Spring Has Sprung

Printemps Numérique Takes Montreal by Storm During Opening Launch Party

Party-goes were able to participate in an interactive light-photography exhibit held under a miniature geodesic dome. Photo courtesy McCord Museum

Printemps Numérique—also known as Digital Spring—appropriately kicked off on March 21, marking the first day of multiple exhibits popping up around the city in the coming weeks.

Despite rain and snow, Montrealers partied, schmoozed and drank the evening away in style at the launch party held in the McCord Museum. Several well-known industry professionals, artists and local celebrities, including Mayor Denis Coderre, were in attendance.

Printemps Numérique is an organization made up of many partners focused on bringing attention to various digital-arts platforms throughout Montreal. Going forward until the end of June, Printemps Numérique will host a series of events aimed to connect people from the industry with other Montrealers.

The platform is responsible for many of the interactive art pieces that have appeared across the city, like the musical seesaws at Place des Arts. To fund the initiative, the Quebec government has given a $250,000 grant.

Suzanne Gouin, chairperson of Digital Spring’s board of directors, explained the purpose of the pieces—ranging from virtual reality to the aforementioned swings and more.

“[Printemps Numérique] will impact a lot of people who are interested in finding out what ‘Digital’ means other than having digital phones,” Gouin said. “This is really to make sure that the creativity of Montreal is first and foremost exposed to as many people as possible.”

Having recently become a non-profit organization, Gouin hopes that Printemps Numérique will have a positive influence on the ecosystem of digital industry for not only the city and province, but for Canada as a whole.

“This will bring everyone together—it’s full of joy, and no matter what generation you are: welcome to Montreal, we are full of diversity.” —Denis Coderre, mayor of Montreal

Speaking at the event was none other than Denis Coderre, who was quick to say that the program launch will bring everyone together. “It’s digital, it’s 21st century, it’s ‘smart-city,’” he told The Link, before suggesting to pose for a selfie. “This will bring everyone together—it’s full of joy, and no matter what generation you are: welcome to Montreal, we are full of diversity.”

The author taking a selfie with the infamous mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre. Photo SÉBASTIEN ROY

Halifax native DJ Dead Horse Beats’ ambient techno bounced off the walls, mixing nicely with the chatter of attendees. Other partygoers played with three interactive techno-art exhibits: light photography under a geodesic dome, virtual reality demos and digitally painting light sabers.

Marking the start of the season, the launch celebrated the coming together of over 200 partners. “We are the North American capital of digital art,” said Medhi Benboubakeur, Executive Head of Printemps Numérique. “Montreal is bright, and we want to celebrate.”

For full program listing of over 150 “digital activities,” visit Printemp Numérique’s website.