Au bord du lac Tranquille: an all-new interactive experience on the esplanade Tranquille skating rink

Press release | For immediate release

Montreal, November 30, 2022 – From December 1 to March 5, evening skating sessions on the Esplanade Tranquille rink will be strikingly transformed by a new interactive experience, Au bord du lac Tranquille. Making its world premiere in the Quartier des Spectacles as part of the 13th edition of Luminothérapie, the work is inspired by the diversity of marine flora and fauna. It was designed by the Montreal companies Mirari and Normal Studio, and offers a dreamy journey into the heart of Quebec’s Nordic character.

The interactive video projection, presented twice each evening, lets the public explore marine ecosystems from Les Escoumins to the Laurentians to the Far North through their waterways and aquatic life.

In the waters of Lac Tranquille, narwhals, tortoises, catfish and plankton coexist with humans and respond to their movements. From calm dawns to festive luminescent evenings, the free work takes the public on a 30-minute journey through a magical aquatic world, presented twice each evening. In Quebec, frozen lakes are part of our identity and become extensions of our backyard, just like Esplanade Tranquille does for Montrealers.

“The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership is proud to present the world premiere of Au bord du lac Tranquille, a work with a strong narrative that gives the public a unique interactive experience, whether as participants or spectators. The work, conceived by people who are eager to celebrate our Nordic character, invites the public to explore the splendour of Quebec and enjoy winter pleasures through art,” said Catherine Girard Lantagne, artistic director, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.


Au bord du lac Tranquille is an innovative creation by local studios Mirari and Normal Studio, which joined forces to produce an exceptional experience on Montreal’s largest outdoor refrigerated rink. The creators worked with Photon software, developed by Montreal company VYV, and a state-of-the-art laser motion sensor system, located on the roof of the Esplanade Tranquille pavilion, that tracks skaters' movements in real time.

Skaters become part of the work as their gliding movements are sensed, triggering visual effects such as snow trails, eddies or pursuing schools of fish in the virtual lake. The skaters’ speed, position and proximity to each other influence the visuals that are generated. Collaboration among skaters results in especially captivating effects. Au bord du lac Tranquille is a unique work in North America, thanks to its combination of Montreal designers’ creativity and on-ice interactive technology.

“Like the skaters who will brave winter cold to enjoy this experience, we have accomplished a major creative and technological feat by creating this open-air interactive work. We are very happy to have been able to use our creativity and expertise to bring a luminous, magical and dreamlike world to life in the heart of Montreal. With Au bord du lac Tranquille, skaters become part of the story by building and transforming the visual world through their movements. This unique project is a fine example of the characteristic collaboration and ingenuity of Montreal’s creative ecosystem,” said Thomas Payette, co-founder and creative director of Mirari, and Philippe Belhumeur, creative director of Normal Studio.


As part of the 13th edition of Luminothérapie
December 1, 2022 to March 5, 2023, Esplanade Tranquille
Free admission, daily at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. *
*Schedule subject to change on Fridays.


Sunday to Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Rink access is free.
Schedule subject to change depending on weather conditions and event programming.


Production and creation: Normal Studio and Mirari
Photon programming: VYV

A production of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.

Luminothérapie is part of Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île, a downtown Montreal beautification initiative that will continue throughout the winter.


  • Public transportation: the district is served by numerous bus routes and ten metro stations on the orange and green lines.
  • Cycling: there are several all-season bike paths throughout the downtown core. Bike locking stations are available at Saint-Laurent metro station, a few steps from Esplanade Tranquille.
  • Driving: in addition to street parking, there are five indoor garages open to the public.

Click here to plan your visit.


The Luminothérapie event presents an original, interactive and captivating winter experience in Montreal’s cultural district, the Quartier des Spectacles, with large light-and-sound installations designed specifically for public space. In 2020 and 2021, special editions were held in the Quartier with a series of works and a moment of sound and light to extend the experience. Luminothérapie is aimed at stimulating creativity in urban installations and digital art. Several cultural districts around the world have shown interest in the Quartier’s interactive art installations for public spaces, made by Montreal artists and creators. Since 2016, 14 works created for the Quartier des Spectacles have been exhibited on 165 occasions in 70 cities in 12 countries. The installations are distributed by Quartier des Spectacles International.

To learn more about the competition and the works presented in past years, see the Luminothérapie press kit. 


Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île is downtown Montreal’s collaborative winter project. It is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the Alliance centre-ville partners: the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, SDC Montréal centre-ville, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Tourisme Montreal and the Ville de Montréal. The initiative is a continuation of a series of summer projects launched in 2020. The winter Moments comprise a variety of outdoor activities organized by the partners and other cultural and economic stakeholders active in the area bounded by Atwater, Sherbrooke and Papineau streets and the St. Lawrence River. The Moments include a host of original winter activities to be enjoyed outdoors in the downtown core: interactive and luminous installations and experiences, festivals and events, exceptional opportunities to meet talented local artisans, beautifully illuminated public spaces and other delightful surprises. From November to March, these initiatives have been brought together under the communication campaign Les moments du coeur de l’île and invite Montrealers, visitors and tourists to enjoy the luminous winter wonders of the heart of the island that make Montreal a unique winter destination.

More information:


The Quartier des Spectacles is Montréal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues as well as numerous festivals and events. The Quartier also hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design and immersive environments. The Quartier des Spectacles has become an international showcase for digital public art.

The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, founded in 2003, is a non-profit organization with more than 85 members active in the district. It is responsible for animating the Quartier des Spectacles by programming cultural activities, managing and animating public spaces, providing distinctive illumination and promoting the Quartier as a must-visit cultural destination. The Partnership benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal. 

More information:

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Communications Mingotwo
Mélanie Mingotaud
(514) 582-5272


Quartier des Spectacles Partnership
Chloé Goldstein
(514) 812‑2193