If you're living in one of the seven major Canadian cities or you plan to visit any of them, there's an app that can help you appreciate the culture and history of your surroundings as you walk through the streets.
For the past 10 years, the Montreal-based independent organization Portrait Sonore has been working on “pocket documentaries” dealing with architecture and public art, mainly from the modern era, and distributing them for free on its app. The range of works selected in each of the seven Canadian cities includes mainly buildings that bear witness to the architectural effervescence of the 1950s and 1970s, and that shaped the development of downtown areas. These bold and innovative works are seldom recognized as such, and are indeed unappreciated, disliked, or even threatened with demolition. These works help us better understand the cities of today. Although some often view the architectural past as rife with aesthetic blunders, they may come to appreciate the logic behind the creation of a particular building and the historical reasons for its existence.
The app covers 150 works of art and architecture that read like an open book on the social, economic and environmental concerns of the people who built the country and left their mark on an era; some 100 experts and creators; 40 original music pieces and more than 20 hours of information about 7 Canadian cities.
Every day, people pass through neighbourhoods blind to the built environment. The Portrait Sonore walks, rich in sound textures and testimonials, are an extraordinary way to get to know and experience the city. This application tells the story of a modern country, where the arts, architecture and design hold a predominant place. lead us into the heart of a neighbourhood, guided by information that connects buildings to the values and concerns they express and address. For those who take the time to walk and explore the city, the Portrait Sonore strolls offer a lively journey through history.