Winnipeggers found whistling in the Exchange District could get an unexpected surprise from above.
The City of Winnipeg has installed a new 3D interactive sculpture along Market Avenue that lights up when people whistle.
The light sculpture is comprised of 68 LED lights that react to sound and mimic the Aurora Borealis.
The idea came from a northern legend that says when one whistles, the northern lights become more intense and move toward the listener.
Sarah Anirniq works with the Kivalliq Inuit Services in Winnipeg and said she as well as others she works with are familiar with the legend.
"It was told to us that if they got close, they would take your head," said Anirniq.
The work is titled Listening Lights and was created by Moment Factory in Montreal. The city has released a video that shows how the lights were created.
The installation comes as part of a $2.5 million investment in streetscaping for Winnipeg’s cultural district that was approved in the summer of 2012.
Stephanie Scherbain of the Exchange District BIZ said the organization hopes the lights bring more foot traffic to the area. "We always like to get businesses to benefit from the attractions that happen in this area," said Scherbain.
New features are also slated to pop up in the area including benches, bike racks, planters and more trash bins.
City of Winnipeg officials said funding for the streetscaping came from selling the Winnipeg Square parkade.