The Kipnes Lantern: Beacon for the Arts

The Kipnes Lantern © Trevor Lush
The Kipnes Lantern © Trevor Lush

The National Arts Centre’s Kipnes Lantern has come alive. The three-storey signature element of the NAC’s $110.5 million architectural rejuvenation illuminates the heart of our Nation’s Capital with flourishes of beautiful digital images. In one tableau, swirling blue, red and purple textures emerge from a musician’s guitar. In another, a dancer seemingly takes flight as colourful lines ripple from their movements.

The Kipnes Lantern is a unique architectural platform featuring dazzling images and videos created by Moment Factory, the renowned Montreal-based multimedia studio. The Lantern showcases art presented, not only on NAC stages, but also on the stages of national partner arts organizations. For instance, on a typical day, one can see imagery from productions by Vancouver’s BC Ballet, Winnipeg’s Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre for the Arts, to name a few.

“The Kipnes Lantern is a beacon for the performing arts, showcasing the breadth and excellence of the music, theatre and dance being produced across Canada,” says CEO Peter Herrndorf. “The Lantern represents the National Arts Centre’s ‘Fifth Stage’ and perfectly symbolizes our slogan, Canada is our Stage.”

The lighting of the Kipnes Lantern also marks the beginning of an exciting partnership with Moment Factory, well known for its innovative multimedia attractions ranging from Ottawa 2017’s immersive underground experience Kontinuum and the Miwaté sound and light show on the Chaudière Falls, to the Mosaïka spectacle on the Parliament buildings.

“The Lantern reflects the NAC itself as a portal through which Canadians can share their culture and innovation with each other and the world,” says Moment Factory co-founder Sakchin Bessette. “It’s an exciting start to the next 150 years of Canadian storytelling.”

Drawing its inspiration from the arts, the Kipnes Lantern’s digital “shorts” will convey moments of wonder and whimsy throughout the year, including on special occasions such as Canada Day. Made possible by a gift of $5 million from Edmonton’s Dr. Dianne Kipnes and Mr. Irving Kipnes, the Lantern tells Canadian artists’ stories in a bold, new way.

Prélude magazine – The News
Winter 2018