with Outdoor Bazaars, Films, Circus, Concerts, Divers/Cite, Pride Festival, and more! What I’m looking forward to the most is “Fruixi”, a fruit and vegetable stand in Parc de l’Espoir (corner of Saint-Catherine and Panet).
This summer is promising to be a good one, especially with all the Aires Libres activities and attractions. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Queer of the Year finalists mid-August, strutting their stuff in the sun!
Aires Libres, May 17 to September 3, 2012