For community's organizations

Montréal in Five Senses

Five workshops tap the five senses to offer new perspectives on Montréal, sparking all kinds of memories and stories.

Map of Montreal decorated with cut-out photos and messages
Source : MEM - Centre des mémoires montréalaises

This activity received the 2023 Best in Heritage award, the 2023 Award of Outsanding Achievement in the Audience Outreach category from the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the 2023 Excellence Award from the Société des musées du Québec (SMQ).

The five senses are celebrated in workshops that challenge participants to explore the city from a new perspective. Created in partnership with artists, Montréal in Five Senses invites members of Montréal community organizations to experience a variety of sensory encounters with the city. Workshop participants will immerse themselves in the sights, scents, sounds, textures, and tastes of Montréal—experiences that will certainly stir up memories and anecdotes. What stories will they evoke for you? We’d love to hear and share them!

Five workshops are available:

  • Sight with photographer Youssef Shoufan
  • Smell with artist Natacha Clitandre
  • Taste with gastronaut Mélissa Simard
  • Hearing with Chantal Dumas and Magali Babin of dB collective
  • Touch with specialist Anne Jarry of the RAAMM (Regroupement des aveugles et amblyopes du Montréal métropolitain)

These workshops are designed for Montréal community organizations, which can offer them to their clients. The workshops are tailored for groups of ten to twelve people and are free.

If you represent and organization and are interested in this project, please contact us for details. Together, we will organize the workshop you choose, which will be led by an artist or partner and a MEM mediator.


Sight Workshop

Youssef Shoufan invites you to a photography workshop on the theme “Who is Montreal?”. With the objective of illustrating the diversity of Montreal identities, a photo collage will be made of the Island of Montreal using photo portraits of workshop participants.

Smell Workshop

Natacha Clitandre invites you to a workshop in which participants will explore identifiable smells of Montreal. The objective is to create a mobile that evokes the odours emanating from different sectors of the city.

Taste Workshop

Mélissa Simard invites you to a bread-tasting. Participants will discover the gustatory richness of the neighbourhood surrounding the MEM through this food staple, many versions of which are found in Montreal’s cultural communities.

Hearing Workshop

The dB collective will sensitize you to the auditory dimensions of the city, overall and on a local level. Accompanied by Magali Babin and Chantal Dumas, participants will compose a visual soundscape of their neighbourhood.

Touch Workshop

Anne Jarry of the RAAMM proposes a sightless discovery of the city through a somatosensory exploration of the shapes and textures of typical Montreal objects.

Note: This workshop is also available in a version adapted for people who are blind or have low vision. Participants discover the city’s history through adapted maps, architectural models, and objects from the MEM collection.

Artist Bios

Youssef Shoufan

Director, photographer, author, and creator of multiple projects, Youssef Shoufan is very active in the artistic, cultural, and social scenes in his hometown and around the world. An observer and explorer, he uses his professional and personal communication skills as vectors of positive change for both the short and long term. Born in Damascus in 1987 and based in Montréal since 1994, his interests in minimalist aesthetics and his commitment to social justice and the representation of marginalized narratives are at the heart of his work. In his practice, Youssef combines creativity, curiosity, mediation tools, leadership, and critical thinking.


Natacha Clitandre

Digital artist Natacha Clitandre holds a BFA from Université du Québec à Montréal (2000) and an MA in the theory and practice of contemporary art and new media from Université Paris 8 and École national supérieure des arts décoratifs (2007). She also completed residencies at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. In her process, she roams the city in order to chronicle shifting poles of attraction, collecting data and stories to pin down what nurtures our sense of belonging. Using ubiquitous technological devices, she creates mechanisms that explore the relationship between the artist, the public, and our shared spaces. By opening up new perspectives, she seeks to create social connection, decompartmentalize living spaces, and reveal historical strata in the urban environment and contents of interest to a diversity of communities. Her work has been exhibited in Europe (Nantes, Paris, Brussels) and North America (Montréal, Laval, Québec, Gaspésie, Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore. She lives and works in Montréal/Tio’tia:ke.


Mélissa Simard

Mélissa Simard touches on everything related to gastronomy, food security, sustainable food, community spirit, and all forms of learning. Mélissa founded ‘Round Table Tours in 2012, which organizes excursions based on stories and tasting experiences. Mélissa is a trained cook and certified tour guide with a degree in Canadian Studies from McGill and another in business start-ups. She is also a doula and an MA candidate in Educational Technology at Concordia. She is involved with the food bank Réseau d’entraide in Verdun, where she manages a delivery program for the elderly and people with reduced mobility. Mélissa is also a member of the Board of Coop CAUS (Coopérative de solidarité d'abondance urbaine solidaire).


Anne Jarry

Anne Jarry is an active member of the Board of Directors of the RAAMM organisation, supporting and promoting access to information and culture for blind and low-vision adults. She has considerable expertise in the field of vision loss, research, and training in assistive computer technology and Braille. She has been involved in national and international projects throughout her career. Anne was executive director of the Québec division of the CNIB and a professor of low vision rehabilitation at the School of Optometry of Université de Montréal. Since losing most of her vision in 1986 due to juvenile diabetes, Anne has maintained her quality of life by staying devoted to facilitating access to information and education for persons living with vision loss. When Anne is travelling, she is always looking for tactile maps. She collects tactile miniature monuments purchased in the various cities and countries she has visited.


Collectif dB - Chantal Dumas et Magali Babin

Collectif dB is made up of sound artists Chantal Dumas and Magali Babin. The acronym dB—dB for decibel, a measure of sound intensity— marks the intersection at which their fields of interest meet. Magali's practice is expressed through performance, installation, and in situ intervention. Her current projects deal with perception and memory and question our relationship to sound. Chantal explores the medium of sound through composition, installation, and sound design. A field recording enthusiast, she collects sounds from her environment as raw material for her productions. It's a sensitive way to meet the world and to take its pulse. The members of collectif dB have in common a certain spatial awareness, a marked interest in sound geography, and a delight in drawing sensory cartographies of the expanses they cross.


Information and reservation

Contact Linda to make a reservation.

By email:
[email protected]
By telephone:
514 872-0238


Activity lenght
60 minutes

Meeting place

In the spaces of the community organizations.