Lonely Planet Writer

An extravaganza is coming to Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica

Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal is hosting an immersive multimedia show featuring both music and special lighting effects until the end of the year. The Canadian city’s most famous landmark is putting on an amazing sound, light and video projection-mapping extravaganza called Aura to mark the city’s 375th anniversary.

A light and music extravaganza has been created in Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica. Image: Moment Factory

Created by Moment Factory, Aura is a 45-minute immersive experience experienced in two acts, aimed at helping visitors to discover one of Canada’s greatest heritage monuments in a whole new way. It uses projection-mapping technology to highlight the intricacy and beauty of the Basilica’s majestic architecture and sacred art, while framing it as a dynamic part of Montreal’s history and spirituality.

A light and music extravaganza has been created in Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica. Image: Moment Factory

The experience begins with a self-led tour that lets visitors explore the Basilica, as the cathedral’s sublime artworks are accentuated by multimedia-enhanced installations. This portion encourages visitors to become enveloped in the space and its atmosphere before taking their seats as the cathedral’s interior is bathed in breathtaking animated projections.

A light and music extravaganza has been created in Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica. Image: Moment Factory

Since the project’s conception in 2015, over 100 people have worked in close collaboration to produce it. Achieving this vision required a year of musical composition and recording, four intense months of visual content production, 90 days of installation and a month of content integration and testing. A total of 21 projectors are used to create the experience, 14 for the show portion and seven to illuminate the exploratory introduction.

A light and music extravaganza has been created in Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica. Image: Moment Factory

Approximately 140 lights have been installed throughout the Basilica, as well as four lasers and 20 mirrors.  The soundtrack was composed by Marc Bell and Gabriel Thibaudeau of TroubleMakers. It features an original orchestral composition interpreted by 30 musicians, 20 chorists and the Basilica’s resonant organ.

A light and music extravaganza has been created in Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica. Image: Moment Factory

Performances of Aura will take place every evening except Sundays until 31 December 2017 at Notre-Dame Basilica. For a full schedule, see here.