Urban Hub

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Information doc: 

Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] 1197 blvd Saint-Laurent, C.P. 1083, succ Desjardins Montréal (Québec) H5B 1C2 www.sat.qc.ca René Barsalo, Director, Research and Strategy  rbarsalo@sat.qc.ca 1.514.844.2033 ext 209

Effective member: 

Highlight of LL objectives and profile/domain……  

As Canada’s most important independent centre for digital artists, and one of the world’s five busiest creative centres in this field, the SAT attracts a highly varied clientele. Its exceptional positioning – as a bridge connecting the arts, the academic world, and the public and private sectors – makes the centre uniquely qualified in the production and design of events based in digital culture. Since its inception in 1996, the SAT has produced, co-produced or hosted over 1 600 events involving more than 8 000 artists at the cutting edge of digital culture and new media production in Canada and around the world.   The SAT maintains regular programs geared towards research, prototype development, production, dissemination, and training. Through them it promotes creativity, scientific progress and the transfer of skills and ideas. These programs include SAT[espace], a multi-purpose presentation space of 8 000 square feet; [MetaLab], which groups different research activities related to audiovisuals and IP networks, immersive systems and telepresence ; Fabrique[Numérique], for prototype content development by artists in residence; and [TransForm], which focuses on the transferring of knowledge and other training activities.   On the strength of its creative alliances and strategic partnerships, the centre has made it possible for many Canadian talents to reach a wide audience. Since 2000, nearly 250 000 visitors have passed through the doors of the SAT. The projects hosted by the SAT's Artists in Residency program or supported by the organization have been presented in over fifty cities, in twenty-one countries and on four continents since 1996.


Montreal’s Society of Arts and Technologies (SAT) is an important component of this convergent spirit and consensus.  Its focus on Art & Development for the creative capabilities of the digital cultural world provides the Montreal creative digital community with an innovative window on the growing opportunities to create and introduce innovation and high-quality cultural content. The core of the concept of an Urban Hub that SAT has been developing is to offer an open and evolving platform of leading-edge software (mostly open source), digital technology and resources for the creation, diffusion and distribution of digital cultural content.  The platform will be used in an environment modeled on open collaborative networks and connected with the world.   SAT Urban Hub provides support, resources and facilities for Montreal and Quebec artists, researchers and business developers to explore, experiment and innovate with new digital technologies. Combined with broadband fiber network in situ, on their own or in collaboration with peers elsewhere in Canada and the world, content creators can pursue a variety of objectives, whether cultural, social, and economic or of as yet undefined futuristic nature.    The SAT Urban Hub integrates the components of creative space, talent, technology and networks to offer a positive generative capability, robustly supported by the growing pervasiveness of digital infrastructure.  This integration of capability and talent support, enhance and reinforce the positive mutations of creativity kick-started by the appearance of the Internet and Web in our lives and the growing ability to distribute cultural content easily in a fully enabled IP environment.

References and Track Record  

 The SAT enjoys a direct optical fiber link to RISQ, Quebec’s scientific information network; and via RISQ it also has access to CA*net — the Canarie organization’s high performance, cross-Canada broadband network designed for universities and scientific institutions. Access to this network has allowed the SAT to greatly expand its activities, and to operate as a fully equipped research centre in its own right, especially in the field of content design and software development for immersive environments and next-generation, ultra-wide-band networks. PropulseART research project’s objective is to develop software and web services enabling event organisers to connect audiovisual systems of multiple public spaces together, from concert hall to business conferences, enabling the public and presenters to interact live between cities and archive their events at the same time.  The SAT Urban Hub will function as a socio-cultural and socio-economic “interface” between physical geographical space and networked virtual space.  This interface will offer access to talent, knowledge, and the capability to create and distribute digital cultural content, through  

• a large (12,000 square meters) and versatile multi-level multi-purpose eSpace located at the southern entrance to Montreal’s cultural and entertainment district.  This location is within a 1,5 kilometer radius of more than 70% of Montreal’s IT and creativecommunity

• high quality, high speed IP connectivity (cable and FTTx wired and wireless broadband interconnectivity)  

• technological and logistic support for explorations, experiments and cultural events  (types of knowledge, experts, etc.) • residencies for researchers and artists

• access to SAT's network of more than 7 000 subscribers (primarily from the art & technology sector, with the vast majority being under 35 years)

• access to SAT's network of partnerships and collaborations with universities, colleges and research centres in Canada and the world

• living lab for beta testing digital services and contents

 • high visibility and effective promotion in SAT catalogues of resources, artists and creative content.