Réseau express métropolitain (REM)

Using creativity & art to transform construction hoardings into an interactive canvas

Quebec’s biggest public transit project uses art to transform sites more appealing and better community experience

Creative Placemaking & Public Art Consulting

Creative Consulting

Production Management - Cultural Programming - Anti-graffiti Solution

Using creativity & art to transform construction hoardings into an interactive canvas | MASSIVart - Creative Consulting

The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is the biggest infrastructure project in Quebec in the last 50 years. A 67-km integrated public transit network of 26 stations will link downtown Montréal, the universities, the South Shore, the West Island, the North Shore and Montréal–Trudeau airport through a fully automated, electric light rail system. MASSIVart, acting as a public art consultant, provided a multiphased creative solution to bring an artful activation to the construction hoardings across 3 sites in Montreal. The art activation incorporated storytelling and accessible Virtual Reality augmentation, which encourages public interaction and awareness of the REM developments.

Transforming Construction Sites into Something Beautiful

The construction site of the future McGill REM station, situated in the heart of downtown Montreal, was the target of a lot of graffiti on its construction hoardings (the wooden walls that surround the site). To minimize the impact on the community, CDPQ Infra selected MASSIVart on this multi-phased project to enhance graffiti-covered hoardings with an impactful and engaging art installation.

In collaboration with the CDPQ Infra’s team, we developed a turnkey public art consulting solution to revitalize the worksite, using creativity and art to transform the hoardings into a programmable canvas, evolving each season. At the start of 2022, the art activations investigated the connection of Quebec through the various terminals of the REM. In the winter of 2022, the hoardings adopted vignettes of the boreal forest. MASSIVart selected a local artists studio, renowned for their creative thinking, La Camraradie to transform the hoardings transformed in the spring with renderings of the flora and fauna of Quebec.

As 2022 came to a close, we began the next phase at Édouard-Montpetit station. Part of a larger creative narrative that flows across both stations, this phase depicts “the roommates of the mountain” in reference to the station’s proximity to Mount Royal. Inspired by the student life in the area, some characters are in love, pulling pranks, and unwinding. Travelling across Montreal, with the “roommates” appearing at McGill station, the characters come alive! An explanatory sign encourages passersby to interact with the “roomates”thanks to augmented reality, making them come alive on phone screens. “roommates” animate, adding an interactive and virtual dimension to the installation.

A unique pedestrian experience has been created. The artistic interventions on the hoardings bring awareness to the REM project and provide the communities experiencing the construction a more aesthetically pleasing view throughout the construction phases.