By Tracey Arial
Last Friday, more than 200 people attended the closing party of Montreal’s digital spring at the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) building, 1201 St. Laurent. The celebration was the official closing for a festival of 77 digital events by special effects companies, video game makers, electronica creators, web specialists, museums and other digital creators.
The official spokespeople for the event were Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiatfrom the Daily tous les jours studio. They were the ones who set up 21 swings on President Kennedy to allow anyone to make music. Mongiat couldn’t attend the closing ceremonies, but Andraos spoke.
Montreal is a internationally-recognized capital in the field of digital arts, but also in the video game and special events industries,” she said. “Montreal is digital and we are pleased to contribute to consolidate its position.”
Attendees included urban activists like Phyllis Lambert; representatives from 70 different participating organizations, ranging from Elektra to Pointe à Callière; and politicians from all levels of government. Culture and communications Minister Hélène David spoke about how successful the event was in terms of media coverage and attendance. Richard Deschamps, first vice-president of the regional conference of elected officials (CRE), which sponsored the event, also spoke. (Deschamps also serves LaSalle borough citizens as a city councillor.)
Initially, our only ambition for our first edition was to amplify a sector in which our region is emerging as an international leader, but is relatively unknown in the general population,” said Deschamps. “We are very impressed by the scale of community mobilization and impact this season. We’ve been given a special visibility tool that will allow us to grow even bigger in the coming years.”
Deschamps describes the event as though 2014 was its inaugural year, but a similar, smaller event was initially launched in 2005 with 13 participating organizations. That festival was headed by Michel Lemieux and promoted via two websites, www.printempsnumerique.ca and www.digitalspring.ca. Both websites were replaced this year with http://printempsnumerique.info and http://printempsnumerique.ca, but only the .info site links properly to the English section.
This year’s digital spring festival officially ran from March 21 until last Saturday night. If you missed it, you can still get an idea about what is was about by catching Fabien Giraud and Raphael Soboni’s “The Unmanned” at the Vox Gallery until June 28 or Dreamscapes, a retrospective of Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon’s 4d art performances at the Museum of Fine Arts until August 31.
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