Winter is anything but a slow season in Montreal - every year we’re treated to two weeks of amazing nightlife, performances and cultural events, thanks to massive inner-city winter carnival Montreal En Lumière. The much-loved Festival of Lights is about to light up the city for the 18th year running with an exciting program of cultural events and seasonal fun.
Bringing a post-New Year's buzz to the city since 2000, Montreal En Lumière attracts thousands of people each year with its broad-reaching program of events, shows, gastro attractions and all-round celebration of contemporary culture. For lovers of music and performance, there’s as much to see and do as ever before, promising to see off the winter with a bang.
With shows to suit all tastes and budgets, it’s the perfect way to get your social life back into shape after a long holiday. Between Feb 23 and March 11, these are just 10 of the many, many, many shows and art events worth catching during Montreal En Lumière:
1. Les Hay Babies
Feb 24 at 8pm
Super-cute trio Les Hay Babies have been really working the global music circuit, having brought their indie folk-rock and infectious enthusiasm all around Europe, and now you can experience them right here in Montreal. They'll be showing off some tracks from their newest album, La 4ième dimension, supported by blues artist Garret Mason.
Photo cred - Montreal en Lumière
2. Alex Nevsky
March 11 at 8pm
The award-winning Quebec singer Alex Nevsky makes a appearance on this year's program, ready to show us some tracks off his new album after the success of Himalaya mon amour, cementing his status as bona fide pop star. He'll be charming us all at Métropolis towards the end of the festival's run.
3. Charlotte Cardin
March 9 at 8pm
Charlotte Cardin has made quite the impression on the modern music scene, going from La Voix contestant to supporting Mika, and it would be a mistake to miss an outing of Big Boy, her melancholic recent electro-pop EP. She will be preceded by Aliocha, who has recently launched his own debut EP entitled Sorry Eyes.
4. Alex Cuba
March 3 at 8pm
Alex Cuba is known both for his infectious pop and jazz rhythms and for his star-studded resume, boasting collabs with Corrinne Bailey Ray and Nelly Furtado. He'll have the whole room dancing by the end of his set at Club Soda, supported by fellow Montrealer Carlos Placeres.
5. Caroline Savoie
L'Astral - Maison du Festival
Feb 23 at 8pm
At the ripe old age of 22, Caroline Savoie has already played shows all around Canada and Europe, been awarded honours at last year's 2015 Festival international de la chanson de Granby, and just put together her first full-length musical release. Head over to L'Astral and experience her irresistibly warm vocals for yourself.
Photo cred - Instagram
March 1 at 8pm
Straight outta Sherbrooke, Valaire have been making their mark on the music scene for over a decade, appearing here at Festival de Lumière to show off their latest album Oobopopop. They'll be supported by seriously cool New York-based rapper Kahli Abdu.
7. Alejandra Ribera
Feb 28 at 8pm
Alejandra Ribera's enchanting music flows between genres and languages, combining folk, pop, jazz and Latin music to produce a truly unique sound. After the runaway success of La Boca, she's back with a new album and ready to share it with the world.
8. Alain Lefèvre
Maison symphonique de Montréal
Feb 26 at 8pm
With a solid reputation as one of Canada's most prominent musicians and a world-renowned pianist, Alain Lefèvre doesn't need much of an introduction. He'll be playing up a storm in the gorgeous Maison symphonique de Montréal, home to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
9. Matt Holubowski
Feb 23 at 8pm
Opened by a performance from Swedish duo Thus Owls, Matt Holubowski will be bringing his sweet jazz sounds back to Montreal after a rounding success at the Jazz Festival back in 2015. A self-described ‘young man [who] makes old music’, he’ll be showing us his latest tunes from new album Solitudes.
Photo cred - Bruno Pelletier
10. Bruno Pelletier
Le Gesù Theatre
March 3 at 8pm
Québécois superstar Bruno Pelletier will be continuing his multi-decade career with a single night of performance for Montreal en Lumiére. He's a veteran of the music scene with 13 albums and counting, and this could be your chance to witness the silver fox's charm in person.