Under a starlit sky northeast of Quebec City, Onhwa' Lumina welcomes guests on a journey shaped by the stories, symbols, and ancestral rhythms of the Huron-Wendat Nation. Created by Moment Factory in partnership with the Wendake Tourist Office, and in collaboration with the Huron-Wendat Nation Council, this powerful multimedia experience celebrates the richness of Wendat culture through the magic of light, sound, video projections, and a narrative steeped in emotion.
A glimpse into Huron-Wendat life
Inspired by the Huron-Wendat word “Onhwa,” which means “now” and marks the passage between the past, present, and future, the 1.2-kilometer night walk transports visitors to a poetic world where the nation’s values come to life.
Divided into seven zones, the multi-sensory journey combines scenographic installations, video projections, and an original soundtrack to illuminate themes in Wendat society, from the cycle of life to the communal relationship between living things. Performed by artists within the community, the evocative score vibrates with the energy of the land, while the sounds of wind, rocks, water, wind, fire, and animals echo the rhythms of the songs.
Explore the journey through seven zones:
●Kwaweyih, We Are Together as One: Enter the Great Circle and intuit a circular understanding of the world in which all beings are equal and live in harmony.
●Yädia’wich, The Turtle: On the back of the Great Turtle, discover the origins of the world through the Huron-Wendat creation story.
●Yänonhchia, The Longhouse: Take your place around the fire where women are the guardians of cultural transmission and social order.
●Yändata’, The Village: Admire the grandeur of the village and the richness of Huron-Wendat alliances through the artistry of beaded wampum belts.
●Onyionhwentsa’, Our World: Soak up the beauty and bounty of the land as the Wendat language comes to life in stories told through light and song.
● Hatioyondahskehen’, The Ancestors: Meet past generations, who gave life and passed on knowledge of embroidery, medicine, and more.
● Tichion’, The Stars: Look to the future under a shower of twinkling stars that remind us where we’ve come from and where we’re going.
Onhwa' Lumina takes visitors beyond the four walls of a traditional museum to immerse them in the natural beauty of the Wendake woodlands. “The land, or Nionwentsïo, of the Huron-Wendat people and their identity are inextricably linked. Together, they exert great appeal,” said Alain Authier, Executive Director, Wendake Tourist Office. “Thanks to Onhwa' Lumina, visitors from all over will discover a part of the soul of the Huron-Wendat Nation.”
A close collaborative partnership
Onhwa' Lumina is the result of a relationship of mutual trust between the Wendake Tourist Office, community experts, cultural advisors, and more than 100 members of Moment Factory’s extended team. For nearly two years, representatives of this multidisciplinary team gathered at least once per week to establish a shared vision, learn from each other, and refine content to present Wendat culture in a manner that is respectful, authentic, and meaningful to the community at large.
The night walk creates a welcoming space for the visiting public to experience and connect with Wendat society. But, importantly, the experience is also an offering to the Wendat Nation’s ancestors, descendants, and future keepers of the community’s culture. At the heart of the project is the ambition that all members of the Wendat community will share a sense of pride with each other.
In harmony with the ancestral values of the Huron-Wendat Nation of respect and the protection and preservation of nature, Onhwa' Lumina was developed to have minimal impact on the Wendake woodlands. During the day, trails remain open to the public, unaltered by the night walk’s seamlessly integrated fixtures, which generate power from only electric energy sources. To preserve the starry sky, light fixtures, spotlights, and effects are directed toward the ground.
Inspiring visitors to discover Wendake
As Moment Factory’s 14th Enchanted Night Walk experience, Onhwa' Lumina is the latest culmination of an immersive series the studio has been developing for more than nine years. The series includes several collaborations with the central involvement of Indigenous communities, including Kamuy Lumina, developed with the Akan Lake Ainu community on Hokkaido in Japan; Terra Lumina in Toronto, created with the input of a Wasauksing First Nation curator; and most recently, Nightrise—a Banff Gondola experience, with Stoney Nakoda Nation in Alberta.
“We're proud to promote the ancestral traditions and ways of life of the Huron-Wendat Nation, while contributing to the vitality of the local economy in both Wendake and Québec City, where Moment Factory is launching a project for the first time,” said Jonathan St-Onge, General Manager - Lumina Night Walks, Moment Factory.
As an evening attraction, the night walk complements Wendake’s existing tourism offerings through its potential to transform daytime visitors into evening visitors, attract new audiences, and increase the number of overnight stays. With plans to operate 200 nights each year, the experience will stimulate tourism in off-seasons and also encourage return visits.
“Our ancestral values of respect for nature, and our balance between our economic activities and the community have motivated our unwavering support for this project of major importance for our tourism industry,” said Rémy Vincent, Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation. “This spotlight on part of our culture will showcase our Nation's greatness.”
Installation Design and Production: Moment Factory
Client: Wendake Tourism
Photographer: Moment Factory