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Montreal, September 14, 2011 – Montreal company XYZ Cultural Technology, specialized in designing and integrating multimedia immersive environments, recently produced the exhibition-spectacle Hockey-it's in our DNA. The show was conceived by Daniel Gélinas, executive director of the Festival d’été international de Québec, and designed by Pierre Boileau, director of numerous shows by Quebec artists and two spectaculars celebrating Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. A truly immersive experience, Hockey-it's in our DNA takes visitors to the heart of Canada’s national passion – hockey. The project marks its North American debut on August 2, 2011 at the Pavillon Espace 400e Bell in Quebec City.
“We wanted to join two worlds that are not usually thought of together: the performance and the museum,” says Daniel Gélinas, the mastermind of the show. “We needed experts in both areas. Given the tight production schedule, XYZ worked a miracle! It is worthy of note that within such a short period of time, XYZ developed and installed an exhibition with so many technological challenges to solve.”
XYZ took charge of the technical, logistical, and integration aspects of the project. Its team developed the furnishings and technology required to convert the Pavillon Espace 400e Bell into an exhibition space over three floors, divided into twenty zones and numerous themes, to immerse visitors in hockey from its origins to the present-day. Hockey-it's in our DNA transports viewers to the 1955 riot at the Montreal Forum triggered by the suspension of Maurice Richard, and into the players’ locker room during the 1987 playoff final, when Alain Côté’s third period goal was disallowed. Visitors can even vote, allowing or disallowing the tie-breaking goal, and see the results of their decision appear in real time on a lobby scoreboard.
“XYZ really used imagination, creativity, rigour, and experience,” adds Pierre Boileau. “They are managers who understand how to put people with know-how and various origins around a table to create a winning team.”
XYZ strove to produce the designers’ vision down to the smallest detail and make the exhibition into a historical, educational, and fun-filled experience for both fans and neophytes. In order to do so, the producers brought together 2D and 3D technologies, video projections, set design, lights, sensory effects, graphic panels, scent-infused Odorama, and audio experiences.
3D visual technologies show coaches Michel Bergeron and Jean Perron giving instructions in recreated versions of the Canadiens’ and Nordiques’ locker rooms. Strikingly realistic sets include reproductions of St. Catherine Street and the Forum in 1955. Historic artefacts such as trophies, masks, sweaters, and hockey sticks are fully integrated into the set design, in ways that reveal their history, creation, and evolution. Period lounges give visitors the opportunity to travel from era to era, and listen to a game on a radio crackling with static in the 1950s, or watch hockey on a 3D television in the future.
One hall is a mini-museum to Patrick Roy, ex-goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche, today the coach of the Quebec Remparts. Set in a recreation of his home, this area features a number of objects from Roy’s personal collection.
To guide visitors through the exhibition and immerse them more deeply in its world, headphones are distributed on arrival. The soundtrack, designed by musical director Luc Boivin, is broken into audio sequences triggered by hidden detectors along the path of travel. Together, these elements help create a sense of drama, adding to the immersive context. In a playful manner, Hockey-it's in our DNA offers visitors a full experience of the emotions and sensations associated with hockey.
Hockey-it's in our DNA was made possible thanks to the active participation of the Quebec Remparts, especially Jacques Tanguay and Claude Rousseau, as well as contributions by the Fondation Nordiques and its president, Marcel Aubut; the NHL; the Club de hockey les Canadiens de Montréal; and the Hockey Hall of Fame. The exhibition will be presented in Quebec City for the coming months before touring across Canada.
About XYZ Cultural Technology
For over 20 years, the directors of XYZ Cultural Technology have designed and integrated immersive multimedia environments, and developed audiovisual and scenographic solutions, to meet the needs of creators, curators, and museums in Canada and abroad. XYZ believes that technology must always serve creativity. Thus, the team favours a de-compartmentalized approach that brings together various specialties to take projects from concept to final production, within budget and on schedule. At XYZ, nothing is left to chance: the artistic, technical, and logistical aspects are an integral part of the team’s expertise. XYZ is constantly on the lookout for new technologies that will offer exceptional price/quality ratios and makes every effort to find energy-efficient solutions.
XYZ has designed and produced projects in Canada, the United States, Mexico, China, Japan, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Italy. Its work includes museum environments, shows, exhibitions, automated thematic multimedia installations, and other projects involving technology and/or scenography. Notably, XYZ has produced the Station d'exploration glaciaire Jardin des Glaciers in Baie Comeau and Canada’s pavilions at the Hanover and Aichi world fairs, designed and produced an outdoor interactive environment for the Canadian pavilion at the Shanghai world fair, and produced the multimedia show at the Cité de l'énergie in Shawinigan and the immersive environments at the Beach Palace and Aventura Palace in Mexico.
Another ongoing project by XYZ:
AQUAVOLT | L’aventure de l’eau en 360°
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