Montreal's Contemporary Art Event Opens up Underground "Passageways"

Fourth Annual Art Souterrain attracts more than 130 artistic exhibits

MONTREAL, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Art Souterrain will once again take art underground in its fourth annual celebration of contemporary art and culture, centralized on the theme of "Passageways". Sponsored by Scotiabank, this annual Montreal event will take place beginning on February 25 and features more than 130 exhibits, and welcomes participants from Paris and Calgary.

Art Souterrain offers a seven kilometre artistic journey through the heart of Montreal's underground passageways offering a variety of activities including workshops, lectures and artistic performances. The majority of the exhibits will feature Quebec-based artists and these installations will be complemented by the talented work of artists from the guest cities of Paris and Calgary. Art Souterrain runs from February 25, 2012 to March 11, 2012. The fun begins at 6:00 p.m. on the 25th and runs until to 3:00 a.m. on the 26th as part of Nuit Blanche à Montréal, the finale of the Montreal High Lights Festival.

"Art Souterrain enhances Montreal's vibrant cultural scene giving residents and visitors a unique opportunity to experience art and this city from a whole new perspective," said Carole Chapdelaine, Senior Vice-President, Quebec & Eastern Ontario Region, Scotiabank. "Scotiabank is proud to support Art Souterrain as it celebrates contemporary art and our city and we are pleased to be a part of this great event for the fourth year in a row."

Until March 11, visitors can vote for their favourite artist by visiting or by using the new Quick Response (QR) codes embedded in the posters that can be found throughout the event. Over 200 cultural mediators will also be onsite during Nuit Blanche to facilitate visitors' voting via mobile devices. The artist with the most nominations will be awarded the People's Choice award, receive $5,000 and a four-day cultural excursion to Paris.

Over 130 artists interpreting new theme

As part of a new initiative this year, each project will explore the overarching theme, "Passageways." The theme invites the public to revisit and investigate the encounters that take place in the spaces they travel through - like the public corridors in the underground passages of Montreal - and explore the relationships that form and the unique dialogues that take place between themselves, other visitors, the artwork, and Montreal's Underground City. The theme of "Passageways" also touches on the notion of corridors in the figurative sense - in this case, the various paths we take throughout our lives and our journey through the different stages of life.

For a full list of participating artists please click here.

Two exhibitions devoted to exciting art from beyond Quebec

This year, Art Souterrain is proud to announce the participation of two guest cities. Paris, world renowned for its culture and thriving art scene, will feature in the Stock Exchange Tower as well as in the new addition to the underground exhibition zones at 1000 de la Gauchetière. Agnès Violeau, Curator of Nuits Parisiennes, will be organising an exhibition of ten works by French artists produced for this year's Edition of Art Souterrain.

As well, the event will host an exhibition curated by Évè De Garie-Lamanque that will present the work of artists from Western Canada, specifically Calgary. The city's participation is part of an ongoing effort by Art Souterrain to bring together contemporary artists from throughout Canada and shine a light on their work. Art Souterrain also aims to create networks and connections in the field of Canadian visual-arts, and contribute to the promotion of Canadian contemporary art. For more information on this event, please visit

About Art Souterrain
Art Souterrain is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to promote and exhibit contemporary art by taking the works of local and international artists out of art institutions and placing them in spaces frequented by the public at large. By doing so, Art Souterrain hopes to engage the diverse public that frequents the underground passages of Montreal and, with the help of cultural mediation initiatives, address the contemporary artworks presented during the event.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $45 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships

For further information:

Frédéric Loury, Founder and Curator, Art Souterrain
Info: tel.: 514-380-0596 or

Art Souterrain Media Relations 
Annie Quenneville
514-566-3605 or

Scotiabank Media Relations 
Katherine Vanda, High Road Communications
514 901-0110, ext. 315 or

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