Must Attend: Montreal En Lumiere

The 14th edition of Montreal En Lumiere is just three short days away and the city is buzzing with excitement. The Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal’s cultural heart, will once again be where Montreal will congregate to celebrate one of our city’s coolest festivals.

In addition to offering an amazing line-up of cultural events in several of the Quartier’s venues, the festival will host its prime free outdoor programming in and around Place des Festivals. The event is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our city’s creativity and our northern spirit. The quality of the programming shows us that Montreal’s cultural life doesn’t hide away under a cozy blanket during this cold weather, but rather gets inspired by it. 

Having attended last year’s festival, we can attest that the main attraction lies within the free outdoor programming. Filled with foodie delights, there will be gourmet pit-stops all over the site, musical entertainment with high-calibre free outdoor shows and DJ sets, a grandiose gigantic slide bringing you back to your childhood days, stunning visuals and over-the-top projections that truly light up the entire event.

Since there is always so much to do, we compiled a little list of must-dos and sees for those of you that plan on visiting.

– The ever-successful gourmet pit-stops are back! There will be a variety of tastes and budgets for everyone such as L’Atelier d’Argentine and its giant BBQ serving beef and pork sandwiches, the Maison du chocolat and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory satisfying our chocolate cravings, and stands offering Belgian waffles and frites last year the waffles were absolutely to die for! Aside from these, the Provigo Sphere will offer local producers the chance to showcase and let you taste regional treats.

– Since each edition is completely packed with crowds, this year a new main street has been added to the site. The festival’s free outdoor site will extend further into the Quartier des Spectacles by adding the Promenade des Artistes (De Maisonneuve Blvd) into its program. What can you find there? The Totems exquis Casino de Montreal will offer a stunning interactive tableau, inviting visitors to assemble strange, enormous creatures and project them onto UQAM’s Pavillon Président-Kennedy, a photo exhibit marking the 10th anniversary of Nuit Blanche and much more!

– This year, the RBC Dome will be transformed into a huge, eye-catching 360-degree movie theatre! Being showcased are films such as BLOOP, relating the story of water in all its states. On weekends, just outside the Dome, at the Vive le hockey RBC Tent, fans can meet RBC Olympic athletes Benoit St-Amand, luge hockey gold medalist in the Paralympic Games, and Caroline Ouellette, ice hockey triple gold medalist in the Winter Olympic Games.

– What’s the best way to stay warm even on the chilliest of nights? The answer is dancing your winter boots off! Every night, Bell DJs and VJs alongside the illuminate dome will be spinning the hippest beats for the crowd to go crazy to. Guest DJs include Roux Soundsystem, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Random Recipe DJ, Pablo Guadalupe, DJ Angelo and more. This is definitely one of the craziest parts of the festival and must be participated in!

– For all the music lovers, The RBC Stage is back and will feature some of today’s finest artists. Where else can you catch extraordinary outdoor winter performances by some of today’s finest artists for free? Some of the performers include Dumas, the sparkling Pascale Picard Band, Latino-Quebecois beatboy Boogat, legendary Montreal indie-rock group GrimSkunk and our personal favourite, David Usher in the festival closer.

– Finally, the festival wouldn’t be complete without the return of the Festival of Quebec Cheeses at the Grande-Place in Complexe Desjardins. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet Quebec cheese makers, whose diverse collection of exceptional products will satisfy any real food lover. Aside the delectable cheeses, you can also discover various wines, ciders and beers on the site.

So, Montreal young professionals, make sure you set aside at least an entire evening and visit this spectacular event – we can guarantee you haven’t experienced something like this before. Don’t forget to bundle up!


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Other images: Frederique Menard-Aubin