_Press release - For immediate release_

Montreal, May 12, 2015 – From May 14 to 31, visitors to the Place des Festivals will have their first-ever chance to step into the role of orchestra conductor and play the spouts in the fountain, thanks to Maëstro, an interactive installation created by ATOMIC3.

Accompanied by the music of Bizet (“The Toreador Song,” from Carmen Suite No. 1), Tchaikovsky (“The Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker, Op. 71) or Beethoven (Symphony no. 5 in C minor, Op. 67), would-be maestros are invited to wave the sensor equipped baton and control the fountain’s hundreds of spouts, which will shoot water to the rhythm of the music and the baton.

Maëstro will return from August 6 to 10, in time for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Classical Spree festival (August 5 to 8). Festivalgoers will have the chance to enjoy the musical, visual, technological and interactive experience between concerts.


“It was already possible to program and control the fountain’s variable-flow spouts remotely. The challenge was to add a playful touch to the technology, by allowing anyone to take control of the fountain and become a conductor by combining motion and music,” says Félix Dagenais of ATOMIC3.

To achieve the result, interactive designers from 20K developed a “smart” baton and a podium fitted with a camera that can sense the range of the conductor’s movements. The data are transmitted in real time and determine the volume of the music and the height of the water columns.

“Once again, Montreal can be proud of a new interactive installation for the public. Maëstro is in the same lineage as works like Megaphone, 21 Balançoires and the several works comprising McLaren Wall to Wall: works that help position our city as a creative, welcoming metropolis,” said Jacques Primeau, chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership board of directors.


The fountain in the Place des Festivals is Canada’s largest animated fountain. Equipped with 235 variable-flow spouts, some of which can spray water 10 metres high, it is backlit and can be programmed to create water, light and music shows. It is supplied by an underground reservoir that holds 80,000 litres of filtered water.


ATOMIC3 is a creative studio active in the performing arts, lighting and multimedia technology. The company designs and produces interactive or contemplative urban installations that transform public spaces and encourage people to see their surroundings in new ways. The founders’ deep and diverse stagecraft experience gives their creations original narrative and poetic dimensions.

ATOMIC3 has also created the interactive installations Éclats de verre at Place Émilie-Gamelin (2011) and Iceberg in the Place des Festivals (2012), both for the Quartier des Spectacles as part of the Luminothérapie competition.


20k is a design and consulting firm working in applied technology for the arts, performing arts and entertainment fields. Sensitive to the creative and technical aspects of its projects, the company focuses on developing innovative and effective solutions. 20k has produced several bold and complex projects locally, nationally and internationally.

Original concept and artistic direction: ATOMIC3
Interactive design: 20K
Sound design: Jean-Sébastien Côté
Scenography: ATOMIC3
Object design: Sébastien Dallaire and Jakob Lorenz /
Illustration: Lionel Arnould
Production: Quartier des Spectacles Partnership


Place des Festivals
May 14 to 31 and August 6 to 10
Monday to Wednesday: noon to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Thursday and Friday: noon to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 2 to 5 p.m.


The Quartier des Spectacles is Montreal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues. The district is the year-round host to countless festivals and events, many of which include free outdoor shows and activities.

The Quartier also hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design, immersive environments or interactive digital spaces. It also presents artistic video projections on several building façades, year round. The Quartier des Spectacles is an international showcase for new multimedia technology, making Montreal a global leader in the urban exhibition of digital content.

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