Montreal, February 24, 2020 - Montréal en Histoires and Desjardins have unveiled a multimedia tableau that will be projected inside Complexe Desjardins. Entitled Dorimène et Alphonse, this piece was created by Michel Lemieux and features a text written by Michel Marc Bouchard. It marks the 24th stop on the permanent Cité Mémoire circuit.
Visitors will be immersed in the life of this 20th century couple who worked together to create a successful savings and loan cooperative, the first of its kind in North America.
Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins, was in attendance for the unveiling, and had this to say: "Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins helped bring Quebec into the modern age. They are a source of inspiration for generations of entrepreneurs. Cité Mémoire's tableau shines a light on two people who, through their vision and hard work, established an organization that plays a unique and meaningful role in our society. We are very proud to host this work by Michel Lemieux and Michel Marc Bouchard."
Combining history, romance and technical feats
The creative and production team used letters written between the couple as inspiration to tell their moving story and highlight the prominent role that Dorimène Desjardins played. According to Michel Lemieux, "Cité Mémoire's artistic stance is to use the emotions of the historical characters to tell the story and create a tangible connection with our ancestors. This work is set at the turn of the last century, between 1879 and 1903, the very early days of this social economy enterprise. In reading the couple's correspondence, we learn about their dreams and discover just how important Dorimène was in the history of Quebec. Through this work, we wanted to show off this example of strong female leadership, which is more relevant today than ever!"
Technically speaking, Montréal en Histoires has achieved an impressive feat with this installation, blending it perfectly into the architecture and interior design of an essentially commercial building. At 46 feet high and 60 feet wide, the glass window onto which the tableau is projected is covered with a film that uses an electric current to render it opaque for the projection.
Visitors can listen to the accompanying audio in four languages (English, French, Spanish and Mandarin), and in two different ways: using a free mobile app or by standing in two specially designated listening areas on site (in French).
The presentation is 8 minutes long and will be played twice an hour, every day, after dark.
"I'd like to thank Desjardins for their trust and enthusiasm. Once again, Montréal en Histoires has demonstrated its expertise and originality in completing this large-scale installation. I'd like to congratulate Michel Lemieux and Michel Marc Bouchard on creating yet another profoundly inspirational and poetic tableau. Cité Mémoire at Complexe Desjardins is a significant addition to the Montréal en Histoires downtown circuit," added Martin Laviolette, Executive Producer at Montréal en Histoires.
About Montréal en Histoires
The mission of Montréal en Histoires is to develop and carry out various initiatives that give Montrealers and visitors an opportunity to discover, explore and celebrate the history of this city. Montréal en Histoires has three main areas of focus: producing Cité Mémoire, a large-scale project by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon with the collaboration of Michel Marc Bouchard, creating historical circuits that use cutting-edge technology, and establishing an educational platform on the history of Montreal. It has also developed a free mobile app that allows users to get the most out of the experience.