A strong entrepreneurial culture at the heart of the 375th celebrations: Montréal Avudo

Have you had the opportunity to attend Montréal Avudo, a beautiful show that’s been taking place at the Old Port since May? Find out more about this technological, poetic performance with Marc-André Goyer, Project Manager at the Canadian division of Compagnia Finzi Pasca Inc.

Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) –. Describe your company in a few words.

Marc-André Goyer (M-A.G.) – Compagnia Finzi Pasca Inc. is a Swiss company that creates and produces shows. It has developed a worldwide reputation for large-scale events such as the ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi (2014) and Turin (2006). It also contributed to Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo and Cirque Éloize’s Rain and Nebbia shows. The company’s Canadian division was opened two years ago (Cie Finzi Pasca inc.) in Montreal. Our team now includes about 50 people, including around 20 artists.

CCMM – How was the idea for Avudo born?

M-A.G. – More than three years ago, after the Sochi Olympic games, the Société du 375e approached the company’s founders, Daniele Finzi Pasca and Julie Hamelin, to develop this major event for Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. We had free rein and we quickly knew we wanted to do something with the River, the hub of transportation for Montreal at the time. One thing led to another and after several months of research and discussion, we had the location (in front of the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, where our city was born) and the overall theme for our show.

We created (and produced 90%) of Montréal Avudo. We are also proud to have worked, directly or indirectly, with more than 200 people from here to bring this project to life. Our suppliers are all from Greater Montreal.

CCMM –Describe Montréal Avudo.

M-A.G. – Montréal Avudo is a tribute to the St. Lawrence River. Through the eyes of a young Iroquois girl, the River tells the story of what it has witnessed over the past 375 years. I want to thank members of the First Nations because their collaboration was essential to making this project a success. It was very important for us to celebrate their legacy.

The thirty-minute show takes the audience on a voyage through the history of Montreal with enormous projections on walls and the water.

CCMMWhat was your biggest challenge?

M-A.G. – The first was to find a location that could accommodate as many people as possible. Then, from a creative perspective, we had to use the technology at our disposal without having it overshadow the poetic vibe of the performance. Finally, producing a show was new for us. We are very happy with the results.

CCMM – What did you appreciate the most in working on this project for the 375th anniversary celebrations?

M-A.G. – The spirit of collaboration, the shared excitement of producing a major event for Montrealers, making it a performance they could relate to.

CCMM –If you had to describe Montreal in a few words, what would they be?

M-A.G. –Diversity, openness, curiosity, and synergy.

CCMMWhat’s next for you?

M-A.G. –  We started working on a new performance (circus/theatre) this summer. For the past few years, we’ve also been working on the Fête des Vignerons, which will take place over three weeks in Vevey, Switzerland in 2019. It’s a unique event that only occurs once a generation (every 25 years). It’s hard to compare it with anything that occurs here, but to give you an idea: a 20,000-seat stadium will be build in the heart of the city and then dismantled right after the event! 600,000 people are expected and 5,000 volunteers will be helping.

Consult the activity program for Montreal's 375th anniversary

Discover what Montréal companies are doing to celebrate the city’s anniversary

This blog post was produced in collaboration with the  Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary.

Photo credit : Martine Doyon

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