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02 Oct, Sunday
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Montreal Families

Festival exposes kids to art

Kids can discover Montreal’s underground city and learn about contemporary art at the Art Souterrain Festival in collaboration with Échappe-toi, a company that offers immersive escape games based on the history of the city.

From Feb. 29 until March 22, the 12th edition of the festival will take place in six venues within Montreal’s underground city: Complexe Guy-Favreau, Palais des Congrès, the World Trade Centre, Victoria Place, Édifice Jacques-Parizeau and Cité d’Internationale. Contemporary artworks will be shown at each venue by more than 60 artists from Canada and around the world. This year, the theme of the festival is ‘Reset,’ or the possibility of starting from a blank page.

The purpose of the festival, says Frédéric Loury, general director of Art Souterrain, is to introduce contemporary art to people who don’t normally go to art galleries, museums or artistic centres.

A new app to be launched Feb. 25 will include a map, a guide to the artwork in each building, and directions to each installation. It will also have information on nearby restaurants, cafés and metro stations to help visitors get around.

Wondering if your kids will be interested in this art exhibition? Well, for each piece of artwork, whether it is a photo, a sculpture, a performance or a painting, there will be a description on the wall, or on the app, explaining the artwork. On the weekends, there will be someone to give more detail about each piece and answer questions.

A new feature of this year’s festival is an escape game presented by Échappe-toi, called Journey to the Center of the Earth: The Forgotten City. In this scenario, participants must travel through each of the six venues and escape with a treasure. Participants must follow clues and solve the puzzle to win the game and escape.

At each venue, there will be professional actors waiting to give participants a clue on how to find the treasure. If they solve all their clues in under an hour, they have officially escaped.  The game can be played, for $25, every weekend from Feb. 29, March 22 and every day during Spring Break, from March 2 to March 6. Anyone over 8 years old can play, but kids under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.  Each team consists of two to six players. For more information on how to play the game, visit echappetoi.com.

The art exhibition is free. For more information, visit artsouterrain.com.

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