Dorval Museum of Local History and Heritage

Dorval: More Than Three Hundred Years of History!, a permanent exhibition which highlights the rich history of this suburb of Montreal. To stage the content developed by the Museum, Merlicht proposed a contemporary museography approach, with bright touches of color and lines inspired by the original vocation of the Museum building, a former stable. The various exhibits facilitate the retention of messages communicated and diversify the visitors experiences: the Hall of Honour, its portraits and interactive photo booth; the Stable, its colorful horses transformed into interpretation media and its Discovery Chests for children; the column of books, a signage element to guide visitors towards the second floor to discover the history of Dorval told along a time line and through many artifacts; the oversized Souvenir Album where visitors enter into the memory of former vacationers, etc. Merlicht also designed the Museum’s promotional brochure/visitor guide and outdoor sign.

Art direction, concept, content advising and coordination, 2D and 3D design, coordination of approvals, plans and specifications, fabrication, reference documents for employees and contractors of the City of Dorval, production and installation.

Cité historia, musée du Sault-au-Récollet – Exhibition

Le Sault-au-Récollet : du village au quartier ‒ Au coeur de l’histoire d’Ahuntsic (The Sault-au-Récollet: from the village to the district – At the heart of Ahuntsic history),
a permanent exhibition that interprets and highlights the history of a northern district of Montreal. Based on the contents provided by the Cité historia team, and within a rather modest envelope, Merlicht designed and delivered quality and attractive elements: the museum lobby, a permanent exhibition as well as the furniture for the temporary exhibitions and the Mémoire vivante (Living Memory) projection room. The visual signature with its vibrant colors—inspired by the colors of the apples wich used to be pressed in this old house—is resolutely contemporary but respects and integrates perfectly the architecture of the Maison du pressoir, a classified heritage building.

Turnkey project: Art direction, concept and design 2D, 3D and audiovisual, production, programming, production and installation.

Cité historia, musée du Sault-au-Récollet – Interpretive panels

Site des moulins (Mill Site) interpretive panels circuit. Series of panels discreetly integrated into the landscape and to the railings, helping to preserve the natural and heritage landscape. The contemporary graphic design, harmonized to that of the museum interior and of the bridge, makes the historical content more appealing for visitors. Quality printed panels and supports, weather and vandal resistant.

Turnkey project: Art direction, contents coordination, concept, 2D and 3D design, printing, fabrication and installation.

Canada Science and Technology Museum

Design of two “TechnoZones” travelling exhibitions booths that interpret and highlight two Canadian technological innovations: the underwater laser scanner 2G Robotics and the natural lighting system SunCentral.

Turnkey project: 2D and 3D design, interactive, multimedia, production, printing, delivery and installation.

Musée de Lachine 2014

Permanent exhibition on the history of the Dawes Brewery in Lachine. Merlicht has overcome the main challenges of this project: create an attractive exhibition in a rather plain space and develop an original visual identity while harmonizing it with that of the exhibition in the adjacent room.

Turnkey project: Concept, 2D and 3D design, artifacts enhancement, production and installation.

The Art & Heritage Center of the MUHC

Caps of courage—Nursing’s Journey, a temporary exhibition presented at The Gallery, in the Victoria Hall of Westmount.

The contemporary graphic design proposed by Merlicht acts as a counterpoint to the historical content of the exhibition, creating a bridge between yesterday and today. The range of punchy colors and icons allow visitors to better recognize the thematic groupings. Merlicht was able to meet the requirements of the Art and Heritage Center of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) by designing graphic surfaces suitable for the traveling of the exhibition and by providing a cost-effective printing solution that met a moderate budget. Complicity and constructive collaboration—as well as a good dose of humor!—between Merlicht and the Heritage Centre at the MUHC allowed for this project to be completed in an extremely short time.

Staging of exhibition contents, graphic design and image processing, proofreading, printing.

Maison Louis-Cyr

Design of the historical reconstruction and interpretation of the residential part of Maison Louis-Cyr, a museum dedicated to a famous French Canadian strongman with a career spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Museum wished to evoke the Eastlake style of decoration that could have been Louis Cyr’s home decor style, around 1900. From some general parameters, within a small envelope and an extremely tight schedule, Merlicht has effectively responded to this request. Our mandate also included the design of the Museum Shop. Overall, the evocation of the Eastlake style is a success!

Turnkey Project: Project management and coordination, art direction, documentary and iconographic research, 2D 3D design, architectural requirements for the Museum’s contractor, writing, editing and translation of texts, graphics, coordination of the exhibition of costumes from the movie Louis Cyr: The strongest man in the world, acquisition of furniture and curtains, production and installation.

PRIZED MUSEUM! Merlicht’s design was one contributing factor in Maison Louis-Cyr receiving several honors: the “Coup de coeur 2015-2016 pour la Matawinie” prize, awarded by Hexagone Lanaudière; two prizes awarded at the 2014 edition of Gala des grands prix Desjardins de la culture de Lanaudière: “Patrimoine” and “Coup de cœur Desjardins”; the “Mérite en interprétation – volet communautaire” prize, awarded by the Association québécoise des interprètes du patrimoine (AQIP).

Zoo Ecomuseum

Wildlife and humans / Connected disconnected?, a permanent exhibition exploring our links to wildlife.

Ecomuseum zoo visitors often ignored its exhibition, making a beeline towards the animals. Merlicht met the challenge of changing this habit and to make visitors take interest in the messages conveyed in the exhibition by creating a design that grabs attention and stops visitors in their tracks.

They first cross path with a long list of animal names which visually translates the amazing diversity of the St. Lawrence Valley wildlife. The list is integrated into the floor, walls and ceiling of the exhibition hall, extending into the corridor of the welcome pavilion that leads to the zoo. Then an intriguing volume covered with greenery completely wins their attention (especially children’s), and they go in!

The complex links between humans and fauna are presented within the volume, a “jewel case for biodiversity” of sorts. On its inner walls, murals incorporating video monitors invite visitors to question themselves about four different themes. Round openings in the walls allow children to enter and exit the volume, and adults to peek in. Finally, three particularly moving and very large pictures of animals frame the case.

Merlicht also acted as a consultant for the design of the renovation of the reception areas of the Ecomuseum zoo, choosing the flooring and wall colors for the entrance, corridors and gift shop.

Turnkey Project: Project coordination, artistic direction, documentary and iconographic research, concept, script, 2D 3D design, architectural guidelines for the zoo contractor, writing, editing and translation of texts, editing of the dynamic slideshows, programming, lighting, manufacturing and installation.

Juno Beach Centre, France

Grandma, what was it like during the war?, an exhibition presented at the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France, about the everyday life of Norman and Canadian civilians during the war, from the German occupation in Normandy until the Liberation.

Merlicht met the challenge of interpreting for youngsters a tragic historical period without making it a traumatic experience, but also without diluting the facts. The exhibition is a great success: following its inauguration, school groups bookings increased by 90% and organized groups bookings, by 50%.

Five architectural volumes illustrating different places–classroom, kitchen, storage room under stairs, ruins and military cemetery–form the exhibition’s chronological layout. Each volume includes the voices of children and soldiers speaking through cartoon bubbles and audio narrations, various simple interactive units and artifacts showcases incorporated into the set elements.

The exhibition was entirely assembled in a workshop in Quebec, and then shipped by sea container to France, where Merlicht’s team mounted it in a week.

Project management and coordination, artistic direction, documentary, iconography and film research, licensing of copyrights, artifacts selection, concept, script, 2D and 3D design, exhibition texts, children narrators coaching, soundtrack production, export management, set manufacturing and installation supervision.

Bibliothèque Marc-Favreau

A three part exhibition at bibliothèque Marc-Favreau, the most recent addition to the Montreal Public Libraries Network : Outdoor signage element and indoor exhibition on actor Marc Favreau, plus an exhibition on the creators of the new library.

Merlicht created a striking outdoor signage element by using windows of the three-story library to present a typical expression and a photograph of Sol, a character created by Marc Favreau. Inside the library, users find an exhibition retracing the life and works of the artist throuh interpretive texts, stage artifacts and video excerpts shown on an exploded video wall.

A mini exhibition composed of a triptych surmounted by a crown of outlined words briefly presents the artistic process of the library main creators: Dan S. Hanganu architectes, artist Adad Hannah and lamp creator Lampi Lampa.

Project management and coordination, artistic direction, concept, script, documentary, iconography and film research, licensing of copyrights, artifacts selection, 2D and 3D design, Motion Design and video editing, programming, installation supervision.

Parc de l’aventure basque en Amérique

The Basque Adventure in America!: a permanent exhibition and an interpretive circuit that highlight and promote the archaeological, historical and cultural heritage of the Basque presence in America.

The exhibition traces the odyssey of Basque whalers who frequented Île aux Basques in the St. Lawrence River during the 16th and 17th centuries. The visiting course is structured according to the main stages of whaling expeditions of the time: leaving the Basque Country, crossing the Atlantic, whaling—the heart of the odyssey, with a replica whale to scale!—, producing whale oil and trading with the Aboriginal peoples at Île aux Basques, and then returning home in the fall. Thus, through various immersive spaces, the visitor experiences the range of emotions that the Basque sailors have likely felt when they came here to hunt whales.

To better engage visitors to this historic content, Merlicht created an evocative rather than realistic museography, with a resolutely contemporary visual signature. The wager is a success! Visitors experience their visit as if they were themselves Basque whalers, they are seduced by the visual quality of the various installations and emerge from the exhibition with a clear understanding of the communicated messages.

The exhibition is complemented by a circuit of interpretive panels on the Basque culture. Spread outside and within different public areas of the Parc de l’aventure basque en Amérique, these panels inform visitors in a succinct and attractive manner on the main aspects of Basque culture: dance, music, pelota, diaspora, etc.

Turnkey Project: Project management and coordination, artistic direction, concept, script, documentary, iconography and film research, artifact selection, sketches, 2D, 3D, audiovisual, lighting and soundscape design, plans and specifications, architectural guidelines, exhibition production, audiovisual development, Motion Design programming, site supervision and installation.

PRIZED EXHIBITION ! Prix du Patrimoine du Bas‑Saint‑Laurent 2014, “Transmission, interprétation et diffusion” category.

Parc de l’aventure basque en Amérique – Educational Activities

Sépaq – Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata

Installations of the Park Path Experience at the visitor center in Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata, part of the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) network: external signal element and non-traditional exhibition emphasizing the park’s natural and historical elements, encouraging visitors to discover them in situ.

The exhibition in the visitor center evokes the typical atmospheres found at the park‒lake, river and mountain‒through three arches where photos, textures, organic elements, soundscapes and light effects offer visitors a multisensory immersive experience. The park’s global territory is presented on an oversized map embedded in the floor. When raising their heads, visitors discover the park’s animal emblem, the Bald Eagle, flying over its vast territory.

The external signal element is a monumental work of art made from engraved slate. The engravings recount the major chapters of the park’s territory history, from the Paleoindian period to the present day.

Overall, the installations created by Merlicht will provide visitors with sensory experiences that evoke the sense of place of the Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata.

Turnkey Project: Project management and coordination, artistic direction, concept, script, sound and iconographic research, sketches, 2D, 3D,  audiovisual, lighting and soundscape design, plans and specifications, architectural guidelines, terms of reference for the call for offers to construction and landscaping contractors, exhibition production, audiovisual development, site supervision and installation.

Montréal Holocaust Memorial Center

United against genocide: understand, question, prevent, a mobile exhibition module presented at the Montréal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Two L-shaped walls create a private space within a very busy public place. Isolated, visitors study the exhibition’s content presented on a touch screen and on wall murals. An ingenious system of wheels hidden in the walls allows staff to move the unit easily.

Turnkey Project: Project management and coordination, concept, design, writing, editing and translation of texts, programming, production and installation.

Cité Historia, musée d’histoire du Sault-au-Récollet – Educational Activities

As part of the museum’s Educational Activities and Animation Program, Merlicht designed and built a magnetic board displaying a map of the old village of Sault-au-Récollet. Guides can easily move the lightweight board from one animation location to another. Children place magnetic replicas of buildings on the map to reconstruct the key elements of a village in Québec’s seigniory era. In addition, the guides can write information on the board with chalk and later wipe it clean.

Turnkey Project: Project management and coordination, 3D design and fabrication.

Montréal Botanical Garden 2013

Giant jigsaw puzzle in the Your garden exhibition, at the Chlorophylle Room of the Montréal Botanical Garden’s greenhouses.

On a long table equipped with a compartment to store the puzzles pieces, adults and children assemble the image of the different sections of the Botanical Garden.  All the components are digitally designed and manufactured.
The puzzle pieces are made of printed foam, a lightweight, durable and washable material. They are designed to resist years of repeated handling by children. They are also safe for small fingers.

Artistic direction, concept and design, coordination and production.

Lachine Museum 2012 – Exhibition

Pour boire il faut vendre – La publicité et la bière Black Horse au 20e siècle, a permanent exhibition that showcases a collection of some 300 artifacts and 100 archival pictures and movies. Each of these items is singled out, thanks to a unified exhibit ensemble – display cabinets, interactive units and electronic media – with its resolutely contemporary lines and vibrant color accents. Overall, the exhibits preserve the architectural integrity of this unique place: two arches of the old Dawes brewery warehouse.

Turnkey project: artistic direction, concept, design, production and installation.

Lachine Museum – Direction Signage

Direction signage to the exhibition Pour boire il faut vendre – La publicité et la bière Black Horse au 20e siècle. The complex in which is located the historic warehouse housing the exhibition is labyrinthine. Merlicht has developed an extremely simple and clear signage to guide visitors from the outside to the exhibition hall: giant outdoor banners, sandwich panels, directional signs (with or without interpretive texts), hallway display cabinet with artifacts and soundscape. With their design unified to the exhibition’s visual signature, these direction signage elements also act as introductory elements.

Turnkey project: artistic direction, concept and design, production and installation.

Old Port of Montréal

Eleven historic interpretive panels on the quays of the Old Port of Montreal. With a touching opening quote, each panel interprets landscape features of the site. Playful QR codes plunge the visitor into different ambiances from the past. The design of the panels, with graphics inspired by shipping containers, covers the pursued objectives: create a contemporary visual signature, catch the eye of visitors, offer a resistance of 10 years against weathering, corrosion and vandalism.

Turnkey project: documentation synthesis, concept, script, design, production and installation.

Just For Laughs Festival 2012

Exhibition celebrating the Festival’s 30th anniversary presented in the Grand Foyer culturel of Montreal’s Place des Arts. It features a selection of artifacts accumulated over the years by Just For Laugh’s team.

Turnkey project: script, artifact selection, bilingual texts, photography, design, realisation, etc.

The Biosphère, Environment Museum 2012

Interpretive podcast project.

Documentary research, concept, script, bilingual texts and taping supervision of the audio content, iconographic research and acquisition, study of technical solutions for podcasting, schedule and budget estimate.

Site historique de l’Île-des-Moulins 2011

Il était une fois… Terrebonne!, a permanent exhibition telling the history of the city of Terrebonne, Québec.

Turnkey project: Grant application writing and management, preliminary program, concept, script, design, production, installation, etc.

PRIZED EXHIBITION! Our exhibition was awarded with two prizes from the Grands Prix Desjardins de Lanaudière: one in the Tourism category, “Tourist Attraction – less than 25 000 visitors” 2012 Award, and one in the Culture category, “Heritage” Award for 2011. The exhibition was also one contributing factor in Site historique de l’Île-des-Moulins being designated as “The Number One Wonder of Lanaudière Region” after a Léger Marketing Survey conducted in 2012 for Le Journal de Montréal and Hebdos Quebecor. Furthermore, the site is among the National Finalists for the Grands Prix de tourisme québécois 2012.

Héritage Saint-Bernard

Creation of an Audio guide walk through the Refuge faunique Marguerite-D’Youville.
Concept, script, texts, actors direction, sound effects research, bilingual narration recordings and editing, audio equipment, signage posts design, installation.

Montréal Biodôme – Exhibition

Redesign of the interpretation spaces and tools in the five ecosystems: 4 introduction spaces and murals, contents (elaboration, graphic design and programming) for 42 interactive terminals, 144 species identification guide, 50 interpretive panels, children’s tour with 7 interactive stations, 5 intrepretive murals, signage for the whole museum, etc.

Concept, script, design, production, bid documents for construction, supervision of the installation.

Montréal Biodôme – Direction Signage

Direction signage for all Biodôme public halls. This rather complex mandate consisted in creating new signage elements that would stand out among various direction signage added over the years. In order to stay within its modest budget, Merlicht first identified the key information that needed to be communicated to the visitors. The graphic design Merlicht developped is in keeping with the Biodôme contemporary architecture and its gigantic scale: large graphic surfaces with uncluttered lines, easily spotted from a distance. The understated and luminous style of the signagne elements contrasts with the colorful palette of the ecosystems and their ecotransits (see « Montréal Biodôme -Exhibition » section) and with the other existing elements, therefore easing the way for visitors in the vast building.

Turnkey project: artistic direction, concept and design, production and installation.

Montréal Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan

Mini exhibition in the lobby of the Montréal Biodôme to present the future Planetarium.

Turnkey project: Concept, script, design, production, installation, etc.

Pointe-du-Buisson, Musée québécois d’archéologie*

Fouilles 100% publiques : le dévoilement des découvertes, a permanent exhibition on real archeological digs involving members of the public.

Turnkey project: Collaboration in grant application, concept, script, design, production, installation, etc.

PRIZED EXHIBITION! Honourable Mention from the 2011 Governor General of Canada’s History Awards and the 2010 Innovation Award from Tourisme Suroît. The exhibition was also one important factor in Pointe-du-Buisson being awarded two honours : Cultural Organization of the Year 2010 from the Beauharnois-Valleyfield Chamber of Commerce and the 2010 Prix de la relève (Emergence Award) from the Société des musées québécois.

Site historique de l’Île-des-Moulins 2010

Récits d’une seigneurie, permanent exhibition on life in the Seigneurial system era.

Turnkey project: Concept, script, design, production, installation, etc.

PRIZED SITE! The exhibition was one contributing factor in Site historique de l’Île-des-Moulins being designated “The Number One Wonder of Lanaudière Region” following a Léger Marketing Survey conducted in 2012 for Le Journal de Montréal and Hebdos Quebecor.

The Tree House and Arboretum of the Montréal Botanical Garden

Creation of an electronic interactive game and of introduction tools to the Montréal Botanical Garden’s Arboretum tree collections.

Turnkey project: Concept, script, design, production, installation, etc.

The Montréal Botanical Garden and Insectarium

La cour aux insectes, a new garden including an outdoor exhibition and a playground for children.

Project management for the exhibition fabrication and installation.

Maison de la culture de l’arrondissement Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

Creation of interpretive panels, documentary video and educational activity on green roofs.

Turnkey project: Concept, script, design, production, installation, etc.

PRIZED EXHIBITION! Among the winners at the 2008 Gala de reconnaissance en environnement et développement durable de Montréal!

Maison de la culture de l’arrondissement Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – Educational Activities

Under the Interpretation Program on the green roof of the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a scientific educational activity allows elementary school students, as well as children from day camps, to discover some of the benefits and properties of green roofs by running a series of short scientific experiments. Equipped with protective goggles and helmets, children become “budding scientists” who, as a team, test different features of three types of roofs and note the results of their experiments: heat resistance, absorption of rainwater and weight of the roof. The custom designed animation material for this educational activity includes posters, miniature models of different types of roofing, record charts to note the experiments’ results and a Mystery Word game.

Turnkey Project: Project management and coordination, artistic direction, concept, script, 2D and 3D design, fabrication, training of guides.