It was foggy the night of May 29, 1914, when two ships collided in the St. Lawrence River. The Empress of Ireland, with 1,477 souls aboard, sank in less than 15 minutes. Over a thousand lives were lost in what remains to this day Canada’s worst maritime disaster.
To honor the Empress of Ireland and its tragic destiny, the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site commissioned TKNL to design and produce a multimedia experience worthy of the place this event holds in the country's maritime history.
Displayed in a dedicated room, the film brings the fateful last hours of the ship to life using historical documents, animations, and video simulations.
Rather than simply show the last act of the tragedy, TKNL wanted to immerse the audience in the context that motivated thousands of people to make the move across the Atlantic with interpretive reenactments of newsreel footage.
To reenact the Empress’ course, its collision with the Storstad, and eventual sinking, boat models were first shot in a studio in front of a green screen. These images were then embedded in other video images, and then enhanced with animations to recreate a realistic looking environment.
Ultimately, as the centennial of the tragedy approached, TKNL was again called on to design and construct a mobile kiosk, a number of related multimedia modules and a commemorative passport to show the exhibit across Canada.