Canadian government offers funding to digital festivals in Montreal


Article by Lucia Ruggiero

BIAN-International-Digital-Arts-Festival-Montreal.jpgThe Canadian government has offered financial backing to two major digital arts events in Montreal. The two organisations that received funding are the Biennale internationale d’art numerique (BIAN), now in its second year, and the Elektra Festival, which is now in its 15th year. It has been reported that the funding will go towards concerts, exhibitions and other events related to the two festivals, with the special aim of attracting and enhancing collaboration with young people.

BIAN is a festival dedicated to digital arts, and this years edition, entitled ‘Physical/ité’ will focus on how digital media and machinery have become “extensions of our senses”, as indicated by the Artistic Director, Alain Thibault. He explains that, “PHYSICALITÉ allows us to see and hear algorithms, to render material the immaterial and to visualize the invisible. This emphasis on the return of the physical, on materiality and objecthood is reflected more broadly in, for example, the internet of things and the rise of hacker, DIY and Maker / Fab Lab cultures”. BIAN festival will be held between 1st May and 19th June.

The latter of the two festivals, Elektra, has an audiovisual focus and will host light shows and installations that demonstrate use of electronic music and new digital technology to create visual pieces. The festival’s mission statement explains that here, “artists from all disciplines – composition, performance, dance, visual arts, etc. – all with a common interest in artistic applications of new technologies, uniting visual and sound”. Elektra will take place from 27th May till 1st June, this time having combined with MUTEK, which is an organisation that promotes advancements in sound, music and audiovisual arts through digital media.

Above all, the Canadian government’s contribution to these festivals highlights a recognition of the growing importance of digital culture and artistic experiences, which attract viewers and audiences from across the world.

More information:

BIAN festival website:

Elektra festival website:

(Photos: Elektra logo and Physical/ité from



Leave a Reply

Related Articles

MEDIA ART HISTORIES Conference 2015 in Montreal
"RE-CREATE: Theories, Methods and Practices of Research and Creation in the Histories of Media Arts and Sciences" will address the central question of what theories, methodologies and techniques can be used to understand past, present and indeed, future paradigms of creative material practice involving technologies within research contexts from a historical and critical point of view. This is a timely question for the MAH conferences as the issue of how material based practices within ...
Digital offering at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History of Washington
Text by Caterina Sbrana. The pandemic from Sars Covid-19 has accustomed us to receive messages of cultural events, exhibitions, concerts, shows that are cancelled. Museums and art galleries have also closed public visits. However, digital technology is trying to bridge physical distances by allowing people to enjoy culture even staying at home. There are many museums that have begun to offer digital tours and virtual exhibitions however others already had these tours before Covid-...
Unlocking Our Sound Heritage, a UK project led by the British Library
The British Library is home to the UK’s sound archive, an extraordinary collection of over 6.5 million recordings of speech, music, wildlife and the environment. These recordings, from the UK and around the world, date from the birth of recorded sound in the 1880s to the present day. The sound archive forms a vital part of the nation’s collective memory and tells a rich story of the diverse history of the UK. However, sound items are under threat, both from physical degradation, and as th...
Anthropocene, a multimedia exhibition that investigates the impact of human footprint on the Earth
Text by Caterina Sbrana. Bologna, January 4. Welcome to MAST Foundation (Arts, Experience and Technology), an international cultural and philanthropic institution that focuses on art, technology and innovation. Welcome to Anthropocene, a multimedia exploration of the human footprint on Earth. For the first time in Europe an exhibition investigating the impact of man on our planet. 7 months of extension brought thousands of visitors to MAST. Anthropocene is an artistic, technological and...