In 1976, the Montreal Olympic Stadium was host to several summer games, including judo and track cycling. For several years after, the space was used for sporting events and concerts. In 1992, after extensive renovations, the building was repurposed as a zoo attraction now known as the Montreal Biodome.
Accredited by the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), the Biodome allows guests to tour four ecosystems. A replica of the South American rainforest, North American wilderness, a marine eco-system modeled after the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and a polar section divided between the Arctic and Antarctic. In total, there are over 240 animal species that live within the Biodome and over 400 different plant varieties.
Last month, Moment Factory, a multimedia experience company based out of Canada who also created the spectacular projection mapping show in Atlantic City, created a one-of-a-kind pre-show for the Biodome called Biorama.
After walking in from the real world cityscape of Montreal, Biorama acts as a buffer between arriving at the Biodome and actually walking through the four unique environments. This gives guests a moment to decompress before being thrown into the environments just beyond the new area.
The wraparound screens combined with images being projected onto the floor give guests an immersive sense of being in one of the four environments they are about to experience. In addition, overhead lighting changes as the scenes rotate between environments. For example, if the curved screens are showing scenes from the Arctic, the floor will also resemble ice combined with blue ambiance lighting to complete the effect.
Claude Lafond, Biodome’s official photographer, helped provide some of the images used in Biorama. Many of the animals seen in the pre-show are the stars of the attraction, providing a preview of things to come.
An original soundtrack composed by Vincent Letellier, was designed to be calming and put visitors in a calm state of mine before going through the attraction. It sets the pace for the entire Biodome.
Even though the Biodome has been around for over 20 years, Biorama adds a new dimension to the attraction by very softly nudging the guest to slow down as they walk through. Instead of jumping straight into an animal environment, guests are now forced to slow down as they walk around the screens and hearing calming music all while being given some things to keep a lookout for as they tour the former Olympic stadium.