Canadian Heritage has brought in Jackpine to develop installations, activations and signage for major public events in Ottawa since 2018. We’ve worked together on animating events for the annual Winterlude and Canada Day festivals, helping forge community connections and create happy memories for locals and visitors. Our temporary installations, built around event themes, engage visitors to learn about and experience Canada. But they’re also about sparking interaction, imagination and fun.
To celebrate winter in the capital, our 2020 projects included a sculptural seating installation called The Wave, a video experience developed in partnership with Qaggiavuut (a Nunavut-based performing arts organization), branded site signage, and a winter cabin-themed structure to disguise on-site bathrooms. The festival’s new location presented new challenges, including blank, functional spaces that needed creative design solutions.
Is it a bench, or is it a sculpture? A bit of both, The Wave is a single, rolling surface designed as a playful place to pause, take a photo, and experience a calming break from the visual animation of the street.
Jackpine collaborated with Qaggiavuut to create an interactive installation with custom benches and audiovisual projections of shared Inuit performances. Let's build a Qaggiq introduced visitors to young Inuk performers and encouraged them to support Qaggiavuut's initiative to build a performing arts centre in Nunavut.
Now we can finally say we’ve transformed lowly biffies into charming cabin-themed outhouses. And in fact it was pretty fun to work this most functional of elements into the 2020 Winterlude theme. We also designed signage for each crossroad that introduced the theme of that section.
Jackpine loves interaction. When we can draw people out to participate at any level they’re comfortable, we count it as a success. For Canada’s hottest holiday, we created panels that encouraged visitors to draw selfies or describe their favourite foods. We made sidewalk vinyls of simple games like hopscotch. And we installed playful photo ops around the park.
These super simple installations were cute just to look at. But they also quietly invited interaction without any instructions.
Events are often about watching performers do things. We reversed that and created all kinds of interactive signs and decals to invite visitors to do things. In true Canadian style, they were playful and fun, with low barriers to entry.
We collaborated with Qaggiavuut to create a sing-along video installation of ancient Inuit songs. You can find some of these songs in the Pisiq Songbook app we developed for Qaggiavuut.
These sing-along installations used digital projected signage, cut-out animals and creative lighting. The towers let visitors watch videos of Inuit elders singing traditional songs. Participants could read the lyrics, discover the meaning behind each song, and sing along. And sing they did! It was a powerful thing to hear those northern songs handed down over generations sung by elders and participants on a Byward Market street in February. We also facilitated a live performance on the final Winterlude weekend with an Inuit ensemble. Unforgettable.
Always willing to jump into the craziest projects with a great creative mind. Highly recommend. (and the CEO has a one-of-a-kind laugh)!!!
- Ysabel Jetté, Program Coordinator at Canadian Heritage
For Canada Day 2018 we designed interactive signage and two audio installations: a series of speaking tubes titled Hello Bonjour and a set of musical chairs we called O CA NA DA.
Hello Bonjour was a series of colourful speaking tubes. Now, if your friend spoke into one blue tube, wouldn’t you go to the other blue tube to hear her? Only we were sneaky and switched the tube colours inside the base of the installation. So you would end up speaking to someone you’d never met—until that moment.
For this installation we used arduinos to program a series of seats to act as giant buttons that play random musical notes. Or were they random? If you worked as a group, you could figure out how to play the first few notes of the national anthem, just by sitting down. Or you might just make up a whole new song.
Interactive installations are limited only by imagination. We’ve been experimenting with hydrochromic and thermochromic paint and how they might be used to create installations that respond to the weather. We're thinking about the endless possibilities of transforming plain ordinary spaces into something completely different using projection mapping or AR. We're also pondering what public events and interactive installations should look like in a post-Covid context. Do you have an opportunity to set up an installation or activation?We'd love to chat about ideas.