Hexagram reaps rewards and recognition
Hexagram’s place at the forefront of art, technology and innovation was confirmed May 8 when $1 million in funds was allocated to the Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies.
Raymond Bachand, Quebec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, announced a $625,000 grant to Hexagram, a joint initiative between Concordia and UQAM.
“The multimedia sector is blossoming in Montreal, and Hexagram has been at the cutting edge of that growth for the last five years,” Bachand said.
He praised the quality and scope of Hexagram’s projects. The group has attracted interest and funding from innovative private sources like the Cirque du Soleil and the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology. Bachand said that these partnerships underscored the program’s commercial applications for the private sector.
Jacques Chagnon (BA ’75), Quebec MNA for Westmount-St. Louis said he was impressed with Hexagram’s work and felt it was a showcase for Montreal.
The announcement was made in the EV Building, where Hexagram has many laboratories. “It is no accident that we put informational technology and visual arts in one building,” President Claude Lajeunesse said. He added that Hexagram remains the largest research consortium in Canada to unite artistic creation and media technology.
In accepting the funds on behalf of Hexagram, Executive Director Alban Asselin downplayed his role as an administrator, “The strength of Hexagram is its artist/researchers.”
There are currently 75 researchers, and 350 graduate students involved in Hexagram’s projects. Several were present for the announcement.
Afterwards, the Minister and other guests were offered a quick tour of some of Hexagram’s labs. The tour ended in the Black Box. Sha Xin Wei, Design and Computation Arts, demonstrated some of the uses of the vast multi-media performance and experimentation space.
This Minister’s funding announcement comes on the heels of a decision made by Valorisation – Recherche Quebec (VRQ) to award Hexagram $375,000. At the press conference, Gilbert Drouin, President and CEO of VRQ was thanked for the over $7 million his group has given to support Hexagram’s research and creation.
In addition, an announcement three weeks ago confirmed that six Hexagram researchers, four of whom are at Concordia, have received research grants from the provincial research funding body, the FQRSC.