Press release for immediate distribution

Everyone outside!

Spotlight on the free outdoor site

Montreal, Monday, February 6, 2017 — From February 23 to March 11, 2017, the 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE presented by RBC in collaboration with Bell unfurls a ton of new additions! First, this year’s festival welcomes the very first edition of Illuminart, presented by the Casino de Montréal, bringing an absolutely magical new allure to the Quartier des spectacles, with lights, creativity and interactive installations spread all over the downtown core and overflowing on the MEL outdoor site, illuminating our entire city. It’s the perfect way to join in the first celebrations of the year, part of the official program of the 375th anniversary of Montreal! Kicking off this extraordinary year for our city on a high note, the festival promises to rally, razzle and dazzle Montrealers and tourists more than ever as they join in our convivial winter event. In addition, the presence of Lyon as our grand featured city is good news on every front, with the artistic collaboration of the Fête des Lumières and the delicious Lyonnais flavours enhancing the festival menu. No doubt about it, this winter we’ll be welcoming festival fans to our most flamboyant, savoury and diverse edition ever!

presented by the Casino de Montréal

Bringing an entirely new facet to the festival this year, Illuminart reinvigorates the MEL experience with its surprising range, rich program and a wide diversity of works and pieces. The project features 25 artworks fusing technology and light, unveiled on a free 3.6 km circuit in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles! Surprising, impressive and amusing, the program invites curiosity, discovery and exploration, integrating artistic projects into public space while also offering an oasis of light in the heart of winter.

Lyon, featured city of lights

As the ultimate city of lights, Lyon is set to brighten this first edition of Illuminart as our guest featured city. Teams from the city of Lyon, which handle the famed Festival of Light, partnered in the artistic selection of 6 works that were presented in Lyon in December and which will now be part of the Illuminart program: Bétonnière boule miroir by Benedetto Bufalino and Benoit Deseille, Évolutions by Yann Nguema and EZ3kiel, Éléphant rouge by Bibi, Face by Thomas Voillaume, Keyframes by Groupe Laps, and Bamboo by Christophe Mayer.

Proud partners of the 1st edition of Illuminart

“We are proud to support this 1st edition of Illuminart, a free event that showcases the technological savoir-faire of our creators and fuses art and innovation. Long live this new event, which promises to once again highlight and promote our local expertise at the international level! Vive Montréal !”

— Gilbert Rozon, Commissioner of the celebrations of the 375th anniversary of Montreal

“Montréal is happy to support this new artistic initiative by MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, a festival that is a testament to our nordicity, and which never ceases to amaze us with its innovative and unifying character. We are also honoured to welcome our friends from the famed Fêtes des Lumières de Lyon.”

— Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal

light           art              technology

Bétonnière boule miroir by Benedetto Bufalino and Benoit Deseille (Lyon, France), a wild, daring transformation of a cement truck into a gigantic disco ball, igniting an open-air party on an improvised urban dancefloor.

Évolutions by Yann Nguema and EZ3kiel (Lyon, France), an epic illuminated saga of pixels and lasers projected onto the façade of Saint James United Church.

Louis-Philippe St-Arnault, Joseph Lefèvre and Évelyne Drouin of the Société des arts technologiques project Irradiance onto the façade of La Capitale building: a wave of pixels and decibels expressing our relationship with urban space.

An immersive, interactive installation: Passage by Serge Maheu, in the Domtar garden, an illuminated corridor exploring the relationship between light and sound.

Éléphant rouge by Bibi (Lyon, France) illuminates the Promenade des Artistes with hundreds of LED lights and recycled polythene containers.

Illumination of the Promenade des Artistes continues with Abat-jour, a collective work created by visitors during workshops in the Musée d’art contemporain, assembling 200 lampshades.

Fantastic Planet by Amanda Parer (Australia) features gigantic humanoid figures invading the Parterre.

Large Pendulum Wave by Ivo Schoofs of Kinetic Humor (Netherlands) is a monumental kinetic installation powered by the energy of gravity.

Conceived by the students of École des médias de l’UQAM, Instance is an experiential circuit in 5 parts combining interactive projections and installations.

Monument-National, created by 4U2C and students of École nationale de théâtre du Canada, uses architectural projections to celebrate theatre, its history, and the passion of its artisans and students.

A luminous allegory on Man and the Moment, Charlotte by Judith Portier invokes a field of ostrich silhouettes that react to the presence and movement of the crowd.

A collective work created by the residents of Ste. Élisabeth Street, Elizabethan lanterns invokes the lanterns once hung in front of the brothels of yesteryear, giving the neighbourhood its legendary nickname, “Red Light”.

Corde sensible and Terra incognita, conceived by the students of École de design de l’UQAM, offer a sound-and-light glimpse into life in Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance.

Also Mirage takes over the garden near the École de design de l’UQAM, weaving a mysterious ambience in the adjoining garden.

Keyframes of Groupe Laps (Lyon, France) features dozens of illuminated characters invading our urban space, accompanied by a dynamic soundtrack.

L’air du temps en mouvement, created by the graphic arts studio of L’Équipe Spectra, is an aerial graphic exploration that brings to life a mural in Habitations Jeanne-Mance.

The façade of Cégep du Vieux-Montréal features short film United Fish, created by Lucion Media and the students of Cégep du Vieux-Montréal.

One hundred luminous tubes make up Bamboo, the strange illuminated forest created by Christophe Mayer (Lyon, France) in Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance.

An interactive piano illuminates Parc Toussaint-Louverture: Carina Nebula by 4U2C in Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance.

The monumental and interactive video sculpture Face by Thomas Voillaume (Lyon, France) invites the viewer to play with his own identity.

Finally, an otherworldly collective work created by the students of CSDM: Quand la ville s’illumine, j’habite les couleurs.

February 22 to March 11, Wednesday through Saturday — 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (except Nuit blanche, March 4, until 3 a.m.)

For all the details: A mobile application also helps you discover the circuit via an interactive guided visit.

Shows for everyone!

The new Coors Light Zone invites music fans to celebrate on Saturday evenings during the festival, with free concerts guaranteed to thrill one and all! The main Coors Light Stage on the Place des Festivals invites hip-hop fans to experience Québécois rapper Rymz (February 25, 8 p.m.).
On March 4, during the Nuit blanche, Canadian Coleman Hell takes the stage (8 p.m.), followed by Bell DJs M O N I T O R S (9 p.m.) and Misstress Barbara (11 p.m.), in collaboration with the electronic music

festival AIM.

And on March 11, Lisa LeBlanc launches a memorable party on the Place des Festival at 8 p.m. with the folk-trash sound that conquered the nation.  

Still on the Coors Light Stage, other Bell DJs and VJs take turns getting the crowd dancing all festival long at 8 p.m.: Miguel Graça (February 23), Ricardo Rocco (February 24), Ajust and Fam (February 25, 9 p.m.), Mat THC/Yann/Rikam (March 2), MAUS (March 3), CRi + Motions (March 9), Fred Everything & Jojo Flores (March 10) and Thomas Von Party (March 11, 9 p.m.). Finally, our VJs take over the party to spice up the visuals: Ma“ (February 23), Yanneek (February 24, March 4 and 11), Bewoy (February 25 and March 4), Cafrine (March 2 and 10) and Diagraf (March 3 and 9).

Also, for the Nuit blanche (March 4), the outdoor site expands to include Le Parterre and embrace a retro feel, immersing spectators in a very special “Expo 67” ambience: at 7 p.m., Stefie Shock takes over the turntables as DJ before handing the party over at 9 p.m. to Les Vikings, ready to rock the crowd with a special repertoire drawn from the legendary year 1967, accompanied by top-flight musical guests.

And here’s another must-see event: X-Lumina, an original show combining electro-organic music and daring feats of pyro acrobatics at 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, February 23, March 2 and 9, Fridays, February 24, March 3 and 10, and Saturdays, February 25, March 4 and 11.

For the little ones…

Located on Ste. Catherine Street in front of the Musée d’art contemporain, the Gaz Métro Energy Zone is the place to be for family entertainment! At 2 p.m., Mélou invites young and old alike to join in the Mission sourire (February 25 and 26), the characters of Salmigondis experience fun-filled tests (March 4, 5, 10 and 11) and Kattam et ses Tam-Tams get all the wee ones moving and grooving (March 9)!

And needless to say, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is the perfect family rendezvous! With extended hours during the winter break week (from noon on Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 10), the festival also offers the Pay Your Age program, tailor-made to introduce the kids to the joys of gastronomy! A 6-year-old pays $6, a 10-year-old pays $10… Find all the details at

A fun, fantastic outdoor site

The RBC Zip-line

The spectacular RBC Zip-line is back! It’s a wild 200-metre trip powered by Arbraska, an adrenalin rush sending rides soaring over the entire outdoor site, from Balmoral St. almost all the way to St. Urbain. Departure point is in the RBC Someday Zone, where spectators can watch the daring Zip-liners while relaxing by a fireplace. New this year: spin the RBC Someday wheel for a chance to win fabulous prizes!

The Milk Family Fun Zone

This year, the Family Fun Zone gets a makeover! Now laid out on Ste. Catherine Street, it’s more accessible than ever and hosts the Milk Mini-Slide, the super Urban Slide with its new photo booth, new educational games and the Our Cheeses Gourmet Station and dairy bar.

Curling en lumière      New!

A fun new activity on the festival site! Curling en lumière, presented as part of the Les Hivernales series of celebrations of the 375th anniversary of Montreal, futuristic and interactive lit-up version of the iconic Canadian winter game. Spectators can even cheer the players on from the Radio-Canada terrace.

Air France Ferris Wheel

The traditional Ferris Wheel moves to the Place des Festivals this year. And the view from this new location will be as wonderful as ever!

The Bell Luminescent Experience

An out-of-this-world experience! Thanks to a backdrop of LED tubes and a mobile camera, visitors can take home a luminous 360-degree souvenir video!

L’Espace création Illuminart presented by Casino de Montréal

This illuminated dome offers a virtual overview of the artworks of Illuminart, as well as an exclusive fun installation combining art and technology.

Les Tuques bleues

Off-site, you’ll also find les Tuques bleues, a nighttime snowshoeing event on Mount Royal the annual benefit event held by Les Amis de la Montagne, unfolding at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 16. It’s a fun activity that contributes to the conservation of Mount Royal. Registration:

 Bite into the festival!

Lyon in the spotlight

As the festival’s grand featured city this year, Lyon unveils its richness and creativity in varied ways… Start with fine dining flavours, with a delicious gigantic soup concocted by Jospeh Viola, iconic chef of traditional Lyonnais cuisine and Meilleur Ouvrier de France (One of France’s Best Craftsmen), served free of charge on February 25 on the outdoor site. Also, bistro Le Balmoral will be transformed into a characteristic Lyon “bouchon” for the length of the festival, treating us to Lyonnais deliciousness noon and night!

Bistro SAQ

There’s nothing better than the pairing of wines and fine dining to make winter sizzle: soups, sandwiches, duck confit and Lyonnais specialties are on the menu, accompanied by wines, spirits and beers. And don’t forget the famed All-Duck Tasting Evening, featuring distinctive Lyon flavours this year.

Appetizer: Stuffed ravioli with duck confit in onion soup

First course: Belle Aurore Pâté en croûte

Main course: Duck breast stew with foie gras

Dessert: Bugnes lyonnaises (sweet fritters) in chocolate and pralines

Reservations: 1 855 790-1245 •

Nespresso Lounge

A warm, friendly new space where you can enjoy delicious Nespresso coffees. In addition, head to L’Atelier Nespresso located in pop-up restaurant Le Quartier central (1461 Saint-Alexandre Street), where you’ll enjoy a number of special tasty treats as major chefs whip up menus integrating Nespresso coffee as a featured ingredient (limited capacity). Reservations: • 1 855-790-1245

Festival of Our Cheeses

Quebec’s finest cheesemakers will be delighted to answer visitors’ questions, and discuss their creations and the regional distinctions that contribute to the special taste and character to each of their cheeses. Everyone can taste Quebecois “classics” and make surprising discoveries, all while sampling excellent wines and beers. Presented by Fromages d’ici. Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place, Thursday, February 23 to Saturday, February 25. Free admission.

The Mondial des cidres 2017 presented by SAQ

Apple, pear, sparkling, syrup, ice or even fire… discover cider in all its forms. With 20 local artisanal cider producers, tasting sessions, theme evenings, contests, and gourmet stations. Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place, Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 5 (program and information:

Gourmet Pit-Stops

Food trucks: Smoking BBQ, Pizza Kono, Poutine et compagnie, Queues de castor and Gaufrabec

Les Délices de l’érable: maple taffy on snow and other maple products

Our Cheeses and Dairy Bar Gourmet Station: assortment of grilled-cheese sandwiches, hot chocolate, milk-based cocktails with or without alcohol, milk cartons

Amarula: hot or iced drinks and Amarula shooters. Onstage performances

Porto Cabral: an exclusive range of ports, mulled port and Douro wines

SAQ Express Bistro: wine, soft drinks, cocktails, marshmallows and sausages to grill over braziers

Coors Light Bar: beer, soft drinks, marshmallows and sausages to grill over braziers

Curling Bar: beer, mulled wine, shooters, hot dogs stimés

MEL Bar: beer, alcohol on ice, soft drinks, marshmallows and sausages to grill over RBC braziers

Delivery tricycles: cotton candy, hot chocolate and desserts.

Schedule of continuous activities


Thursday and Friday, February 23 & 24: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday, February 26: noon to 6 p.m.

Saturday, February 25: noon to 11 p.m.

Thursday and Friday, March 2 & 3: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday, March 5: noon to 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 4 (Nuit blanche): noon to 3 a.m.


During winter break week — Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 9, 10 & 11: noon to 11 p.m.

About the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary

The Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the festivities and socioeconomic initiatives that will mark Montreal’s 375th birthday in 2017. With a focus on promoting Montreal expertise, it acts as a catalyst for an assemblage of initiatives to fulfill its mandate: mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, manage public funding wisely, develop an exceptional program of events and promote the festivities.

The Society receives financial support from the Ville de Montréal and the Government of Québec, as well as private funding from 11 Great Montrealers. For more information:

To learn more about the Government of Québec’s contribution to Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations:

Get all the info…

Have you got questions during your visit to the site? The Info-Lumière La Presse+ Kiosk are 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 branches in Greater Montreal and in most Montreal tourism sites.

The program of Nuit blanche à Montréal will be revealed February 13.

The 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will run from February 23 to March 11, 2017