Starting today and until the end of February in downtown Montréal, XP_MTL is rolling out L’Odyssée, le réconfort d’hiver, a collection of giant immersive, inspiring installations to buoy the spirit of the Holidays despite the difficult situation we are experiencing. XP_MTL’s Chantal Durivage and Jean-François Daviau gave themselves the mission to create a magical world that would bring cheer to the hearts of Montréalers and encourage them to go out for a walk downtown to enjoy the safe, secure experiences that XP_MTL has prepared, which respect sanitary measures and physical distancing. The original creations can be found on Sainte-Catherine, between Montagne and Robert-Bourassa.
“This year, winter and particularly the holiday season will look a lot different due to the battle we continue to wage against COVID-19. Luckily, Montréal can count on an extremely creative community to brighten up our daily lives. I strongly encourage Montréalers to enjoy the installations offered by XP_MTL to rediscover their inner child and find special things in our downtown stores.” – Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal
XP_MTL concentrated on the theme of comfort, using giant installations that would inspire Montréalers along the over half-kilometre route.
The Nutcrackers: The enchanting nutcracker story represents a tradition of magic, love and sharing. The story goes that at midnight, the nutcrackers spring to life and come to the defense of young and old. In these difficult times, let’s continue to dream and create memories. At 10 metres high, these nutcrackers brave winter for us all. You can encounter them on Sainte-Catherine, between Stanley and Peel.
The Giant Christmas Tree: The Giant Christmas Tree took root at the corner of Montagne and Sainte-Catherine and will shine brightly until the end of February! At 70 feet tall, passers-by are invited to climb it and discover a unique panorama of Montréal’s oldest commercial street.
The Winter Sky: Suspended over Sainte-Catherine, between Drummond et Stanley, a ceiling of multicolour twinkling lights draws passers-by’s eyes up to the sky. The play of light gives the impression of a living, friendly sky that people are invited to admire and take pictures of.
Under the Tree: Sometimes, the simplest thing is the most heart warming, and what is simpler than words? Since each person has their own definition of comfort, XP_MTL decided to give the public a voice to create a landscape of cheer. Over the winter, the comforting words of Montréalers can be found under the pink pine trees downtown, at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and de la Montagne.
Downtown windows: From west to east in downtown Montréal, XP_MTL is launching the Vitrines de Noël (Christmas Windows) contest, with close to 20 participating businesses. Alone, with your family or friends, everyone is invited to take a walk downtown and safely discover the many window displays. The public is invited to vote for their favourite @XP_MTL’s Facebook page from December 17 to 21.
Other activities for everyone, until February
Beware – beginning January Réal, XP_MTL’s influencer dog, will be perched above the Place Montréal Trust, armed with a caldron full of snowballs. The inflatable structure is sure to put a smile on the faces of young and old. Be careful! Réal’s first snowball could be aimed at you!
In order to create a festive, nostalgic atmosphere, Radio_XP will broadcast a program of holiday music, created specifically by the artist Loïc Thériault. The heart-warming atmosphere, created by a selection of holiday classics, can be felt and heard along Sainte-Catherine. As of January, the holiday radio will transform and feature comforting musical programs created to represent the diversity of downtown and its various visions of comfort.
On top of free parking that has been offered since mid-November, and easy access by public transit, XP_MTL would like to promote smiles by reaching out to a large part of Montréal’s population and offering unique spaces and experiences.
Partners committed to re-energizing downtown
XP_MTL can count on a major partner of the Odyssée, namely the Gouvernement du Québec, and the Government of Canada as well as its founding partners, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Montréal Centre-Ville and the Ville de Montréal, which all share the same mission; and last but not least, La Presse as an official partner.