Montréal en Lumière (French for “Montreal in Lights”) is one of the largest winter festivals in the world. It is an annual celebration drawing over a million fans to experience the joy of Montreal wintertime through a unique program combining performing arts, gastronomy, free outdoor family activities, and a full night of exquisitely original discoveries! The festival transforms the Quartier des spectacles and its Place des Festivals, the festive heart of downtown, into the ultimate destination. The free outdoor site bursts with open-air activities: braziers, shows, activities for children, outstanding lighting design, all showcasing Montreal’s renowned party spirit and flair for entertainment.
Started in 2000, Montréal en Lumière (also known as the Montreal High Lights Festival) is a 2-week festival that turns the city, to a giant colorful fiesta. This annual celebration registers over 1 million festival site visits from fans experiencing the joy of Montreal wintertime. A true festival of lights, the festival features lights, music, circus arts, song, theater, dance every facet of culture glitters in Montreal during the Arts Program of Montréal en Lumière. The program puts the spotlight on the city with a rich and eclectic program welcoming icons as well as emerging artists from Montreal and abroad. Over the course of the festival, an array of new discoveries, original creations and dazzling performances become part of the daily fabric of Montreal life.
Montréal en Lumière might be about lights, but it’s also about food. Lots of food. Montreal is already well-known as one of the top foodie destinations in the world and the festival embraces this reputation. The Montréal en Lumière features a popular concept of pairing the finest chefs in Montreal with the greatest culinary masters from five continents, the gastronomy and wine program of the festival has become an absolute must for foodies. Since 2000, some 500 renowned chefs, wine producers and speakers have taken part, offering unforgettable experiences in popular events like the festival’s Finest Tables, Fête des fromages (festival of cheese),food tastings and cooking demos.
The highlight of the festival is the Nuit Blanche à Montréal, which is Montreal’s annual all-nighter celebrations. The Nuit Blanche is easily Montréal en Lumières biggest event. It is held on the last Saturday of the festival and over 200 free activities across the city that stretch out until dawn. There is also free public transportation to get festival-goers from one place to another.