In section: Welcome to the SNJM Website

Aqua at the Musée de la civilisation: the sacredness of water

"Water is the element which unites us all,
beyond politics or religion"


states Fernand Rainville, the producer of the exposition "Aqua".
Le Soleil, Yan Doublet

No doubt, you remember that Guy Laliberté, founder of the du Cirque du Soleil, went into space. Do you recall why? It was to focus attention on his foundation “One Drop”, which aims to raise people’s awareness of the importance of saving and sharing water. The foundation has now established an educational initiative with "Aqua": 'A Journey into the World of Water', which is taking place at the Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec city(MCQ) until April.

On this occasion, "Aqua" enriches us with a new activity, “Water in our daily lives”, an educational workshop created by Suzanne Hardy du MCQ, which allows for those from 7 to 77 years old to learn many interesting facts on the role of water in the production of consumer goods (1000 litres to make a pair of children’s jeans, 200 litres to produce a banana, 15 litres to flush a toilet...). The workshop will be available for school groups and on weekends.

During the “Aqua” experience, visitors can travel through three separate areas. Each participant receives a large illuminated water drop upon entering. Shadows of children appear on a water wall, which opens to allow us to enter into a large circular space resembling a circus ring. In the middle there is a spring of water and around us there is a 360-degree projection. We can also hear music characteristic of the Cirque du Soleil – indigenous percussion instruments and songs in made-up languages, etc. - .

“I want to restore a sacred dimension to water”, states Fernand Rainville, the producer. He wanted to create a cathartic effect around major wells which, he recalls, are a gathering point in many villages.


Images of swimming, of children, of nature and of pollution, supported by music, either lively or dramatic, unfold on the screen. The exhibition then becomes interactive with the visitors’ movements, and shows up on a screen.


“With “Aqua”, 'One Drop' proposes another way of visiting a museum, [...] which aims to directly involve the visitors”, says Michel Côté, director general of the MCQ. It is a physical involvement, emotional and concrete experience; and upon leaving the circular room, the people are invited to change one of their habits for consuming goods by writing it down on the site of “One Drop”.

“We want people to be informed and aware, so that they can become spokespersons for sensitizing others”, says Lili-Anna Peresa, directress of 'One Drop'. The exposition, which has already been presented in Montreal and Ottawa, will take place in New Zealand, Australia and the United States in 2011 and beyond.

All the details are on the sites of the Musée de la civilisation and One Drop.

Inspiré de l'article de Josianne Desloges,
collaboration spéciale
Le Soleil

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