Canadian Lighting Project Wins Prestigious International Award


October 5, 2016

Lighting for Eglise Sainte-Agnès in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec has won a 2016 darc award in the category Structures —Best Exterior Lighting Scheme, High Budget. The awards were announced at a gala event in London, U.K.

Organized by mondo*arc / darc magazine, the darc awards are the first ever peer-to-peer system for a lighting design awards. Winners are determined by Independent architectural lighting designers and light artists. The Eglise Sainte-Agnès project was one of seven Canadian entries. The lighting was designed by Ombrages, using lighting products supplied by Lumenpulse.

The church, a landmark in Lac-Mégantic, stands as a symbol of solidarity and support to a community severely affected by the rail tragedy of July 6, 2013. Built in the beginning of the twentieth century, the Eglise Sainte-Agnès has a religious heritage recognized by the Quebec’s Ministry of Culture and Communications, and is made of up many beautiful architectural details, reliefs, materials and structural elements. Using light to enhance these individual elements helps to accentuate the distinctive and prestigious signature of the building.

To highlight the distinctive architectural elements, simplicity in the concept’s design was the key element. The selection of elements to highlight on the building, which colours to use, and what materials to accentuate, were approached with care, consideration, respectfulness towards the buildings heritage.

The stained glass windows of the church are lit by RGBW luminaires, allowing for a fantasy of colour where hues are representative of religious celebration. In the centre square out front of the church entrance, a projector equipped with a gobo projects star patterns on the ground in memory of the tragedy’s victims.

It was important that the lighting design compliment the church as a warm, soft and comforting place of gathering for the people of Lac-Még
antic. Ombrages’ design looks to make sure that the lighting concept respects this, and doesn’t change the nature of the Heritage’s architecture. Lighting up the church is also a symbol of pride, a way to bring back life to the heart of the city and increase tourist attraction for the community of Lac-Mégantic.

The lighting project respects the Mont-Mégantic Dark Sky Reserve guidelines. Ombrages carefully choose the light fixtures and made sure that specifications, such as beam angle, cut-off and blue light, were controlled to minimize the lighting pollution and preserve the stars’ observation. To date, this is the first building illumination done and approved by the International Dark- Sky Association (IDA).

For this project, Ombrages’ team expertise didn’t just create the lighting concept; the team has been involved from the beginning up to the official launch after completion. Ombrages produced lighting concepts through rendering, photometric calculations, lighting layouts and construction drawings, as well as programming of the different scenes on site.

Project overview

Project: Sainte-Agnès Church Lac-Mégantic

  • Location: Lac-Mégantic, Canada
  • Lighting design: Ombrages, Canada
  • Lighting Suppliers: Lumenpulse
  • Client: Fabrique de la Paroisse Sainte-Agnès de Lac-Mégantic
  • Additional design: Rémi Boucher / Réserve internationale de ciel étoilé du Mont-Mégantic, Canada

All Canadian short-listed entries

The darc competition has four established categories — Structures, Places, Spaces and Art — each split into low and high budget (over £30,000 on luminaires) so that smaller projects can compete on a level playing field in every category. Here are all the Canadian entries for the 2016 darc awards:


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