With Maëstro, you conduct the fountain in the Place des Festivals!

Press release - For immediate release

Montreal, May 4, 2016 – After a highly successful inaugural run, budding conductors are once again invited to control the fountain in the Place des Festivals with the Maëstro interactive installation, created by ATOMIC3. From May 5 to 26, the fountain will be transformed into an impressive reinvention of the symphony orchestra. Let’s make some beautiful music!

To conduct the Place des Festivals fountain – the country’s largest animated fountain – participants wave a baton fitted with sensors and approach a podium equipped with a camera that will measure the amplitude of the conductor’s motions. Data from the devices are transmitted in real time, affecting the volume of the music and controlling the intensity of the spouts. The installation is magnificent at night, when the fountain’s 235 jets are illuminated.

Would-be conductors can choose one of four pieces: “The Toreador Song,” Carmen Suite No. 1 by Bizet, the “Waltz of the Flowers,” op. 71 from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67 by Beethoven, and a fourth well-known piece, Offenbach’s Can-Can.

A musical and visual experience for all To prepare for Maëstro’s second spring, the design team from ATOMIC3 has kept improving the experience, making it more intuitive and responsive to the participant’s motions. The more energetic and animated you are in the conductor’s role, the more pronounced your gestures, the more grandiose the fountain’s orchestra of water jets will be, particularly the central jet, which will spray as high as 10 metres. Several levels of difficulty will allow both first-timers and repeat visitors to have plenty of fun while entertaining the curious gathered around the fountain. Lastly, when people jump in front of the podium, musical elements such as cymbal crashes are added, and certain jets are activated.

“Since 2013, ATOMIC3 has been exploring ways of animating the fountain in the Place des Festivals. Thanks to the Urban Digital Laboratory, developed for the Quartier des Spectacles, creators have been able to make original, interactive, entertaining installations that change the ways in which we interact with our public spaces,” said Jacques Primeau, chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership’s board of directors.



Place des Festivals
May 5 to 26

Monday to Wednesday: noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Thursday and Friday: noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 2 to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 2 to 7 p.m.



Original concept and art direction: ATOMIC3
Interactive design: 20K
Sound design: Jean-Sébastien Côté
Stage design: ATOMIC3
Object design: Sébastien Dallaire and Jakob Lorenz – Generique Design
Illustration: Lionel Arnould
Production: Quartier des Spectacles Partnership


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. Thanks to the Place des Festivals and the world’s most extensive set of architectural video projection facilities used exclusively for presenting artistic content, the Quartier des Spectacles is an extraordinary creative space for designers. The Quartier des Spectacles is an international showcase for new multimedia technology, making Montreal a global leader in the urban exhibition of digital content.

The Quartier des Spectacles is home to the Urban Digital Laboratory (UDL), a technology backbone built around a fibre-optic network. The Quartier’s public spaces and several cultural venues are connected to each other via a central control room. The UDL makes it possible to remotely control the Quartier’s architectural video projection sites, present digital and interactive content, and control the fountain and lighting in the Place des Festivals.


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’s other creations for the Quartier des Spectacles, as part of the Luminothérapie competition, include the interactive installations Éclats de verre, presented in Parc Émilie-Gamelin in 2011 and Iceberg, presented in the Place des Festivals in 2012. The company also designed and created Îlot de chaleur, a festive participatory installation presented in the winter of 2016 on the Promenade des Artistes in the Quartier des Spectacles as a preview of Illuminart, part of the Montréal en Lumière festival.


20k is a design and consulting firm in applied technology for the arts, performing arts and entertainment. Sensitive to the creative and technical facets of the projects it takes on, the company is known for developing innovative and effective solutions. 20k has completed several bold, complex projects for the local, national and international scenes.

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Photos: Martine Doyon

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