Radio Arbre

The future city, narrated by children

Radio Arbre is a participatory online radio station, broadcasting hundreds of stories from Montreal’s children about the future of their city. Their stories are told by Arbre (Tree), a host part robot-humanist, part futuristic-tree. Working around the clock, he reads the children’s thoughts with devotion, humour and sincerity. The radio is broadcast online or through a giant device shaped like a podium, set up by a tree.

Temporary Installation for the celebration of Montreal 375th — 2017

Montreal, Canada

Bring this project to your city

The Project

325 kids contributions are broadcast by Radio Arbre. Assorted within 14 different shows, such as The Good Neighbour Chronicles, Letters to Fruits and Vegetables, The Future Department, or The Love show, the stories depict the day-to-day life of Montreal’s youth, their hopes and dreams for the city of tomorrow. 

These stories were collected for “Tours de tables”, a project conducted by the Maison de l’Innovation Sociale and its partners, during Montréal’s 375th celebrations. 

All the stories from Radio Arbre are permanently accessible to the public on the project website. There, users can navigate the content through an interactive map and thematic filters, giving them a new perspective of the city through the eyes of its young inhabitants. The Contribute section invites young Montrealers to participate in the project, adding their own stories.

Listen to Radio Arbre (in French)

© Photo by Geoffrey Boulangé

Collective Stories

Radio arbre was created in a social context that doesn’t recognised or value children’s voices enough; yet their questions and ideas about the future are essential for the strength of our society. The project was inspired by an African tradition called “l’arbre à palabres” (the palabre tree). In some countries, a designated tree —usually a baobab—, becomes a gathering point for the entire community to spend time together, share stories and talk about politics or the everyday challenges.

Behind the Scenes

Staying true to the kids’ voices, Arbre reads their contributions without any modification or rewriting. This character still has his own personality and speaks in a language inspired by real human radio shows, in his own realistic journalistic style. 

Credits

  • This project was commissioned by the Maison de l’innovation sociale, in partnership with the Foundation of greater Montreal, the McConnell Foundation, the Society for the celebration of Montreal 375th, the President’s choice, Montreal’s policy on children and Atelier 10.
    • A Project by Daily tous les jours
  • Creative Direction
    • Mouna Andraos
    • Melissa Mongiat
  • Interactive Direction
    • Pierre Thirion
  • Technical Direction
    • Eva Schindling
  • Industrial Design
    • Rebecca Taylor
  • Artistic Direction
    • Anne Ouellette
  • Sound Direction
    • Michael Baker
  • Content Direction
    • Cécile Chandran
  • Production
    • Irène Chaudouet
  • Project Coordination
    • Marie-Pier Gauthier-Manes
  • Studio Coordination
    • JoDee Allen
  • Filming, Photography and Editing
    • Geoffrey Boulangé
  • Manufacturing
    • Double Effet

    • Entrepôt du Cèdre
    • Photosynthèse
  • Technical Direction
    • François Morin, Principal
  • Programming
    • François Morin, Principal
    • Jules Renaud, Principal
  • Speech synthesis solution
    • Acapela
  • Thank You
    • Fatou Dravé
, Hailey Turcato
, Sylvain Le Beux
, Patrick Paul-Hus, La Grande Bibliothèque - Espace jeunes (BAnQ), TéléCinéma Montréal and all the children who participated to the project.

Our newsletter is send two to three times a year. Or maybe four? One can never know.