New design firm chosen for Gay village art installation in the post-rainbow balls era
MONTREAL -- A new summertime look for Montreal’s Gay Village is being hatched, with a pledge to keep eyes looking upward even without the world-famous canopy of multicoloured balls.
The business development agency for the Village on Wednesday announced that ADHOC architects is the winning firm to install a series of major new art installations for the first time since the summer of 2019, when the iconic suspended rainbow-coloured balls were retired for the last time following an eight-year run during the summer months when Ste-Catherine St. East turns into a pedestrian mall.
The exact form of the new installations is still being devised but Yannick Brouillette, Director-General of Societe de Developpement Commercial du Village, says whatever it is it will occupy some space overhead.
“Yes there will be something above your head,” he confirmed to CTV News. “It’s the signature of the Village. People want to walk under something that is magical, that is beautiful.”
ADHOC architects is known for the bright yellow street furniture it designed for Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles and, in Quebec City, small windmills that spun while suspended over the street.
The $1.5M Village project is planned to be introduced in three phases as the pandemic hopefully comes to an end and crowd control measures are eased up.
The first phase will be in June, then another in December and another in June 2022. Brouillette says this coming summer there will be double the amount of street performance artists as in previous years with additional visual art installations on the ground spread out through the village.
The idea is also to spotlight businesses in the village; there are currently 230 LGBTQ businesses that are open and 40 vacant storefronts.
“I’m certain that there are so many opportunities although we are in the pandemic and now we have more time, time to plan and we have great partners.”
The design plan will be presented to the public next month with people invited to comment on it. The design may be changed based on the reaction, Brouillette explained.
The final design will be presented in April with installation set for June.