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Cirque du Soleil Founder’s 8-Storey Pyramid Club Opens This Weekend

With laser projectors and hundreds of LEDs, it certainly looks extravagant (at least on the inside).

PY1 during the day
Shutterstock

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté will unveil PY1, his massive pyramid-shaped event space and nightclub in Montreal’s Old Port, this weekend.

At 25 metres high (about eight storeys) and with space for 1,000 people, it’s quite the monolith in the heart of Montreal’s tourist hub, and will be in place at Quai de l’Horloge until the end of September. (There’s actually two pyramids; the second is smaller and is attached to the main one.)

While it’s certainly a little gaudy and definitely resembles a plastic, temporary version of something you’d find in Las Vegas, on the inside, it does seem that Laliberté and his team (including corporate backers Telus) have at least done the idea justice, putting 32 laser projectors into the venue, alongside hundreds of LED lights and kinetic set pieces. In some senses, it’s like an ultra-scaled-up version of the already-impressive immersive dome room at Montreal’s Société des Arts Technologiques on St-Laurent, the Satosphère.

Inside PY1
Jimmy Hamelin/PY1

So, is PY1 an event space, or a nightclub? That depends when you visit: multiple times on nearly every day of the week throughout the summer, a one-hour show named Through the Echoes will go down. Dubbed a “multimedia epic” from artist Gabriel Coutu-Dumont, the sound and light show is described in grandiose terms that one would expect given its Cirque du Soleil affiliation — it’s a “technological and emotional odyssey about the evolution of life, from the Big Bang to the present”.

You’ll pay for the extravagant set-up — although Through the Echoes doesn’t have performers (although of course there are creative staff such as directors), tickets for a 60-minute show go up to $51 before tax.

The shows run mostly in afternoons and early evenings — later at night, PY1’s other main function will be as a nightclub, complete with VIP booths and bottle service. If you’re not splashing on bottles of Grey Goose, it’s a better deal — you get the flashy pyramid experience for $23 on most nights (although not the show, of course). The club has a variety of themes that it will rotate through over the summer, ranging from colourful Candy World to the apocalyptic Underworld or the sexual “Taboo” night.

It also seems that Montreal is just the first iteration of PY1: its official website refers to it as a touring venue, suggesting it’ll be reconstructed in other cities, although no other locations have yet been announced.

STATUS — PY1 opens this Saturday (June 1) at Quai de l’Horloge (Clock Tower Quay) in the Old Port — shows run multiple times per day in the afternoons and evenings every day but Monday; club nights run every weekend and some Thursday and Sunday nights.

PY1

Rue Quai de l'Horloge, Montreal, QC H2L 5C1 Visit Website