Ottawa LRT station sound & light show coming summer 2017

The company that recently produced a sound and light show on Parliament Hill will take over an underground light rail station for three months in summer 2017.

$3M-$4M show billed as futuristic, interactive and a cornerstone of 2017 tourism

Concept art of a sound and light show coming to Lyon station, an underground part of Ottawa's new Confederation light rail line, in summer 2017. (Ottawa 2017)

Many people's first glimpse of Ottawa's new Confederation Line could be a flashy one.

The future Lyon station in the western edge of the city core will house a futuristic, interactive sound and light show next summer, local politicians and the Ottawa 2017 group announced Wednesday morning.

Ottawa 2017 executive director Guy Laflamme says they got 12 bids for the art show, won by Montreal's Moment Factory. (CBC)

Organizers hope the free show will bring in 300,000 visits from June to September 2017 and be a "cornerstone" of the city's tourism campaign to put itself at the forefront of Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

"It will be the world's first underground multimedia production… It will generate massive international visibility for Ottawa," said Guy Laflamme, executive director of Ottawa 2017.

"Part of Ottawa 2017 is to change the way people see our city. We want to show a more modern, technology image for our city and this is a perfect fit."

Familiar partnership

Montreal's Moment Factory beat out 11 other bids to put on the show, just like it did with Mosaika, its summer sound and light show that ran on Parliament Hill from 2010 to 2014.

"It's going to be as close as you can get to time travel," Laflamme said.

"Our goal is not to educate people about our history, it's purely about inspiring people about our future and to trigger imagination of people for the future of our city, the future of our country."

Sakchin Bessette co-founded Moment Factory, which recently put together the Mosaika show on Parliament Hill. (CBC)

"You're not sitting down and watching a show, you have to go around and discover different things," said Sakchin Bessette, Moment Factory's co-founder.

"This is the type of context that really is inspiring for us, especially in an under-construction site that has never been seen before. It will be super inspiring to work from this space, the space will dictate the installations."

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he gets calls from residents every week asking to see a light rail station or tunnel and this will be the first chance for many people to get to see one.

He said it won't affect the timeline for the opening of the Confederation Line, currently scheduled in 2018.

$3M to $4M cost

Laflamme said the $3 million to $4 million price tag will be split between themselves, their sponsors and different levels of government.

He said some of the equipment will be used in the rest of 2017 and beyond to keep putting on multimedia art shows in light rail stations and other locations across the city.

"A good portion of those investments will be used for a variety of applications over the course of the year," he said.

"Ottawa 2017 will have a direct consumer spending impact of over $326 million, it's a pretty good (return on investment)."

Ottawa 2017 has rolled out about half of its plans for next year, Laflamme said, including the Junos, a massive picnic on the Alexandra Bridge and a Red Bull Crashed Ice world championship skating race by the Chateau Laurier.

The city and Ottawa 2017 still hope to bring the 2017 Grey Cup and an outdoor NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens to Ottawa.