In 2001, Hexagram Institute, a non-profit organization, received significant support from Valorisation-Recherche-Québec (VRQ) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). This investment allowed for the creation of a research technology infrastructure and a platform for new media arts at Concordia and UQAM, in partnership with l’Université de Montréal.
This research platform served as a basis for the creation of the Hexagram Institute, providing a unique gathering point for research-creation in Montreal and the rest of Canada. Prior to its formation, university arts faculties in Montreal enjoyed an enviable reputation both nationally and internationally, but researchers and independent artists tended to work in isolation.
Hexagram became a crucial link in tying together the work of many of Quebec’s researcher-creators. Since its inception, numerous enduring partnerships have been made possible, not only in the university context, but also with industry, non-profit organizations, independent artists and cultural producers.
The Hexagram Institute ended in 2008 when the VRQ funds were depleted, leading to the formation of two new organizations: CINQ (Consortium en innovation numérique du Québec), an independent body supporting collaborations between universities and the commercial media industries, and two university-based research platforms (Hexagram-Concordia and Hexagram-UQAM).
Hexagram’s most recent development since its inception in 2001 is the partnership/consolidation with the former CIAM — Le Centre interuniversitaire des arts médiatiques (2001–2010, funded also by the FRQSC) which was also bringing together researchers from Uqam, Concordia and Université de Montréal. Hexagram and CIAM were supporting the same researchers, with Hexagram focusing on the transfer of technology and direct support for research-creation, while CIAM fulfilled its mission of training and support for students, transfer of knowledge, and dissemination of research. In addition, Hexagram and CIAM successfully united French and English Montreal University cultures.
In 2008, FRQSC evaluators recommended the merger of Hexagram-Concordia, Hexagram-UQAM and CIAM under the banner of HexagramCIAM. The mission was to establish a unique international network for research-creation in media arts, design and technology, specialized in research, training and dissemination. In Spring 2011, Hexagram | CIAM was born and funded (2011–14 FRQSC)
Now, in its state as a mature network, the organization is known as Hexagram.
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