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Unveiling of the REM public art program

Urban integration
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Starting in 2022, REM users will be able to travel on the first section to be commissioned and be greeted at the station by works of art that will serve as the ambassadors of the lightrail metro. 

The Réseau express métropolitain public art program was unveiled today. Here are the highlights of this innovative program. 

 

Named “UniR,” the public art program draws its inspiration from the union of art, transit users and the neighbourhoods served by the REM.

The word “UniR” includes “uni,” which is a nod to the innovative agreement with four major Montréal universities, which are an integral part of the program. 

Types of artwork  

The REM public art program consists of three main components. 

Marie-Justine Snider, Curator for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Marie-Justine Snider, Curator for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Annie Gérin, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University
Annie Gérin, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University
Chantal Rouleau, ministre déléguée aux Transports et ministre responsable de la Métropole et de la région de Montréal
Chantal Rouleau, ministre déléguée aux Transports et ministre responsable de la Métropole et de la région de Montréal
Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra
Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra
Jean-Vincent Lacroix, Director of Communications, CDPQ Infra
Jean-Vincent Lacroix, Director of Communications, CDPQ Infra
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1 - Permanent works

A collection of permanent artwork will be strategically located throughout the network, in a variety of places on the four REM branches. The works will highlight the locations served by the REM and the interaction with users. The creations will represent a diversity of artistic experiences and call upon the most innovative artistic approaches in public art in Quebec. 

Permanent works – Value: $4.3 million

These works will be funded through the Politique d’intégration des arts à l’architecture et à l’environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publics (policy for integrating art into the architecture and environment of government and public buildings and sites). This policy, in effect since 1961, aims to allocate approximately 1% of the construction or development budget of a public site to the creation of works of art.

2 - Temporary works

One of the innovative features of the REM art program is the inclusion of temporary works. Over a four-year period, a piece of artwork or an installation will be displayed each year. The Griffintown area is targeted as the main location for this program. 

These temporary works will be created in partnership with Montréal’s four universities—Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal, McGill University and Concordia University—as part of an interuniversity course designed specifically for the REM. 

Temporary works – Value: $500,000 
These works will also be funded through the Politique d’intégration des arts à l’architecture et à l’environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publics

3 - Additional cultural legacies

In addition to complying with the Politique d’intégration des arts à l’architecture et à l’environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publics, CDPQ Infra has also committed to making an additional contribution to support public art. Other special projects may therefore be displayed in the network.

In particular, this investment will make it possible to: 

  • Expand the cultural legacy CDPQ Infra wishes to leave, by enhancing the art collection and carrying out impressive projects 

  • Set up a mosaic art project 

Additional cultural legacies – Value: $3 million 

Integration of the artwork 

Where will the artwork be installed in the REM? The UniR program has established seven main priorities for the installation of the artwork: 

Terminals | As the gateways to the REM, where various types of communities interface, the three terminal stations of Brossard, Anse-à-L’Orme and Deux-Montagnes have been identified as ideal locations for the installation of artwork.
Terminals | As the gateways to the REM, where various types of communities interface, the three terminal stations of Brossard, Anse-à-L’Orme and Deux-Montagnes have been identified as ideal locations for the installation of artwork.
Crossings over waterways | The REM route crosses over waterways at five locations. A piece of artwork would accompany the users during these crossings.
Crossings over waterways | The REM route crosses over waterways at five locations. A piece of artwork would accompany the users during these crossings.
Living spaces | Stations that are linked to lively neighbourhoods and that, thanks to their exterior design, are places conducive to gatherings are considered for the integration of the artwork.
Living spaces | Stations that are linked to lively neighbourhoods and that, thanks to their exterior design, are places conducive to gatherings are considered for the integration of the artwork.
Downtown | The network’s busiest stations have already been targeted as suitable locations for the installation of artwork.
Downtown | The network’s busiest stations have already been targeted as suitable locations for the installation of artwork.
Junction | The point where the network’s lines meet and diverge in the borough of Saint-Laurent is a strategic location for installing a piece of artwork that could highlight the presence of the Bois-de-Liesse nature park.
Junction | The point where the network’s lines meet and diverge in the borough of Saint-Laurent is a strategic location for installing a piece of artwork that could highlight the presence of the Bois-de-Liesse nature park.
Industrial environment | The West Island sector has been identified as a suitable location.
Industrial environment | The West Island sector has been identified as a suitable location.
Postindustrial city | The Griffintown neighbourhood, which is experiencing significant growth, is a strategic location for both Montréal and the REM, and is a central meeting point for students involved in the creation of temporary installations.
Postindustrial city | The Griffintown neighbourhood, which is experiencing significant growth, is a strategic location for both Montréal and the REM, and is a central meeting point for students involved in the creation of temporary installations.
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Next steps and selection of artists 

In 2021, the process of selecting the artists and works will begin. The first artists selected for the South Shore sector will be known early next year (2022). The first works of art will be installed for the REM’s commissioning in 2022, on the South Shore section. 

Stay tuned throughout the coming months for the unveiling of the works of art and their official locations. 

Program Master Plan

Want to know more about the program? Access the Master Plan.

REM and Art

Discover the artistic collaborations made so far and see the REM through the creations of local artists!

Network map

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