At that very moment when it seems as though winter will never end; snow will keep falling, days will keep getting shorter, life as we know will cease to exist ... Montreal En Lumiere begins! This year, the beloved festival, which runs from February 20th to March 2nd, is celebrating 15 years of giving Montrealers incredible live music, performance art, culinary events and so much more.
This bilingual group will have you rethinking your definition of hip hop and rap. Born and bred in Montreal, they've been making a name for themselves in our fair city and, on February 27th, will be performing a free show at the RBC Stage. Known for their playful and energetic stage presence, and their biting Franglais lyrics, this is one show you cannot afford to miss.
This might just be everyone's favorite part of Montreal En Lumiere. On March 1st, our beautiful city will be bumping and grinding all night long with more than 200 FREE activities to satisfy your every interest; cinema, dance, theatre, literature, music and so much more. For those of you who have never experienced Nuit Blanche (living under a rock, eh?), the metro will be open all night long and free shuttles will be running throughout the six areas of the festival. We recommended downloading the Nuit Blanche app in order to plan out your itinerary - this is not a night where you want to leave your plans up to chance; you'll definitely miss out on great shows if you do!
Place Des Arts Esplanade Activities
While you're checking out all of the incredible musical acts in the Place Des Festivals, make sure you take some time to explore all of the free activities at the Esplanade. Milk will set up their famous urban slide, photo booth and dairy bar. The Provigo Sphere will be home to every sweet confection you can imagine. Air France is setting up a ferris wheel - that's right, a ferris wheel! - with beautiful views of downtown Montreal. Sun Life Financial will provide an innovative and immersive experience using virtual reality glasses. What more do we have to say to get you there?
The Place Des Festivals area of Montreal En Lumiere is home to several incredible free performances, including a jam session by folk-rock artist Jimmy Hunt. Head over to the RBC stage this Friday, February 21st to catch this singer-songwriter in action.
This year, the festival's culinary spotlight is on Quebec. Jean-Talon Market will be home to several renowned chefs from the Laurentians who will share their expertise with the public on February 22nd and 23rd. Workshops will be held on the 2nd floor mezzanine and will include a look at cheeses, maple syrups and wines from this region of Quebec.
As always, the festival will offer options for tastings and workshops throughout its whole 11 day run. There's something for everyone's budget - from free tastings to $150+ workshops. Take a look at their website to see what they have in store for you; you can even search by budget.
Add a little punk rock to your life by checking out Xavier Cafeïne (for free!) at the RBC Stage on February 22nd. This show is bound to be heart-thumping, head-banging, mosh-pitting fun. Cafeïne's just coming off the incredible success of his last album and will be delivering a high-powered performance the likes of which you may not ever see again.
Bet.e & Stef
Familiar to Jazz Fest aficionados, this bossa nova duo will be doing a free performance on the RBC Stage on February 26th. They've been MIA for a decade so you know you don't want to miss this - this show will focus on all new music, a new atmosphere and a new found passion for their art. We're expecting them to hit it out of the park with this one and they've never disappointed us before!
Another local singer-songwriter who will be honoring us with his presence on the RBC Stage on February 28th. The thing about Bajada is ... he has officially transitioned into a French-language musician. Although his music still focuses on love and heartbreak, the fact that he is now singing (and writing songs) in French gives his performances a little bit of that extra something-something. By the end of the night, you will be hooked!
Francophones will definitely be familiar with Cormier, whether it be from his multi-Felix award wins or his stint as a judge on La Voix - Quebec's edition of The Voice. However, for those of you who don't know who he is, head over to his free show on the RBC Stage (corner of Jeanne-Mance Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard) on February 20th. An extremely talented guitarist, Cormier will start off your Montreal En Lumiere experience on the right note.
This year, Montreal En Lumiere is shining a special light on Haiti. Musicians and artists will be showcasing the country's incredibly rich culture through live performances and photo exhibitions. The Flavours of Haiti Kiosk in the Place Des Festivals will showcase delicious culinary creations and don't miss the Hot Haitian Impro Night during Nuit Blanche - music and comedic improv will make it a performance to remember!