Press release for immediate distribution

Address by Mr. Jacques-André Dupont, CEO

Opening of the 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE

Montréal, Thursday, February 23, 2017 — We are delighted today to welcome you to the launch of this 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, presented by RBC in collaboration with Bell. We are extremely proud of this special edition celebrating the 375th anniversary of Montreal, and in many respects.

Above all, we are very proud of the success of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, which has never ceased to grow, innovate, surprise and above all, assemble thousands upon thousands of fans since its creation in 2000. Over the years, MEL has become a unifying event, a genuine cultural engine involving 300 partners from all domains and sectors of the Montreal cultural scene.

With the support of thirty co-presenters, we offer a rich and diverse artistic program ranging from music to the circus arts, theatre, opera and fine arts, in 40 different venues. In addition to this year’s honorary president, the grand Daniel Lavoie, the festival welcomes a number of prestigious artists including rising classical music star Alexandre Da Costa with his fabulous project Stradivarius à l’opéra, as well as Benjamin Biolay, Tryo, Al Di Meola, Agnes Obel, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Rickie Lee Jones.

This year’s gourmet program is another tremendous unifying force that’s even more tantalizing than ever… And what’s better than fine dining and a wonderful meal in good company? With Lyon as our grand featured city, we can unanimously declare that this looks like an edition beyond compare. A global gourmet capital renowned for its gastronomical treasures and generosity, Lyon brings us its internationally renowned chefs, with our two honorary co-presidents, Jérôme Bocuse and Christophe Muller, as its most prestigious ambassadors. And with the chefs of the Délice network also joining the program, we can affirm that this 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will present an unprecedentedly diverse gourmet offering.

Yet beyond all of these wonderful surprises, we are delighted to note how this festival manages to renew itself, offering fans a revitalized experience every year. That’s right—the most luminous and unifying edition ever awaits us!

Why? In addition to all the unforgettable elements that have built the festival’s reputation at home and abroad—including all of its wild free activities, the magical Nuit blanche and its electrifying outdoor shows—this year’s MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE welcomes a fabulous new addition that completely changes the game: Illuminart, an oasis of light that sets the Quartier des spectacles ablaze with 25 luminous creations by artists from here and abroad. Together, we have literally illuminated winter, piercing through the darkness to create a wonderland of light that enchants the entire city, and we invite all Montrealers and tourists to join us and enjoy this moment of collective joy. Transcending communities and differences, uniting all ages, the only thing required to discover this magical circuit is a sense of curiosity. Assembling such a variety of impressive and technically demanding creations in the downtown core in the midst of winter was an imposing challenge—a challenge that was vigorously undertaken by our production team, for the benefit and pleasure of all. To recap, Illuminart is the culmination of the Rendez-vous de la créativité multimédia interactive et lumineuse project presented at the Je vois Montréal forum, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal in autumn 2014. This was a commitment we took up in collaboration with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, aiming to spotlight Montreal as a smart and digital city, affirming its position as an innovative metropolis and inspiring Montrealers’ civic pride with an annual event that is original, unprecedented, urban and accessible free of charge.

Winter has become an undeniable asset for the cultural and tourist vitality of our downtown core! Creating a fun, playful event that shakes up winter routine and lassitude, focusing on the pleasure of being outdoors and taking advantage of the benefits of winter, a comforting ambience and the pleasure of getting together… What better way to showcase our nordicity and make the most of everything that makes our city special!

As a result, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has evolved into a formidable cultural and touristic attraction, drawing hundreds of thousands of festival fans every year. And what more can we say about the 350,000 entries racked up by the Nuit blanche—the event that draws the biggest crowd in a single day on the annual Montreal event calendar!

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has also become an indispensable engine for our cultural vitality. The festival has become a launchpad for our local artists, offering them the opportunity to make their Montreal returns in midwinter—something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Alain Lefèvre, Matt Holubowski, Alejandra Ribera, Bruno Pelletier, Bobby Bazini, Alex Nevsky, Charlotte Cardin, Daniel Lavoie, the Hay Babies, Peter Peter, Valaire and Suuns will all present the Montreal premieres of their new shows at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE.

And on the strength of that success, with the wind in our sails, we look towards the future and the next challenge facing us: the 2018 edition. Indeed, in view of the success of the artistic and gourmet programming of this 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and the enthusiasm greeting the first edition of Illuminart, we hope above all to be able to assure festival fans that this wonderful adventure will continue in the future. We hope that Illuminart becomes a recurrent event and an essential element of our winter season, so that the joie de vivre and pleasure of getting together that fill the Quartier des spectacles will endure and become an integral part of Montreal’s cultural life and tourism sector.

We also hope to witness the growth of another facet of Montreal’s cultural wealth: gastronomy. Drawing inspiration from the Lyon model, wherein gastronomy is a tremendous tourism draw that enjoys an enviable visibility and strong support, we would like to see the magnificence of Montreal’s gourmet scene supported with the same enthusiasm and steadfastness as the performing arts, circus arts and dance. Given all of our talented, creative and innovative chefs, Montreal can develop another facet of its international reputation with the right support.

All of this involves teamwork and a vision of the future. We are proud of this collective effort, this unity that powers our event and surpasses itself every year. We emphasize the essential support of our loyal partners, RBC, Bell, the City of Lyon, the organization of the Fête des Lumières, Producteurs de lait du Québec, the Casino de Montréal, the Société des alcools du Québec, Gaz Métro, Air France, the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal, Coors Light, Nespresso, Complexe Desjardins, as well as all our partners and official suppliers. We also thank our three levels of government for their enduring support: the Government of Canada—Canada Economic Development and Canadian Heritage—the Government of Québec—the ministère du Tourisme, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine and SODEC—as well as the City of Montreal, Tourisme Montréal, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary.

Have a great festival!

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

montrealenlumiere.comexperienceilluminart.com

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

The Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the celebrations and socioeconomic contributions that will mark Montréal’s 375th anniversary in 2017. With a focus on promoting Montréal expertise, it acts as a catalyst for local forces in carrying out its mandate: to mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, rigorously manage public funds, develop quality programming and ensure the visibility of the celebrations.

The Society benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal, the Québec government, the Canada government and private funding from 12 Great Montrealers. For more information, see 375mtl.com

To learn more about the contribution of the Québec government to Montréal’s 375th Anniversary celebrations, click here.

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Opening of the 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE
Address by Mr. Jacques-André Dupont, CEO

Montréal, Thursday, February 23, 2017 — We are delighted today to welcome you to the launch of this 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, presented by RBC in collaboration with Bell. We are extremely proud of this special edition celebrating the 375th anniversary of Montreal, and in many respects.

Above all, we are very proud of the success of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, which has never ceased to grow, innovate, surprise and above all, assemble thousands upon thousands of fans since its creation in 2000. Over the years, MEL has become a unifying event, a genuine cultural engine involving 300 partners from all domains and sectors of the Montreal cultural scene.

With the support of thirty co-presenters, we offer a rich and diverse artistic program ranging from music to the circus arts, theatre, opera and fine arts, in 40 different venues. In addition to this year’s honorary president, the grand Daniel Lavoie, the festival welcomes a number of prestigious artists including rising classical music star Alexandre Da Costa with his fabulous project Stradivarius à l’opéra, as well as Benjamin Biolay, Tryo, Al Di Meola, Agnes Obel, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Rickie Lee Jones.

This year’s gourmet program is another tremendous unifying force that’s even more tantalizing than ever… And what’s better than fine dining and a wonderful meal in good company? With Lyon as our grand featured city, we can unanimously declare that this looks like an edition beyond compare. A global gourmet capital renowned for its gastronomical treasures and generosity, Lyon brings us its internationally renowned chefs, with our two honorary co-presidents, Jérôme Bocuse and Christophe Muller, as its most prestigious ambassadors. And with the chefs of the Délice network also joining the program, we can affirm that this 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will present an unprecedentedly diverse gourmet offering.

Yet beyond all of these wonderful surprises, we are delighted to note how this festival manages to renew itself, offering fans a revitalized experience every year. That’s right—the most luminous and unifying edition ever awaits us!

Why? In addition to all the unforgettable elements that have built the festival’s reputation at home and abroad—including all of its wild free activities, the magical Nuit blanche and its electrifying outdoor shows—this year’s MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE welcomes a fabulous new addition that completely changes the game: Illuminart, an oasis of light that sets the Quartier des spectacles ablaze with 25 luminous creations by artists from here and abroad. Together, we have literally illuminated winter, piercing through the darkness to create a wonderland of light that enchants the entire city, and we invite all Montrealers and tourists to join us and enjoy this moment of collective joy. Transcending communities and differences, uniting all ages, the only thing required to discover this magical circuit is a sense of curiosity. Assembling such a variety of impressive and technically demanding creations in the downtown core in the midst of winter was an imposing challenge—a challenge that was vigorously undertaken by our production team, for the benefit and pleasure of all. To recap, Illuminart is the culmination of the Rendez-vous de la créativité multimédia interactive et lumineuse project presented at the Je vois Montréal forum, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal in autumn 2014. This was a commitment we took up in collaboration with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, aiming to spotlight Montreal as a smart and digital city, affirming its position as an innovative metropolis and inspiring Montrealers’ civic pride with an annual event that is original, unprecedented, urban and accessible free of charge.

Winter has become an undeniable asset for the cultural and tourist vitality of our downtown core! Creating a fun, playful event that shakes up winter routine and lassitude, focusing on the pleasure of being outdoors and taking advantage of the benefits of winter, a comforting ambience and the pleasure of getting together… What better way to showcase our nordicity and make the most of everything that makes our city special!

As a result, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has evolved into a formidable cultural and touristic attraction, drawing hundreds of thousands of festival fans every year. And what more can we say about the 350,000 entries racked up by the Nuit blanche—the event that draws the biggest crowd in a single day on the annual Montreal event calendar!

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has also become an indispensable engine for our cultural vitality. The festival has become a launchpad for our local artists, offering them the opportunity to make their Montreal returns in midwinter—something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Alain Lefèvre, Matt Holubowski, Alejandra Ribera, Bruno Pelletier, Bobby Bazini, Alex Nevsky, Charlotte Cardin, Daniel Lavoie, the Hay Babies, Peter Peter, Valaire and Suuns will all present the Montreal premieres of their new shows at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE.

And on the strength of that success, with the wind in our sails, we look towards the future and the next challenge facing us: the 2018 edition. Indeed, in view of the success of the artistic and gourmet programming of this 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and the enthusiasm greeting the first edition of Illuminart, we hope above all to be able to assure festival fans that this wonderful adventure will continue in the future. We hope that Illuminart becomes a recurrent event and an essential element of our winter season, so that the joie de vivre and pleasure of getting together that fill the Quartier des spectacles will endure and become an integral part of Montreal’s cultural life and tourism sector.  

We also hope to witness the growth of another facet of Montreal’s cultural wealth: gastronomy. Drawing inspiration from the Lyon model, wherein gastronomy is a tremendous tourism draw that enjoys an enviable visibility and strong support, we would like to see the magnificence of Montreal’s gourmet scene supported with the same enthusiasm and steadfastness as the performing arts, circus arts and dance. Given all of our talented, creative and innovative chefs, Montreal can develop another facet of its international reputation with the right support.

All of this involves teamwork and a vision of the future. We are proud of this collective effort, this unity that powers our event and surpasses itself every year. We emphasize the essential support of our loyal partners, RBC, Bell, the City of Lyon, the organization of the Fête des Lumières, Producteurs de lait du Québec, the Casino de Montréal, the Société des alcools du Québec, Gaz Métro, Air France, the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal, Coors Light, Nespresso, Complexe Desjardins, as well as all our partners and official suppliers. We also thank our three levels of government for their enduring support: the Government of Canada—Canada Economic Development and Canadian Heritage—the Government of Québec—the ministère du Tourisme, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine and SODEC—as well as the City of Montreal, Tourisme Montréal, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary.

Have a great festival!

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

montrealenlumiere.comexperienceilluminart.com

         

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

The Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the celebrations and socioeconomic contributions that will mark Montréal’s 375th anniversary in 2017. With a focus on promoting Montréal expertise, it acts as a catalyst for local forces in carrying out its mandate: to mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, rigorously manage public funds, develop quality programming and ensure the visibility of the celebrations.

The Society benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal, the Québec government, the Canada government and private funding from 12 Great Montrealers. For more information, see 375mtl.com

To learn more about the contribution of the Québec government to Montréal’s 375th Anniversary celebrations, click here.

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