For the next 11 days Montréal is taking winter head on with the fun-packed Montréal en Lumière. Running from February 16 until February 25, this outdoor event offers live music, culinary events, performance art, exhibits, light shows and plenty of free activities.
Be sure to throw on your long underwear so you can enjoy the fireworks, ice skating, circus acts, street theatre, puppet shows, outdoor dancing and winter tam tams. Learn how Montréalers survive the long winter!
The festival head quarters is in the Quartier des spectacles in the heart of Place des Arts. There will be an on going art display lighting displays, fireworks spectacles, outdoor musical concerts and characters in illuminated costumes specially created for MEL wandering around.
Be sure to visit the MEL Urban slide. This 330” (110-metre) slide has sound effects, multicolored lighting and smoke effects all activated by the body heat of a slider. It’s an exhilarating winter ride in the heart of the city. Check it out and get your blood pumping so you can stay warm for all the other outdoor activities.
This audiovisual spectacle created by Geodezik and Marc Leclair transforms a nearby building into a spectacular projections with characters inspired by Magritte, Alice in Wonderland and Star Wars. The duo manages to combine hilarious and psychedelic scenarios that are eye candy.
Escales Gourmandes will provide gourmet stopovers ranging from homemade soups to duck sausage. This year the festival will highlight Belgium’s Brussels and Wallonia region with booths offering taste tests and samples to enjoy. The big hit is rumored to be their hot cranberry cider. The SAQ Ice Bistro will be also offering wine tastings. You won’t have to look far for poutine and other delicious variations on the French fries. The delicious Grumman food truck will arrive on the scene as well to serve tacos. It’s a foodie’s haven with something for everyone on any kind of budget. (You’ll need to keep your strength up to take in all the concerts and shows.)
The final blow out is Nuit Blanche on Feb 25th – Montreal’s wildest night of the year when the whole city stay open all night long. There’s an artistic circuit filled with storytelling, art exhibitions, film, theatre, dance, comedy and music along St Laurent, Rue St Denis, Sherbrooke Street, Ste Catherine Street and in the Plateau. The city museums including the Beaux Arts, Pointe-à-Callière are open (and free) for anyone to wander through and see the art at night. The city provides a free shuttle service to ferry you around from event to event and even offers free coffee and hot chocolate at City Hall in Old Montreal. It’s a great evening for exploring the city and partying all night long with Montrealers thumbing their nose at Old Man Winter.
The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and Delta Montreal are offering a special couple festival package. Starting at $282 the package includes two nights accommodation with breakfast included, a culinary tour Flavours and Aromas of Old Montreal, a wine & cheese tasting at SAQ Bistro and festival souvenirs. The Hyatt Regency and Days Inn Montreal are offering a family package (2 adults and 2 children) starting at $124, which includes two nights accommodation with breakfast with discount coupons and treats for a family of four. A great bargain for seeing the festival.