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Mìwàte, the illumination of Chaudière Falls

Illumination of Chaudière Falls

2017 - Ottawa, Ontario

From gentle cascades to rocky outcrops to the water’s infinite movement, Mìwàte showcased the many ways Chaudière Falls is visually spectacular.

For the past century, any view of Chaudière Falls in the heart of Ottawa was blocked by industrial buildings. In 2017 the site was re-developed to include a public viewing platform and gardens. To invite the public back to this historic cultural, and natural landmark, the Ottawa 2017 bureau and the community of Pikwakanagan collaborated with Moment Factory to create a luminous and musical ‘reveal’ loop titled Mìwàte.

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For this unique project, the creative team chose to focus their multimedia palette on lighting and music exclusively so that a view of the Falls would remain the spectacular highlight of any visit. From gentle cascades to rocky outcrops to the water’s infinite movement, our approach aimed to showcase the many ways Chaudière Falls is visually stunning. A lighting and music focus also steered the experience toward an abstract and emotional engagement rather than an intellectual one, giving viewers the space to seek their own interpretations.


As a site meaningful to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, collaboration was essential to all aspects of the creative process. Approaches included interpretive panels written by the communities and a soundtrack created with musical groups David Maracle, Eya Hey, and the Wildflowers of Pikwakanagan. Over its 60-day run, Mìwàte welcomed 45,000 visitors to experience and understand the significance of this beautiful landmark.