THE VISIONARIES AMONGST US

Laughingly, I often say that I have seen everything worth seeing…I swallowed my words when reading an article about The Image Mill.  As a child and a young woman, I spent a lot of time in Quebec City, Canada.  My grandmother and her sister were born there, my step-great grandfather, General Wilson, was commander of the Citadel which has, for centuries, protected the city.

There are few areas of Lower Town which I’ve not walked, and I know the St. Lawrence Seaway well as it was the entrance and exit for the Allan Line ships which my family owned.

The Image Mill is the world’s largest multi media projection screen.  Moving images are projected against the grain silos in Lower Town at the Port of Quebec.  The project was part of the 400th anniversary of the historical city.  The technology is brilliant, and the effect amazing.  The “show” takes 40 minutes and includes much reworking, improvement and enhancement to 20% of the original show.  The screen is 600 meters wide and 300 meters tall…the equivalent of 25 IMAX screens, and the effect is 3D.  It was, of course, the star attraction of the city’s 400th anniversary!

The screenings are Wednesday to Sunday starting mid-July until September 13, 2009 at the present time.  We have Ex Machina to thank for this extraordinary show, and the awesome Robert Lepage born in Quebec in 1957.  He’s a director, scenic artist, playwright, actor, film director and, at the top of the list, an applause worthy visionary.

The Image Mill transports those watching through four centuries of Quebec history in four movements: waterways (recounting the days of Quebec’s discovery and exploration), road building (that period in which the land was cleared, then developed),  rail expansion (the years of industrialiation and railway construction), and air travel (the era of balloons, airplanes and communications)  The production begins at 10:00 PM.

You can view this enormous work from many vantage points in Quebec City and Levis (on the other side of the St. Lawrence), and the wharves between the old Port Market and rue Dalhousie, north of Quai Saint-Andre will offer the best view.  Check out www.theimagemill.com and www.bonjourquebec.com.