The Commercial Development Corporation (SDC) of the Village, in collaboration with the Ville-Marie Borough, is pleased to announce the renewal of its AIRES LIBRES cultural pedestrianization, which will run from May 2 to September 23, 2019, on Sainte-Catherine Street East, between Saint-Hubert Street and Papineau Avenue.

Not only will we have the privilege of once again celebrating summer this year in a pedestrian environment, but we will also be celebrating the 12th anniversary of AIRES LIBRES. This will be the last opportunity to see the hanging balls installation by landscape architect Claude Cormier, Yannick Roberge and their team. The canopy of “18 shades of gay” balls using the six colours (in 3 shades each) of the rainbow flag, so 18 different colours, was spread over 1 km above a section of pedestrian Sainte-Catherine Street between Saint-Hubert and Cartier streets. Thus, for this twelfth edition, the public will once again be able to wander under the 180,000 rainbow effect balls.

The weather is finally nicer! Restaurants, cafés and bars on pedestrian Sainte-Catherine Street will offer the population more than 50 terraces to discover! In addition, the experience of the Village’s pedestrian street, whether by day or by night, is always “greener” as the public will be able to rediscover the 150 weeping willows that have grown since last summer. This project was also designed by Claude Cormier. Evening lighting has also been increased on the balls to create more atmosphere on long summer evenings. The suspension bridge concept developed by Architecturama is also back and it will be possible to literally “float” above the balls by going on the bridge located at the corner of Saint-Timothée and Sainte-Catherine streets.

Regarding the artistic aspect, curator Nicolas Denicourt has chosen the following artists for the 2019 edition of AIRES LIBRES, in partnership with the Chromatic Festival: the iconic Italian duo TOILETPAPER (Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari) whose works will be exhibited at Galerie blanc. Founded in 2010, TOILETPAPER is an artist’s magazine created and produced by Maurizio Cattelan, a leading figure in international contemporary art known for his fondness for humour and provocation, and Pierpaolo Ferrari, famous photographer and artistic director. Since the first issue of TOILETPAPER was published in 2010, Cattelan and Ferrari have created a quirky and audacious universe where ambiguous stories and disturbing imagination are presented, combining commercial photography with a surrealist visual approach. Inspired by popular culture, the world of advertising, religious iconography and art history, TOILETPAPER investigates the current phenomenon of hyperconsumption of images, all with a delicious dose of irony.

Galerie blanc was created two years ago by Alexandre Berthiaume and Nicolas Denicourt. Blanc is an open-sky gallery concept, which proposes outdoor exhibitions, rain or shine. Open 24/7, Blanc’s mission is to facilitate a merge between art and the public.

Finally, it’s worth nothing that AIRES LIBRES is the largest and oldest “cultural pedestrianization” initiative in the Borough of Ville-Marie. And in addition to all that has been mentioned, AIRES LIBRES will host many other very diverse events in the coming months. This 12th edition of AIRES LIBRES is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Borough of Ville-Marie, the Bud Light Brewery, and of course, the SDC of the Village, which is the instigator.


Commercial Development Corporation (SDC) of the Village

Denis Brossard, chairman of the board of directors
Yannick Brouillette, chief executive
Sophie Auger, coordinator
Mario Martin, workshop manager

Design for the installation of “18 Shades of Gay” and the 150 willow trees

Claude Cormier & Associés Inc.
Claude Cormier, landscape architect / lead designer
Yannick Roberge, landscape architect / project manager


Nicolas Denicourt

Project manager for Aires Libres

Ariel Dumontier

Graphic design

Studio Baillat

Lighting design

Éclairage Public
Gilles Arpin, lighting designer

Engineer for “18 Shades of Gay”

Infravert inc.

Galerie Blanc

Alexandre Berthiaume
Nicolas Denicourt

Installation of “18 Shades of Gay”

Du Grand Bambou Inc. Productions
Rig-Rite Productions Inc.
Impact Production inc.

Press relations

Olivier Lapierre