Memory collector

A river of light in Montreal’s underground

2017 - Montreal

By highlighting an archeological treasure with an immersive experience, visitors are transported through a moment of memory.

  • Prix Société des musées québécois | Excellence Award, 2018

The Pointe-à-Callière Archaeology and History Complex asked Moment Factory to stage an enchanted moment inside an archaic underground tunnel. The Collector Sewer was a feat in civil engineering and urban infrastructure when it was built in the 1830’s. Today, as the tunnel connects the complex underground, the museum wanted passerby to pause and take in the historical significance of their surroundings.

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Our challenge was to transform this site, a former drainage artery, into an immersive experience. We were also tasked with highlighting its engineering, respecting the heritage status of its construction, and maintaining a fluid flow of visitors.

Blending video projection, lighting, original soundscape and historical images, the “Memory Collector” immerses visitors in luminous motion. To create the projected content we were inspired by water’s movement and the human history of the site. Archival images representing ‘Montreal’s memory’ disintegrate into flowing particles of light which ripple across the walls and ceiling, drifting along imaginary currents.