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02 Dec, Friday
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Montreal Families

Explore below the ice with Éloize Expo

Escape the summer heat and plunge yourselves in the freezing waters of the Canadian Arctic with the new immersive exhibition Below the Ice with Mario Cyr. From June 2 to October 31, 2021, visitors of all ages are invited to participate in a unique exploration of our northern waters to discover stunning landscapes and diverse underwater fauna.

Presented by Éloize Expo, a new division of Cirque Éloize, the experience is presented through the dramatic photos and videos of Mario Cyr.

Explore below the ice

Photo credit: Eric Carrière

A native of Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Cyr is a world-renowned underwater cinematographer and explorer who has collaborated on more than 150 documentaries produced by Discovery Channel, National Geographic, IMAX, the BBC, David Suzuki, and Disney. Over the course of his marine explorations he has been the first to film walruses underwater, and in 2011 was part of the first crew to film polar bears underwater without a protective cage.

This exhibition is a unique opportunity for me to share my passion for this unknown, fascinating and beautiful place with the world! — Mario Cyr

Visitors young and old will practically feel the chilly waters during a virtual dive with Cyr thanks to a 360-degree projection space covered by an ice ceiling. View dramatic iceberg gardens, get up close with polar bears, walruses, and narwhals — the intriguing “unicorns of the sea”, and discover the expedition’s base camp and diving equipment. You’ll also learn about some of the challenges faced by the expedition team.

Photo credit: Eric Carrière

With this immersive exhibition, visitors will be transported by the beauty of the landscapes and the breathtaking images captured by Mario Cyr, a Magdalen Islander like myself who’s passionate about preserving the delicate balance between humans and nature. Visitors will feel like they’re accompanying him on one of his dives to discover the Arctic’s marine and wildlife. This exhibition offers an unforgettable escape from everyday life and promises to leave a mark on everyone who experiences it.” — Jeannot Painchaud, Cirque Éloize president and creative chief.

Richard Branchaud and Sandra Houillier visited recently with their 8-year-old and 4-month-old and found the exhibition to be both family and stroller-friendly. “The exhibit is broken up into several rooms with video documentaries, and in each room you can either stand or sit. Chloe’s favourites were the section with the bean bags and the exhibit where you stick your hand in 2° C water,” said Branchaud. He noted that while his older daughter liked the videos she wasn’t able to completely follow the commentary.

“This exhibition is a delight and do-able with young kids, as it is relatively short (45 minutes to an hour), accessible with a stroller, and focused on fauna and flora. For adults, it is quite different from the typical documentaries you can find on tv. The films are really well done and presented in short videos,” adds Houllier.

The Old Montreal location also provides easy access to other activities for kids and adults and plenty of shops and restos for treats.

It’s rare to see extraordinary pictures like these in such a large format, to be able to feel the immensity. It’s so impressive. We embraced the challenge of showcasing the beauty and poetry of these landscapes to make visitors aware of the importance of saving them. I think this immersive experience will capture people’s imaginations and make them fall in love with this almost inaccessible world and the life that inhabits it. We need to take care of what we love and protect what’s precious to us. — Benoit Landry, Co-Artistic Director and Creative Director

Below the Ice with Mario Cyr runs from June 2 to October 31, 2021
Location: Éloize Studios – 417 rue Berri, Old Montreal.
As is the norm in Old Montreal, street parking can be a challenge but parking lots are available nearby.

Tickets are $26 for adults, $22 for children (6-17)/senior/student, $21 each for a family (minimum of two children and 4 tickets per order), and free for children 5 and under.
Book your time slot and purchase tickets at souslesglaces.com/en/

Related reading:
Clock Tower Beach in the Old Port
Voiles en Voiles Adventure Park in the Old Port
Pedal Boat Rentals at the Old Port

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