The Hudson’s Bay Company Gallery Montreal, Quebec.

Mystus transports the museum experience into a shopping environment with this unique museum-gallery that showcases the history of The Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Victoria. The Hudson’s Bay Company Gallery represents a new height in Mystus’ Exhibit making experience and capabilities.HBC Montreal

The Hudson’s Bay Company Gallery is a complete in-store museum that presents the fascinating history of the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Victoria. This unique Gallery brings the museum experience into a shopping setting through a series of exciting exhibits that share the origins, founding and growth of the Hudson’s Bay Company – “from fort to store”. Mystus combined our full range of exhibit-making products and services with extensive research and testing to create a fully interactive and impressive visitor experience unlike any other. The museum features a two-storey ‘Entrance Tower’ exhibit with original Mystus-produced video vignettes; three hand-held audio vignette kiosks; three interactive, life-sized ‘themed’ environments with human ‘Lifecast’ Mannequins including a Trading Fort, period Dining Room and Trader scene; interactive-modified artifacts including a radio and telephone; digital flip book archival catalogues and Beaver magazines; multi-language Quiz With object Highlighting; and a specially designed interactive map of Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading routes.

HBC Victoria

Exhibit: Hudson’s Bay Company Montreal Gallery
Venue: The Bay / La Baie on St Catherines St
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Date: September, 2004
Client: Lord Cultural Resources
Contributors: Mystus – interactives, production design, fabrication, installation; Lord – project management, design, artifact management, copy writing; Hbc – archive acquisition

Visitor Experience:
The exhibition comprised three distinct storyline areas plus an entrance introduction area. The visitor enters the gallery with the view of an impressive 12′ by 8′ interactive map showing the development of the Hudson’s Bay Co over 350 years of history. Beside the map are an interactive video station and computer kiosk where the visitor can listen to oral histories and ask questions back to Hbc archive staff. A turn of the century depiction of Morgan’s, absorbed by Hbc in the 60’s, is the first area approached by the visitor after leaving the map area. The gallery is housed in the extension to the original Morgan’s store, now Hbc St Catherines St. In the store are several themed elements and life cast mannequins and some low-tech interactives. The next area deals with the life of the Voyageurs, who were the transportation arm of Hbc in the early days. The highlight of this area is a half replica of an original 36 ft. cargo canoe which twelve voyageurs would have paddled inland, set in a themed portage stop. The visitor can weigh themselves in comparison to the weight of the bales that Voyageurs carried, and also pack a miniature canoe with the 75 items carried by the voyageurs en route. The third area is a temporary gallery depicting the history of early Hbc trading. This portion will later travel to other Hbc stores.

Mystus Expertise:
Mystus used all of its talents for this project including, electronics, production design, microprocessor control, graphic development and production, video production, audio production, mechanical interactives development, millwork fabrication, metalwork fabrication, as well as on site installation.

Unique Features:
The interactive map is particularly impressive at 12′ x 8′. We developed a better technique of diffusing the light from the leds for side viewing. The ‘pack your canoe’ interactive has a sensor driven mechanism built in to dump the canoe when visitors have left so the next visitors get a fresh go at it.

*Project Challenges: 
This is the largest shoe to date that Mystus has done the entire fabrication of. It was a challenge but all went actually quite smoothly, and again with short completion dates. The canoe dumping mechanism was a particular challenge to keep it simple, intuitive and robust.