MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is one of the largest winter festivals in the world, an annual celebration registering 1,300,000 festival site visits from fans experiencing the joy of Montreal wintertime through a unique program combining performing arts, gastronomy, free outdoor family activities, and a full night of exquisitely original discoveries!

This 16th edition of Montréal en Lumière has been selected by UNESCO as a special event as part of its International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies!

Music, circus arts, song, theatre, dance…every facet of culture glitters in Montreal during the Arts Program of Montréal en Lumière. The program puts the spotlight on the city with a rich and eclectic program welcoming icons as well as emerging artists from home and abroad. Over the course of 11 days, an array of new discoveries, original creations and dazzling performances become part of the daily fabric of Montreal life.

A Free Outdoor Site that livens up the Montreal winter

The festival transforms the Quartier des Spectacles and its Place des Festivals—the festive heart of downtown—into the ultimate destination! The free outdoor site bursts with open-air activities: braziers, shows, activities for children, outstanding lighting design, all showcasing Montreal’s renowned party spirit and flair for entertainment.

Lighting up winter!

©Marie-Claire Denis - Montréal en Lumière

©Marie-Claire Denis – Montréal en Lumière

The Montréal en Lumière fever is once again ready to take over downtown Montreal and the Quartier des spectacles, with an entirely reconceived and revamped site the thrill and surprise festivalgoers! The new additions include an utterly unique Tyrolean zip-line soaring over Ste. Catherine Street, an illuminated mini-village serving up fine fare, a massive interactive installation of multicoloured pastilles guaranteed to warm every heart, giant projection structures, beautiful, stunning illuminated installations, photo exhibits dedicated to Switzerland (the featured country of this 16th edition), and a new, long-awaited attraction: a super slide just for younger children! And don’t forget all the free outdoor shows—a least one different performance every day!—the daily DJ and VJ sets, the famous ice slide, games for the kids, the ferris wheel in the heart of the site, the countless culinary options offered by the famed Gourmet Stations… and a galaxy of lights, lights, lights!

Nuit Blanche

©Frédérique Ménard-Aubin - Montréal en Lumière-1

©Frédérique Ménard-Aubin – Montréal en Lumière

Every year, the festival closes by kicking off the “Nuit Blanche” celebrations around the world. And what a kickoff! The Nuit blanche à Montréal invites locals and tourists to enjoy some 200 mostly free activities, all of them linked by a free shuttle service. Whether onstage or onscreen, in the great outdoors or under the spotlights, in music or in story, installations, exhibitions or dance, the city lights up the night with a full spectrum of fun and festive discoveries for all!

For its 12th edition on February 28 , the Nuit blanche à Montréal invites you to plunge into the wildest winter night of the year! A shared passion for culture and the arts flows forth and takes hold of our three “quartiers”—Quartier des Spectacles and downtown, Old Montreal, Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile-End—stretching all the way to the two “Pôles” (zones), Pôle Parc Olympique and Pôle Ligne Bleue!

Join the massive celebration and discover or re-discover the creativity of our artists and the incredible wealth of venues and organizations chez nous. With over 200 activities uniquely programmed for the occasion, showcased in a magical wintry ambience, you’ll want to join all your fellow nighthawks in experiencing Montreal as it is reinvented for just one night.

It’s a journey into a glittering world of visual arts, music, comedy, games, dance, spoken word and plenty of other surprises, with a multitude of invitations to discover, share and join in the magic.

In order to help everyone get from one activity to another, we’ve once again established a free shuttle service, and the Métro will remain open all night long for the occasion.

Montréal en Lumière… highlights on gastronomy!

A unique event in the world of delectation, notably for its concept pairing the finest Montreal chefs with the greatest culinary masters from five continents, the gastronomy and wine program of the festival has become an absolute must for foodies. Since 2000, some 500 renowned chefs, wine producers and speakers have taken part, offering unforgettable experiences in such components as the Festival’s Finest Tables, famed for their perfect harmony of food and wine.

Switzerland: a small country with a very big gourmet reputation!

A breathtaking sight all year ’round, Switzerland is a unique tourist destination and ranks among the world’s most beautiful places. Its majestic mountains and lovely lakes are certainly the stuff of dreams… but the Swiss, renowned for their savoir-faire and painstaking pursuit of quality, also represent four distinct cultures, offering us an absolutely enthralling diversity. That’s why Montréal en Lumière is so thrilled to present Switzerland as the featured country of this 16th edition. Switzerland ranks as the country with the most Michelin Guide stars per capita in the world. The delegation of Swiss chefs, led by Pierre-André Ayer, president of Les Grandes Tables de Suisse and owner of restaurant Le Pérolles in Fribourg, consists of twenty incredibly brilliant chefs and passionate wine producers and professionals.

We also invited festival fans to join us for a series of exciting events. the conference entitled The Art of Wine Tasting with the world’s best sommelier, Paolo Basso of Switzerland, the Swiss Fondue Convivial Evenings in the attic of Auberge Saint-Gabriel, where hundreds of guests are expected to delight in Swiss fondue prepared by authentic montagnard Raoul, the Festival of Québec Cheeses in Complexe Desjardins and Presenting: Québec Cheefs and Cheeses. And there are still more must-see events: the new Salon du livre gourmand and the exceedingly accessible sensorial and scientific seminar entitled Edible Oils: delights to discover!

Guest Winemakers

With their incredible diversity, Swiss wines offer a lovely range of character and taste. The richness of the soil is revealed in the highly contrasted topography of a country where vines are sometimes cultivated lakeside, sometimes on steep slopes where wine-growers have shaped the landscape with spectacular terrasses. Wine producers there have developed a unique savoir-faire, highlighting the specific grape varieties of a country that has been cultivating them for over 2000 years. Join us and discover incomparable oenopoetic treasures.

Maison de la Suisse

©Marie Claire Denis - Montréal en Lumière

©Marie Claire Denis – Montréal en Lumière

Thanks to the Maison de la Suisse, our featured country will be very well-represented on the Place des Arts esplanade, at the foot of the stairs. This pavilion invites MEL fans to discover Switzerland in all its splendour.

At the foot of the Place des Arts esplanade, you can enjoy a delicious cheese fondue served in a bread bowl. It’s the perfect winter way to warm up! (free)

At the corner of Ste. Catherine and St. Urbain Streets, and at the foot of the Place des Festivals,  discover a Swiss photo exhibit that will stir your desire to visit the Alps! (free)

Bring family, friends or that special someone out for an exhilarating ride on the Swiss Ferris Wheel, erected right in the middle of Ste. Catherine Street (in front of the MAC)!

Featured American City: Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. takes its own center stage as our featured American city. With some 700,000 inhabitants and visited annually by almost 18 million people, the U.S. capital is equally dazzling at both the cultural and gourmet levels. From power dining to powerful flavors, Washington, D.C.’s restaurant scene is rich with innovative chef-owned restaurants offering game-changing food concepts. D.C.’s cuisine is rooted in local flavors, from neighboring Virginia farms and Maryland seafood, accented by the truly global influence of its ethnic eateries, embassies, and vibrant neighborhoods filled with cultures from around the world. Culinary creativity has boomed in D.C., and this city will confidently satisfy any palate. You absolutely must encounter the six D.C. chefs heading to Montreal especially to wow you with their gourmet gifts.

Quebec region to discover: Lanaudière

Dedicated gourmands find everything they’re looking for in this region located on the doorstep of Montreal, where nature, culture and gastronomy meet. Concocting delicious dishes inspired by the ingenuity and originality of regional producers, the chefs of Lanaudière will treat you to delicious new flavours guaranteed to awaken all of your senses. There will be an array of tastings and demonstration/workshops in Jean-Talon Market.

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