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14 artists to express their vision of Peace at the Museum’s Ball

The 2016 Ball of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will be an opportunity for artists from Montreal’s cultural and visual arts scene to bring to life this year’s theme: “Give Peace a Dance.” Thanks to this exceptional collaboration, 930 guests (a record number) will have a unique chance on November 5 to explore some creative, original and bold worlds, for an evening that promises to be truly inspiring.

For the occasion, the Museum Foundation and its Volunteer Association have called on the members of the group Simple Plan, the duo Michel Lemieux & Victor Pilon, the singer and poet Rufus Wainwright, the presenter and story-teller Boucar Diouf, the actress Karine Vanasse, the singer Samian and the author Kim Thuy to write a text about peace, which in turn will serve as inspiration for eight other artists from the visual arts to create settings for the Ball dining rooms.

This vision is a very important one for the MMFA since, in addition to the Ball being a major fund-raising event, crucial to the Museum’s self-funding efforts, the Museum wishes to seize every possible opportunity of encouraging and promoting Quebec’s artists. Artistic direction was assigned to Denyse Ostiguy and Véronique Dussault, who ensured a human touch for this eagerly awaited event.

Andréanne Abbondanza-Bergeron, working with Simple Plan, is creating a space with interacting lighting grids that are suspended over the guests’ heads and move from one room to the other. Hannah Claus will use the words of Kim Thùy to form a poetic shower of shimmering discs made from Mylar.  Laurent Lamarche, using the words of Karine Vanasse, will illuminate both rooms with bluish laser projections reflected onto an object and plates sculpted from Plexiglas to resemble encrusted fossils; the duo Michel Lemieux & Victor Pilon, using the words of Michel Lemieux on Montreal, City of Peace, has created the media installation inspired by the 375 Montrealers who took part in “Le visage de Montréal,” one of many tableaux created for “Cité Mémoire.” Elisabeth Picard illustrates Rufus Wainwright’s poem by creating a starry environment from three-dimensional triangular shapes equipped with blue lights. The other space will be made up of luminous boxes of multi-coloured clamping rings (tyrap) put to decorative use; Catherine Bolduc, inspired by the pen of Boucar Diouf, will produce for one of the spaces some projections of still lifes superimposed one upon the other and moving like shadowgraphs, while the other space will be decorated with gigantic drawings featuring elusive landscapes drawing the eye into a colourful labyrinth. Finally, MU, with the words of Samian, will compose a peace mural from paint pots. The lids of these pots will serve as haloes for the characters painted in the other room.

We should recall that this Ball will inaugurate the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, one of the first legacies to mark Montreal’s 375th anniversary. Ticket sales have been the highest ever in the Museum’s history, thanks to the determined efforts of its Co-Presidents: Michael D. Penner, Chairman of the Board of Hydro-Québec; Brian J. Porter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank; and Marie-Hélène Sicard, Executive Vice-President, Marketing & Strategic Planning, Sodexo North America, the Co-Presidents of the Steering Committee, Johanne Champoux and Claire Webster, and their members.