Nuit Blanche is Montreal’s weekend-long arts festival that finishes off the Montreal Highlights Festival. Create your own itinerary from more than 165 indoor and outdoor activities featuring art, dance and music performances. It’s one of the wildest nights of the year when the whole city stays awake for the entire night. Restaurants, museums, clubs and cafes stay open to serve everyone.
The highlight is the ART SOUTERRAIN (underground art) with two miles of 14 art zones with 140 displays connected through this year’s theme of Passageways. The course is constructed as an improvisational stroll where you can wander and get acquainted with local and international artists. Tickets to the Arts let you play games, answer questions and solve riddles regarding the artworks and enter draws for prices. This year, the Tickets to the Arts will take place in five sites: 1000 de la Gauchetière, Gare Centrale, Place Ville Marie, McGill metro station and the Eaton Centre.
If art is not your thing then head over to Quartier des spectacles at Place des Arts to listen to some music and enjoy the interactive slide. There’s also plenty happenning in the Plateau. Viist Parc Lafontaine for Espace La Fontaine (ELF), a semi-choreographed ball, Swiss fondue, video-dance… invites heat-seeking visitors to watch, listen, create and dance, all the while enjoying warming food and drinks at comforting prices. Take some free dance lessons at Air de Tango on St-Laurent. You can even get your hair done on The Main.
Head over to Club Soda for the 8th instalment of Karnival, the party started by local legendary DJ Poirier who will be two Brazilian dance troupes and several of his collaborators. This free event goes from 10pm-3am.
The city museums including the Beaux Arts, 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. The Pointe-à-Callière is open all night and you can watch a demo of Les Forges de Montréal smelting iron. You can also participate in some tango lessons at Studio Tango (8, 9:45 & 11:30pm, 1:15am).
It’s a great evening for exploring the city and partying all night long with Montrealers thumbing their nose at Old Man Winter. Just drink plenty of coffee and you’ll be able to keep up with the locals.