Magic takes over downtown Montreal!
Montreal, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 — The free outdoor site of this 17th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, presented by RBC in collaboration with Bell, promises to be nothing short of magical! With completely reconceived lighting effects and displays, and a redesigned site extending beyond the Place des Festivals and the Place des Arts esplanade, fans will revel in a magnificent and dynamic playground packed with installations and activities for all, most of them free. Of course, our new additions include an array of activities focused on our grand featured city, Shenzhen, a giant illuminated marionette show created specially for MEL and an exclusive avant-premiere of an installation from the immense Illuminart project, a panoply of technological works that will spring fully to life during the next edition of the festival, kicking off festivities for the 375th anniversary of Montreal. And let’s not forget the great MEL “classics” including the urban slides, the famous Zip-line that allows fans to zoom over virtually the entire site from west to east, the ferris wheel and the Gourmet Pit-Stops, ready to once again tempt and amaze us with their inspired menus. And if that isn’t enough, we’re extending the hours on the free outdoor site to include the winter break week, for even more time to celebrate! Join us from February 18 to March 5…
Shenzhen, our grand featured Chinese city
Our featured city (or country) has probably never been so beautifully represented on our outdoor site! First of all, it will be utterly impossible to miss the one hundred miniature Kongzi figures taking over the centre-west steps of the Place des Festivals. Kongzi? Yes, that means Confucius, and in a larger sense, also embraces other philosophers and sages united by the same school of thought from traditional Chinese culture. The Hello Kongzi project aims to promote the universal values of Chinese culture—kindness, rectitude, propriety, wisdom and sincerity—and invites the entire world to discover China from a new perspective. Right next door, you’ll find their big brother, an enormous version of the Kongzi, an ice sculpture standing 4.5m tall!
A little further south, the Hello Kongzi Dome is also dedicated to our eponymous hero, with a kiosk offering information on his history, a Chinese shadow puppet workshop (where you can make your own short film, image by image!) and another letting you create Chinese lanterns. Kongzi will also be in the MAC, as part of a painting workshop inviting fans to paint their own figurine. In the Galerie de la Maison du Festival, fans will find an exhibition of 24 Shenzhen design posters—remember that Shenzhen, like Montreal, has been a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network since 2008, and has been named a UNESCO City of Design! Finally, the Grand Chinese Ferris Wheel (right in the middle of Ste. Catherine St., in front of the MAC) will lift fans up for a ride in the sky and a magnificent view of the illuminated site, and a photo exhibit will showcase Shenzhen at its loveliest. And join us to kick off the party with a 100% thrilling open-air Chinese pop concert, the Shenzhen Pop Music Show (February 18, 8 p.m., RBC Stage)!
This year will also feature the very first Festival of Lanterns in Montreal’s Chinatown. From February 6 to 29, giant pandas and traditional lanterns created in China will illuminate Place Sun Yat-Sen and the pedestrian corridor of De La Gauchetière West to celebrate the arrival of the Chinese New Year (Year of the Monkey). In collaboration with the Consulate General of China in Montreal and the Montreal Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Place des Festivals
Join us every day at the northern end of the Place des Festivals! Start at the RBC Stage, a remarkable tailor-made project created by the MEL team: a huge 3-in-1 stage that functions as a concert stage, a DJ/VJ site and… a theatrical showcase! This is where you can experience this year’s major new addition, created exclusively for our event: Théâtre de la Dame de Cœur presents a wild winter saga featuring giant marionettes and famous figures. Just one performance by these gigantic, flamboyant figures and you’ll understand why we’ve titled this show Démesure (“Outrageous”)! Every day except Sunday, sometimes twice per day (various times)! To keep the fun rolling, our entertainment hosts from Théâtre de la Dame de Cœur also invite us to marionette workshops for all, Saturdays and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday and Friday during Winter Break week, where you can choose a marionette, design its expressions, and then bring it to life!
In addition to the display of Chinese talent launching the event (the Shenzhen Pop Music Show, the RBC Stage will also host three super parties at 8 p.m., guaranteed to get everyone dancing and celebrating: the fiery Boogie Wonder Band at 8 p.m., ready to kick into a powerhouse party of disco hits (February 20) ; the concert-projection-event Elvis Gratton Picture Show, starring our most colourful film hero and screenings of the King’s greatest films, with a live performance by Misteur Valaire (February 27)—the perfect kick-off to the Nuit blanche!; and the Arena Rock of Les Vikings (March 5), an explosion of hits specially conceived for true rock fans, with guests including Rémi Chassé, Wilfred LeBouthillier, Jason Roy Léveillée, Sébastien Lacombe… And for the kids (but parents can come, too…), add Atchoum et ses microbes (February 21, 2 p.m.), a contagious rock show that will have everyone dancing, and Ari Cui Cui mijote un voyage (February 28, 2 p.m.), a zany chef beloved by kids, who sets off on a voyage of discovery… in her own imagination, exploring different rhythms and traditional dishes of the world.
Bell DJs and VJs presented in collaboration with Nightlife.ca
This winter is gonna be hot-hot-hot, as everyone gets ready to dance-dance-dance! At 9 p.m., once again on the RBC Stage, it’s time for grooves generated by Montreal DJs Nathan Burns & Soundshaper (February 18), Lost Heroes (February 19), Ostrich (February 20), Alex Gragnani and Kressel live (February 25), Nymra & Sofisticated (February 26), Lebaron (Aim party) (February 27), Monitors (March 3), Or Room (La Bacchanale) (March 4), My Favorite Robot (March 5), but also Joakim from France (February 19), Chaim from Israel (February 26), Alexi Delano from Chile (February 27, 11 p.m.) and Silky from England (March 5). Amazing visuals will be woven by the VJs of Normalboysandgirls!
The RBC Zip-line
This sound-and-light version 2.0 of the Zip-line is an immediate hit with festival fans! Powered by Arbraska, this very popular attraction features two cables stretched above the outdoor site, allowing fans to zoom over the action, from the Place des Festivals almost all the way to St. Urbain Street! In the RBC Someday Zone, friends and family members can watch the daring riders soar over the illuminated site while they settle comfortably into Adirondack chairs (even a gigantic version) around a supersized fireplace and ice sculpture. They can also take a selfie and send the results via #Someday, then collect a prize from the Twitter Vending Machine. Finally, in addition to the marionette workshop held by the Théâtre de la Dame de Cœur, we’re all invited to Voyage au pays du thé, an introductory and tasting workshop in the RBC branch (corner De Bleury and Ste. Catherine), Thursdays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m.
Bell presents the ARTLUX interactive station
Everyone already knows the illuminated zone dominated by the big glassed-in Boîte Bell in the middle of the Place des Festivals. This year, right next door, discover the ARTLUX interactive station, an extraordinary experience inviting participants to become both artists and models and create digital artworks that will be projected and illuminated live on their bodies and faces. The results will be photographed and sent to each participant. A must-see activity presented in collaboration with MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and St-Victoire.
Espace Casino de Montréal
Remember that fab tiki style? Well it’s back in Espace Casino de Montréal! Come and discover the exciting contrast between Montreal winter and the colours and ambience of the South Seas… featuring diverse menus, fantastic décor, music, entertainment and, of course, extravagant cocktails! It’s the imaginary fusion of a Polynesian dream and Québec reality, with fiery percussion demos by the bateria LE BLOCO, live animated characters, ice sculptures en direct created by the masterful Laurent Godon et fils, and live-action surfing duels in a full-on party atmosphere – come and electrify your senses with the best kind of culture shock! The menu features pork spare ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, chili and poutine from Fumoir Rubs Smokehouse, delicious giant, hand-rolled soft pretzels from Mr. Pretzels, petits pains stuffed with cheese fondue from SOS Fondue, gyros and soups by Neòs cuzina grecque, not to mention the mixology activities of Lab, Comptoir à Cocktails.
Le Bistro du festival presented by the SAQ
Here, festival fans will be on home ground. Our trio of geodesic domes offers a menu including cheese platters, soups, dumplings, porchetta sandwiches… and a selection of wines, cocktails and beers. And don’t forget the now-classic All-Duck tasting evening and the new All-Pork tasting evening (details at the end of this communiqué). Fans can also treat themselves to the special new event 5 à huîtres on Fridays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., where they can enjoy Notkins oysters perfectly paired with wines suggested by a SAQ product expert!
Galerie de la Maison du Festival
Spazuk, Chant libre — Since 2001, Steven Spazuk has expressed his art through the unique technique of “fire-painting” images onto paper. His paintbrush is an open candle flame, burning his blank sheet to create a soot effect, which he sculpts using pens, feathers, scrapers and brushes. In his new exhibition, he hands the mic over to the birds, letting them sing loud and proud that they want to keep on living, whistling and chirping, whether solo or in a big band format. And it is magnificent! The artist will also offer an exclusive performance in the Galerie during the Nuit blanche (February 27). Free admission. February 18 to May 15.
Shenzhen design, in 24 posters — Dedicated to the Shenzhen theme, this exhibition celebrates Chinese design with 24 selected art posters. A project made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Shenzhen Guan Shanyue Art Museum. Free admission. February 18 to March 5.
Promenade des Artistes
The very first interactive Illuminart installation!
In 2017, Illuminart—a new free event solidifying Montreal’s position as a “Smart and Digital City”—will establish itself as an annual international crossroads for illuminated, interactive and immersive avant-garde creativity. Its array of technological works will further confirm the status of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE as a creative laboratory and showcase, part of an international circuit of events dedicated to the theme of light! Illuminart is one of the 181 projects selected as part of the Montreal initiative Je fais MTL. It all begins in 2017… but this year we’ll enjoy an avant-premiere with the Island of Warmth, a bonfire of bulbs that flashes to life and activates under the effect of human body heat! As they stroll and dance around, festival fans will stir up the embers and send the flames spiraling higher, swirling and whirling and creating heat, light and music. Awaken your inner flame! On De Maisonneuve Blvd., corner Jeanne-Mance. Created by Atomic 3 co-presented by Illuminart and the Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles, with the support of the Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal.
The Place des Arts esplanade and Ste. Catherine St.
The Milk Family Fun Zone and its two urban slides
The kids want an encore… and so do the grownups! Welcome to the perfect family rendezvous site “above” the Place des Arts esplanade: the Milk Mini-Slide, the gigantic Urban Slide—a wild 110-metre long serpentine descent featuring sound effects and multicolored lights!—as well as Giant-sized parlour games, a photo contest and, at the foot of the long slide on Ste. Catherine St., the Our cheeses Grilled Cheese Bar and Milk Bar!
Espace Financière Sun Life
A wide array of activities await in front of the Musée d’art contemporain, from entertainment—musicians, dancers, jugglers, fire-breathers and street artists—to our ever-popular braziers, whether you’re roasting marshmallows, grillinh sausages or simply warming up a little. The Brighter Life Journey also returns to help us realize the impact small gestures have on our daily lives… and our finances. It’s an extraordinary immersive experience allowing participants to use the famed Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses to bring one of 3 major projects to “life”.
Provigo Interactive Studio, dumplings bar
Provigo invites us to take over its TV studio and cook up vegetarian dumplings under the guidance of its chefs. You’ll head home with yummy Chinese delights and a souvenir video of our cooking show! On Ste. Catherine St., facing the MAC entrance; open until 11 p.m. during the Nuit blanche.
Sunwing.ca Photo Studio
Get into the #ModeSunwing with this special Gif! Ease into the mood created by the tropical décor and Caribbean music and imagine yourself relaxing on one of the world’s great South Sea beaches… And by participating in the contest, you could win a trip to the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba thanks to Sunwing.ca!
Laval: soup is served!
What’s better than a piping hot bowl of home-cooked soup to warm your heart and tantalize your tastebuds in the dead of winter? Join us for a bowl flavored with pumpkin, curry and coconut milk prepared by chef Pascal Laurier and the Ferme Jeunes au travail de Laval in front of Bistro Le Balmoral, on Saturday, February 20 from 4 p.m. It’s all free… while it lasts!
Musée d’art contemporain: free Hello Kongzi activity
The Carnaval culturel international Hello Kongzi, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and the MAC invite festival fans to paint Hello Kongzi figurines. Your creations will transpose the traditional Chinese school of thought to different cultural contexts in a captivating and creative way. Each figurine measures 33 cm, and the project will take about 2 hours to complete. Starting Thursday, February 11 (schedule, registration and details at montrealenlumiere.com). In addition, from February 18 to March 6, the MAC will present a free pedagogical exhibition showcasing figurines painted by participants during the workshop!
Gourmet Pit-Stops: something for every taste!
In addition to the stops named above, you’ll find an array of varied gourmet offerings located just about everywhere on the site:
The festival express Bistro presented by the SAQ: wines, flavored coffees, beers, grilling sausages and marshmallows to roast.
Belgian waffles: plain, chocolate, etc.
Our cheeses Grilled Cheese Bar and Milk Bar: grilled cheese with Québec cheeses, flavored milk, hot chocolate, berlingots.
Amarula: Amarula coffees and shooters, entertainment.
Rickard’s Bar: beer, grilling sausages and marshmallows to roast.
MEL Bar: beer, wine and cocktails.
Café Jura: espresso, cappuccino and spiked coffees.
Porto Cabral: exclusive range of ports, hot port and port wines.
Two delivery tricycles: maple cotton candy, beignets and hot chocolate.
Le Mondial des Cidres 2016
An event inviting everyone to appreciate the savoir-faire of twenty Quebec artisanal cider producers and discover cider in all of its forms. Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place, Thursday, February 25 to Saturday, February 27 (program and information: mondialdescidres.com).
The Festival of Our Cheeses
The traditional Festival of Our Cheeses will be held from Thursday, February 18 to Saturday, February 20 (11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) on the Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place. It’s a fantastic opportunity for fans to meet Quebec cheesemakers, whose incredibly diverse and exceptionally high-quality range of products never cease to impress.
New: extended hours for the outdoor site
Thursday, February 18: 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Friday, February 19: 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday, February 20: noon-11 p.m.
Sunday, February 21: noon-6 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Friday, February 26: 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday, February 27 (Nuit blanche): noon-3 a.m.
Sunday, February 28: noon-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 3: noon-11 p.m.
Friday, March 4: noon-11 p.m.
Saturday, March 5: noon-11 p.m.
Off-site, Tuques bleues, a nighttime snowshoe adventure on Mount Royal, the annual benefit event held by Les Amis de la montagne which kicks off at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 18. A festive activity that contributes to the conservation of Mount Royal. Registration: tuquesbleues.com
Bistro du festival All-Pork evening presented by the SAQ
In addition to the ever-popular All-Duck tasting evening, the Bistro presents its new menu dedicated to Quebec pork, paired with wines suggested by a SAQ product expert (March 3, 6 p.m.):
First course (aperitif) — Cutting board of charcuterie and condiments
Second course — Pea soup with pulled pork
Third course — Caramelized pork belly and confit, salade frisée, poached egg and fingerling potatoes
Fourth course — Pork osso-buco with mushrooms, vegetables au gratin and Brussels sprouts with Chinese flavors
Fifth course — Assortment of minidesserts by chef Romain Lerot
Reservations: 1 855 790-1245 • ticketmaster.ca
Details and menus: montrealenlumiere.com
Get all the info…
Have you got questions during your visit to the site? The Info-Lumière La Presse+ Kiosk, located on Ste. Catherine St. near Jeanne-Mance St., is ready with the answers. You’ll also find all the info on the free outdoor site programming in the free official program. Pick one up on the festival site, in RBC and SAQ branches in Greater Montreal and in most Montreal tourism sites. Info-Lumière La Presse+ Line: 514-288-9955 or, toll free, at 1 85LUMIERES; montrealenlumiere.com.
The program of Nuit blanche à Montréal will be revealed February 9. The 17th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will be held from Thursday, February 18 to Sunday, March 5.
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