- The Montreal Gay Village rainbow balls, an installation entitled "18 Shades of Gay," are coming down for the last time this month.
- To give Montrealers a chance to own a piece of the beloved canopy, the artist is partnering with village charities to sell individual strings.
Since 2011, the Montreal Gay Village balls, perhaps the most photographed art installation in the city, have hung above rue Sainte-Catherine in the Gay Village.
The 1-kilometre canopy of 180,000 plastic balls, proudly displaying all the colours of the rainbow since 2017, has been an iconic part of the Montreal cityscape. Sadly, this month is last we'll ever see of them.
Initially scheduled for retirement last year, the installation was extended by a year after outcry from the public and city of Montreal. This September, however, Montreal will say its final goodbye to the rainbow blanket that adorned one of the city's most vibrant pedestrian walkways.
Titled "18 Shades of Gay" the balls were the brainchild of landscape artist Claude Cormier. He explains that the piece is "inspired by the rainbow flag of the LGBTQI community. A succession of six principal colours, each in three distinct hues, combine to form an experience of 18 shades."
Don't be sad, though, because even though the balls are coming down for the last time, Montrealers will be able to own a piece of "18 Shades of Gay" to keep forever!
Partnering up with the Village and LGBTQ+ charities in the province, Cormier has offered Montrealers a unique opportunity to purchase a piece of his work.
Each purchase comes with 54 original balls of a single colour plus the string and instructions on how to install them. The balls can only be purchased for private use and can't be used for commercial or public purposes.
Montreal residents can purchase a string of rainbow balls for $100 each. $10 of each purchase will go to support LGBTQ+ charities like Fondation Émergence, Interligne, and Coalition des groupes jeunesse LGBTQ+.
The rest of the proceeds will go to installing an all-new installation in the Gay Village in spring 2020.
If you order a string of balls, you must pick up your order after October 1st at Espace Village (1211 rue Sainte-Catherine E.).
You can even choose which colour you want (while supplies last)!
Many Montrealers might be upset with the decision to permanently remove the rainbow balls installation but fear not, Cormier is coming back with an all-new art project in the Gay Village.
Though you have until late September to walk under the balls for one last time, make sure to purchase your string of balls so that you can hold on to cherished memories forever.
Cormier hasn't revealed what he has in store for us next spring, but you can rest assured that it will be equally magnificent as "18 Shades of Gay"!
Make sure to visit the Gay Village soon to see the balls one last time before they're gone forever!
To purchase a string of balls, refer to the Village website here!