Montreal, Canada, 2011-06-15 -
The Montreal company XYZ Cultural Technology, specializing in design and integration of immersive multimedia environments, has produced the new show for the Odyssée des Bâtisseurs theme park in Alma, AQUAVOLT | L’aventure de l’eau en 360°, which will be officially launched on June 16. This new multisensory experience, the only one of its kind in Quebec, uses the first permanent 360° equipment in the province since Expo ’67, posing a major challenge for technical design.
“XYZ Cultural Technology demonstrated all of its know-how and expertise through this project, which involved a number of challenges,” stated Réjean Simard, the president of the Odyssée des Bâtisseurs theme park, stated. “The final result surpassed our expectations. This multisensory experience will give residents of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean a sense of pride, and tourists will discover our vast water network.”
XYZ was responsible for the technical and logistical aspects and the integration of the project. It developed the equipment needed to convert an old water reservoir – serving also as a belvedere offering a spectacular view of the dam, Alma, and its rivers – into a 360° multimedia projection room and created an environment propitious to immersion using audio, image, and lighting technologies. To deliver an entertaining yet educational immersive experience that pays tribute to the importance and power of water, XYZ created an interface that is simple to manipulate (not requiring special technical training) and programmed a system that self-triggers a panoply of sensory effects to enhance the projection, astound viewers, and transport them through time, space, and the seasons. The sound effects were a particular focus. The existing elements of the water castle were used to act as a sounding-box, reflecting sound and sending it to all corners of the hall to plunge viewers into the very heart of the experience.
Composed of synthetic images, archival maps, and high-definition images of the region captured with a multi-camera device in the summer of 2010 and winter of 2011, the continuous circular projection was brilliantly produced by Id3 | Idées au cube. The images are projected onto the walls of the reservoir, which was equipped with six video projectors each of which was calibrated precisely by the XYZ experts to project a segment of the image.
Highlighting the courage and determination, past and present, of those who have tamed the waterways of the Lac-Saint-Jean region, the 360° show at Odyssée des Bâtisseurs offers a chance to discover the territory in a new light and to see the inside workings of regional facilities that are otherwise inaccessible. To take the experience to new levels, XYZ also created scenographic elements that provide visitors with an extraordinary experience.
Aside from the 360° immersive show that is unique in Quebec, which will be inaugurated on 16 June, the Odyssée des Bâtisseurs theme park offers a wide variety of activities based on water adventures. Along footpaths enhanced with features, children can have enjoy woodland challenge modules or play on a suspended bridge. In the exhibition Le Pouvoir, hosts and historical characters explain, in colourful language, how construction of the Isle-Maligne power station changed the region and the lives of its residents. Temporary exhibitions, family workshops, and a boutique featuring regional products complete the visitor experience.
About XYZ Cultural Technology
The directors of XYZ Cultural Technology have been designing and integrating immersive multimedia environments, as well as audiovisual and scenographic solutions to meet the needs of creators, curators, and museologists, for more than 20 years. XYZ feels that technology must always serve creativity. That is why the team favours a decompartmentalized approach and has brought 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 knowhow and expertise to help creative artists in Canada and abroad surpass the limits of their multimedia projects. The team has designed and produced numerous projects in Canada, the United States, Mexico, China, Japan, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Italy. Its clients include museums, shows, exhibitions, automated thematic multimedia installations for special events, and projects involving technology and/or scenography. Constantly on the lookout for new technologies that will offer exceptional price/quality ratios and making every effort to find eco-energetic solutions, XYZ has, notably, produced the Station d'exploration glaciaire Jardin des Glaciers in Baie Comeau, 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.