21 Swings, Maëstro, Les Jardins Gamelin and free walking tour

For immediate release

Montreal, March 23, 2017 – In Montreal, warmer weather is synonymous with fun, and the Quartier des Spectacles is the perfect place to make the most of the season! With the 21 Balançoires/21 Swings and Maëstro installations, free walking tour of the Quartier and the return of Les Jardins Gamelin, Montrealers and visitors will rediscover the warm, inspiring atmosphere that can only be found in the city’s arts and entertainment district. From sunrise until late at night, visitors will savour the pleasure of being part of the fabric of Montreal’s cultural heart.

One of the first signs of spring is the reappearance of the iconic 21 Balançoires/21 Swings installation, one of the Quartier des Spectacles’ signature works. This interactive musical installation, part game and part street furniture, will deliver countless hours of all-ages fun in its 7th season, from April 10 to June 18. Created for the Quartier des Spectacles by the Montreal-based design team of Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, of Daily tous les jours, each swing makes the sound of a musical instrument: piano, guitar, harp or vibraphone.  The height reached by the swing determines the note it plays, and when multiple swings are occupied a melody starts to emerge.

From May 4 to September 4, Sainte-Catherine Street will be closed to vehicle traffic between De Bleury and Saint-Urbain streets. While enjoying the pedestrian zone, visitors can play a game of chess on one of four giant boards on Sainte-Catherine, every day from noon to 8 p.m. Starting in mid-May, the nearby fountain in the Place des Festivals, featuring 235 variable-pressure spouts and sophisticated lighting, will become the perfect place to enjoy the fountain’s refreshing mist or have a picnic. And after dark, the Quartier’s nine video projection sites will be lit up with dazzling colours and patterns. Lastly, Sainte-Catherine is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere of the many festivals held there throughout the summer.

From May 4 to October 8, free walking tour of the Quartier des Spectacles will give Montrealers and visitors the opportunity to explore the district in depth, discover its history, and learn all about its lively public spaces and the inner workings of some of Montreal’s most famous cultural venues. The two-hour walking tours, led by graduates of the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, will be offered in English and French three times a week. This is the fifth season for the tours, which have earned a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence for the last three years.

From May 8 to May 28, the Maëstro interactive installation, created by ATOMIC3 for the Quartier des Spectacles, will return for a third year. The work invites members of the public to pick up a baton and play orchestra conductor for a short aquatic concert. Using a special baton equipped with sensors, would-be maestros control the spouts of the Place des Festivals fountain, which respond to the participant’s movements and the rhythm of the music. The more animated and energetic the conductor, the grander the fountain’s display, particularly the central jet, which can shoot water as high as 10 metres.

The installation offers a choice of four pieces of music: “The Toreador Song ,” Carmen Suite no. 1 by Bizet, the “Waltz of the Flowers,” op. 1 from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, Symphony no. 5 in C Minor by Beethoven, and another well-known piece, Offenbach’s Can-Can. Finally, when the conductor takes the podium, musical sounds such as cymbal crashes will be heard and some of the fountain’s spouts will activate.

Now a favourite spot for Montrealers, Les Jardins Gamelin will spring to life on May 17 for a lively season ending October 15.Place Émilie-Gamelin will again feature an engaging temporary design, including a large patio with illuminated canopy and luxuriant vegetation in numerous flower planters and urban agriculture plots. Regulars and newcomers are invited to enjoy family games and dancing with friends, relaxation, entertainment and tasty food and drink every day until 11 p.m.

The hanging sculpture 1.26 by internationally acclaimed artist Janet Echelman has become a landmark and a symbol of the Quartier des Spectacles. The monumental work will light up the sky over Les Jardins Gamelin throughout the season.

The official opening and program announcement for the season will take place on May 18 starting at 5:30 p.m. This year’s program will include several new activities. Both the general public and the media are warmly invited to join the festivities.

Last June, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership won a Prix Ulysse 2016 for Les Jardins Gamelin, in the innovation in tourism products category. The annual honour is awarded by Tourisme Montréal.21 Balançoires/21 Swings, Maëstro and 1.26 are part of Montreal Digital Spring 2017, an initiative of the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ), organized in partnership with more than 50 creative organizations, aimed at showcasing the most exciting aspects of digital creation in Montreal.

21 Balançoires/21 Swings

April 10 to June 18
Sunday to Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Thursday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to midnight

Promenade des Artistes, Quartier des spectacles
Between De Maisonneuve Blvd. and Président-Kennedy Ave.

In case of rain, the installation will be closed.
Video and info:

A creation of Daily tous les jours
Developed with the collaboration of Luc-Alain Giraldeau, professor, faculty of science, UQAM
Musical design: Radwan Ghazi Moumneh

Free guided tours of the Quartier des Spectacles

May 4 to October 8

"Extra! We weren’t expecting anything exceptional, but that’s what we got! Our extraordinary guide kept us engaged for the whole tour, showing us places we often pass but don’t know much about. A great tour for anyone, whether you’re from Montreal or just visiting. Do it!"
Visited in September 2016. Ginette, Montréal


In English: Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

In French: Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Paid private tours can also be arranged for groups and/or at special times. ou 514-879-0009


May 8 to 28
Place des Festivals

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

Original concept and artistic direction : ATOMIC3
Sound design: Jean-Sébastien Côté
Interactive design: 20K
Object design: Generique Design

Video and info:


May 18 to October 15 2017
7 days a week, until 11 p.m.

For details of the season’s program, subscribe to the Les Jardins Gamelin weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook.

Video and info:


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

For more information, visit

- 30 -


21 Balançoires/21 Swings: (photo: Ulysse Lemerise/OSA images)

Quartier des Spectacles free walking tour: (photo: Maxime Leduc)

Maëstro : (photo: Martine Doyon)

Les Jardins Gamelin:  (photo: Ulysse Lemerise/OSA images and Martine Doyon)

Please include photo credits

Media enquiries

Marie Lamoureux | | 514 923-6772