Montreal en Lumiere
Updated: Feb 10
We talk a lot about Montreal as a growing business hub, about our green initiatives and other practical subjects. It is important to remember that Montreal is a cultural hub where millions of people visit every year to enjoy our many festivals. One of our favorites is Montreal en Lumiere! This week-long festival runs from February 20th to March 1st.
This festival comes in several parts. Food, Fun, and Festivities being the main three.
Food: The first feature is food. For this festival Montreal fine dining restaurants open their doors wide with special menus featuring the latest and most delicious creations Montreal has to offer. In addition, Quartier Gourmand opens to the public where you can hear talks from renowned names in gastronomy with Chefs, Sommeliers and more. There are also workshops and tastings featuring food from around the world. For those over 18 there is a broad selection of wines and spirits to try as well.
On February 22, Nuit Gourmande, launches where over 100 restaurants, cafés, and stores stay open extra late offering activities for the night and both paid and free tastings. Establishments in 9 boroughs take part in the extended night of gastronomy.
All through the week Air France’s Finest Tables are open to you. You can taste the combined creations of one of Montreal’s greatest Chefs teamed with one of the greatest Chefs the world has to offer. Previous entrants have included locals like Chef Normand Laprise, Chef Dany Bolduc, and Chef Gilles Tolen.
There are also food and drink tours all week sponsored by Tastet.ca, Montreal’s definitive restaurant guide. These tours show you the best that Montreal has to offer. The Discover Greek Cuisine in Montreal tour will take you to 5 of the best Greek restaurants in town. Sake Discovery takes you to some top Japanese Restaurants for sake tasting with Kuniko Fujita. There are a number more, each focusing on a different culinary delight.
Fun: The Montreal en Lumiere outdoor site is a great local as well. You can enjoy free shows, gourmet food and stroll through “Illuminart”, an interactive outdoor art work. There is also the Quebec Maple Ferris wheel to get a new view on the city. For the more active, there is the exhilarating 180-meter RBC Zip-line that takes you from one end of the site to the other, or the 110-meter downhill Milk Urban Slide. There are fire places on site here to warm your cold hands or toast a marshmallow or two.
Festivities: Nuit Blanche is an all-night party that last year covered 200 activities spread across the city. The metro is open all night to help you get around to the many events.
This festival is huge, and while the program for this year is not out yet, it makes a big difference if you plan your night in advance. It is easy to get lost in so many attractions from art, music, dance and theater as well as food and who knows what else. If there is a specific event or two on the program list you want to get to, make sure to plan them in before you get drawn into something else. This event is run both in and out of doors so make sure to dress warmly. Most, but not all, of the activities are free. Over 300,000 people attended last year!