Press release for immediate distribution


Wrap-up of the 18th edition

Montreal, Monday, March 13, 2017 — The 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, presented from February 23 to March 11, 2017 by RBC in collaboration with Bell, was heralded as a superlative special edition to offer the proper launch to a major year of celebrations of the 375th anniversary of Montreal. And mission accomplished! Over three weeks of festivities, conviviality and fun, the festival was a major success, confirming its importance and its role in our winter tourism and event calendar. As part of the official 375thanniversary program, we will never forget the immense popularity of Lyon as our grand featured city, the dazzling gourmet diversity served up by the Délice network, the highly promising success of Illuminart, presented by the Casino de Montréal, drawing large crowds despite the unpredictable weather, and our new illuminated curling activity!

The flavours of Montréal… a memorable edition!

The gourmet program of this 18th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE was a success right across the board! Having Lyon as our grand featured city guaranteed that this edition would be an absolute feast for Montrealers and tourists in love with French gastronomy. With our two honorary co-presidents, Jérôme Bocuse and Christophe Muller, the Institut Paul Bocuse and prestigious chefs including Joseph Viola, the savoir-faire and talent of Lyon chefs shone forth throughout the festival.

Likewise, the impressive diversity of flavours served up by chefs from member cities of the Délice network attracted huge numbers of gourmets and won over every crowd, while also ensuring that the international spotlight was trained on Montreal. More than ever before, our city was the North American hub of fine dining! Meanwhile, the festival also functioned as a crossroads of professional expertise, with a business delegation from the Délice network holding a conference in Montreal from March 1-3 on the evolution of culinary trends.

When it came to fine dining, this was a particularly popular edition, with record attendance and 65 sold-out activities, including chef Joseph Viola’s culinary voyages to Lyon in the Balmoral, the honorary co-presidents’ dinners and brunches in Maison Boulud, the Institut Paul Bocuse hosted by the ITHQ, Mousso x Ask, Sylvain Cossette cooking in restaurant Le Montréal, the Lyonnais brunch at Chez Chose and a dinner hosted by Patrick Senécal. Also, local and guest chefs alike were delighted with all the successful pairings of various different kitchen brigades, generating productive moments of shared creativity and know-how.

And let’s not forget the second straight year of the “Pay Your Age!” program, offering kids the opportunity to experience a gourmet menu at minimal cost during the winter break week; or furthermore, the Mondial des cidres SAQ, a celebration of cider in Complexe Desjardins, as well as the 11th edition of the Festival of Our Cheeses, also in Complexe Desjardins.

  • 29 guest chefs participating in our 44 Air France Finest Tables program
  • Chefs from 14 different countries
  • Over 240 activities for every budget, including some free of charge
  • 12 youths from La Tablée des chefs participating in an activity
  • 65 sold-out activities
  • 4,500 Lyonnais soups concocted by Joseph Viola, served up free of charge on the outdoor site and in community organizations
  • 2,500 kg of cheeses enjoyed and purchased during the Festival of Our Cheeses
  • Over 70 different cheeses presented by 19 Québec cheesemakers
  • 12,000Nespresso coffees distributed on the site


« La gastronomie est présentée comme le fer de lance du festival. Depuis sa première édition, environ 500 chefs, vignerons et conférenciers de renommée y ont pris part. Outre les activités culinaires proposées, c’est le concept de jumelage qui fait l’atout du festival. Chaque année, les meilleurs chefs montréalais et les plus grandes toques des cinq continents se rencontrent en cuisine. »

—     Sabine Menet, Sud-Ouest

“This festival will delight foodies with dozens of culinary activities for every taste and budget. If food isn’t your passion, you might also enjoy the concerts and performances taking place all over the city. ”

—     Joy D’Souza, The Huffington Post Canada

Happy, creative chefs

« L’accueil et l’organisation de l’événement ont réellement dépassé nos attentes. Outre l’aspect commercial et professionnel de cet échange très enrichissant, l’aventure humaine vécue pendant cette semaine a été fantastique. Le Bistro La Société nous a accueillis de belle manière et j’espère que les échanges quotidiens avec l’ensemble des équipes auront été aussi prolifiques pour Le Bistro La Société qu’ils l’ont été pour nous. »

—    David Delsart, chef de Lyon invité à La Société Bistro

« MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE m’a permis, dans les 18 dernières années, chaque année, d’avoir des nouveaux amis. Une particularité de ce festival, qui pour moi m’a toujours inspiré, c’est par rapport à cette relation qu’on développe avec les gens à travers la planète. »

—    Graziella, chef Graziella

« C’est vraiment l’échange avec l’autre chef qui est merveilleux, c’est ça qui est magique. »

—    Helena Loureiro, chef Helena

« C’est année est un succès de A à Z. On surpasse toutes les autres années à MONTÉAL EN LUMIÈRE en termes de ventes. C’est du jamais vu. »

—    Éric Chevrier, maître d’hôtel et sommelier Le Restaurant de l’Institut

“Congratulations to everyone for organizing this landmark event in the world.”

—   Pepa Muñoz, chef invitée de Madrid, reçue au Portus 360 et chez Helena 

Spotlight on our artists

When it comes to the artistic program, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE once again illustrated its essential role in Quebec cultural life. Presenting 13 shows in their Montreal premieres, the festival has created a new “homecoming” season in winter—a perfect new match for the traditional one in September!

Under the honorary presidency of the great Daniel Lavoie, the festival offered a vivid, diverse program, featuring memorable star turns by many of our homegrown artists. Some of the biggest-selling shows included concerts by Matt Holubowski, Charlotte Cardin, Champion et ses G-Strings, Valaire, Peter Peter, Bobby Bazini, Alexandre Da Costa and Daniel Lavoie, as well as the tribute show Piaf a 100 ans. Vive la Môme!, ending its tour on a high note in Place des Arts. The festival is proud to help promote and energize our cultural scene!

  • 600 artists
  • 226 performances
  • 41 venues and stages
  • 9 series


“It sounds counterintuitive to go to Montreal in February, but that’s when they have the fantastic MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the Festival of Lights, with fashion, music (especially jazz), art, food and more—all designed to get Montrealers out of hibernation after a long, hard winter.”

—    Lisa Skolnik, Chigaco Tribune

« Alliant classique, jazz, pop, folk, rock, musiques de monde et électro, la programmation musicale de la 18e édition de MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE a de quoi ravir les mélomanes. »

—    Vanessa Guimond, Journal de Montréal

« Qui a dit que lʹhiver était une saison triste ? Chaque année, plus de 1 300 000 visiteurs se pressent dans le froid canadien pour assister à lʹimposant festival Montréal en lumière. Plus de 600 artistes, 300 activités et spectacles, 13 pays représentés… Les chiffres du festival Montréal en lumière donnent le tournis.

—    L’

“One of the largest winter festivals on the planet.”

—     John Oseid, Forbes

A remodeled, re-energized experience on the free outdoor site!

Hats off to all the hardy festival fans who braved the unpredictable weather to enjoy the festival’s outdoor site! From torrential rain to frigid cold, nothing stopped our fans from celebrating, dancing or discovering, whether it was the rain-soaked show by Rymz or the sheets of ice spun out by Mother Nature!

And when it comes to must-see, popular activities presented free of charge on the outdoor site, the RBC Zip-line and the Milk Urban Slide remain indisputable favourites with our fans. That’s no surprise: they stand both as major attractions and genuine iconic symbols of festival, both at home and on the international scene! And even the wee ones joined in the action all festival long, because our Milk Mini-Slide was more accessible than ever, with a new refrigeration system that kept the ride open continuously. Shows on the Coors Light Stage starring Lisa LeBlanc and Coleman Hell, and Bell DJ/VJ shows including the famed Misstress Barbara completed the fun-filled action.

A dazzling debut for Illuminart

And this year’s edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE included a ton of exciting—and popular—new additions! Illuminart, presented by the Casino de Montréal as part of the official 375thanniversary program, was an immediate must-see, one we absolutely plan on presenting once again next year! As the culmination of the “Rendez-vous de la créativité multimédia interactive et lumineuse”, presented during the Je vois Montréal forum and organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal in 2014, Illuminart burst into life with 25 projects combining illumination and technology, spread over a 3.6 km circuit in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles. A unifying event with a dazzlingly diverse program, Illuminart offered a fantastic showcase for artists from home and abroad, also focusing the attention of the entire world to Montreal and its incredible potential for creativity and innovation! Meanwhile, at the Illuminart convention from March 2 to 4, a delegation of professionals gathered in Montreal to share their expertise and know-how on the latest trends affecting international light festivals. Curling en lumière, presented as part of the 375th anniversary program’s Les Hivernales, celebrated a sport everyone has always wanted to try but never had the chance, in an exciting and innovative version featuring lighting, play-by-play hosts and a wildly fun atmosphere! In addition, the spectacular Bell Luminescent Experience offered video souvenirs featuring fantastically luminous décor, and the Gaz Métro Energy Zone thrilled friends and family alike.






  • 150 km of cables
  • 18,000 electrical connections
  • Approx. 1,600 lighting projectors
  • 200 LED projectors and approx. 300 feet of LED strips for Curling en lumière and its 12.7-ton steel structure
  • Approx. 400 workers and 2 weeks of assembly & set-up
  • The RBC Zip-line: a 180-metre (600 foot) descent from a height of 15 metres (48 feet)
  • The Milk Urban Slide: 110 metres (360 feet) long
  • The Slide is maintained at a medium temperature of -15o C
  • 2,500 litres of propylene glycol (refrigeration system using non-toxic food-grade propylene glycol), driven by a cooling unit with a 50-ton capacity
  • 3 km of tubes transporting propylene glycol
  • The Ferris Wheel: 20 metres (66 feet) high, with 16 gondolas and seating capacity for 60 adults and 90 children (4,600 kg)

« Les artistes qui ont créé les œuvres lumineuses d’Illuminart, une exposition extérieure d’art visuel, ont joué pour leur part à donner une nouvelle apparence à la ville de Montréal. En tout, 25 œuvres éparpillées sur 3,6 km dans le Quartier des spectacles, provoqueront tantôt l’émerveillement, tantôt de profondes réflexions chez leurs observateurs. »

—    Mélina Soucy,

“MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is like going to the carnival, only it’s downtown and it’s wintertime.”

—    Katherine Wilton, Montreal Gazette

« C’est beaucoup de nouveau qui arrive en 2017, car Montréal s’est faite belle pour son 375e anniversaire avec de brillantes créations des artistes et ingénieurs d’ici comme Illuminart et le Curling en lumière. […] L’activité, qui est présentée à l’occasion des Hivernales du 375e, met en valeur les arts multimédias et technologiques qui font de la métropole une ville avant-gardiste en la matière. »

—    Lili Mercure,

« Dans le cadre des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal, le festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE est plus lumineux que jamais grâce à son nouveau volet Illuminart. »

—    Agnès Gaudet, Journal de Montréal

“MONTREAL EN LUMIERE sheds new light on curling, by taking the timehonoured game outdoors and to dazzling new heights.”

—    Eturbo News

“There’s no way around the cold, but Montreal offers plenty of indoor diversions and activities worth venturing outside for, like MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, a festival that runs from Feb. 23 to March 11 with concerts, food, and must-see art installations.”

—    Barbara Kiviat, Time Magazine     

Nuit blanche 1967: one Nuit bridging yesterday and today!

  • The best-attended single-day event in Montreal!
  • 213 activities spread over 135 sites, 3 quartiers and 2 pôles
  • 60% of activities linked to the theme of this edition: 1967
  • Approximately 300,000 nighthawks, sometimes more than 30,000 in one site!
  • 17,000 late-night attendees for Art souterrain, a 7 km circuit featuring 70 contemporary art projects
  • Saturday’s temperature–the coldest of the year: -18.6 o C
  • How that weather felt to crowds of seasoned, celebratory nighthawks ready to party all night long: hot, hot, hot!
  • Number of hit songs from 1967 played by Les Vikings: 15
  • Some exciting footage to help you relive this magical Nuit…:

“No one does winter better than Montrealers. […] The entire city has come out to party their poutine off.”

—    Pamela Wright, Northern New England

« Point dʹorgue de lʹévénement : la grande Nuit blanche, avec pas moins de  200 activités pour découvrir la ville sous un autre jour. »

—    L’

“And last but not least, the world-famous Nuit Blanche (white night), a party from dusk to dawn. A night to remember.”

—    Jodi, Legal Nomads

“It may be cold out there but MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and Nuit Blanche is heating up the night!”

—    Ottawa Life Magazine


  • 575,066 website visits
  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: over 71,000 subscribers
  • 11379 mobile app users
  • 40 videos viewed over 290,000 times on Facebook and YouTube
  • Interviews conducted by Melissa Maya Falkenberg
  • over 50 published articles
  • Our official blogger: Marie-Noël Ouimet

Unprecedented media coverage

This 18th edition received unprecedented media coverage! All told, 335 media outlets covered the event—which is double the amount from last year. Outside Quebec and at the international level, the festival welcomed:

Canada (Vancouver Courier, Canada NewsWire, Edmonton Sun, Niagara Falls Review, Toronto Sun, Community Press, Melfort Journal, Kenora Daily Miner and News, Hinton Parklander, Wallaceburg Courier Press, Peace River Record Gazette, Nanton News, Beacon Herald, Gananoque Reporter, 24 Hours Toronto, Camrose Canadian, Hanna Herald, Devon Dispatch, Thorold Niagara News, Vermilion Standard, Drayton Valley Western Review, North Bay Nugget, Wiarton Echo, Nipawin Journal, The Crag and Canyon, Sault This Week, Cochrane Times Post, Fort Saskatchewan Record, Edmonton Examiner, Fort Erie Times, The Petrolia Topic, Paris Star, Chatham This Week, Sarnia and Lambton County This Week, Kingston This Week, Mayerthorpe Freelancer, Lucknow Sentinel, National Post, Maclean’s Magazine, The Toronto Star, Ottawa Sun, The Huffington Post Canada, Ottawa Family Living Magazine, A Luxury Travel Blog, Ottawa Citizen, Money News, theSceneinTO, Sky Scanner, Modern Mississauga,,,,,,,,,,,,, marketwired (English),,,,,,, La Presse canadienne,,,,,,,,,,, Taste and Travel Magazine, Boulevard Magazine, Roundhouse Radio,, Dine Magazine,, Magazine Elite,,,

China (Shenzhen Economic Daily,,, Yangcheng Evening News)

France (,,, Désirs de Voyages, france3, La Croix, Le Figaro, Le Progrès Lyon,,,, L’Express,,, L’Yonne Républicaine, M.P.A—Merci pour l’adresse, NewsPress, pressnews, Sud Ouest,

Germany (,,,,,, Badische Zeitung)

Mexico (El Norte,,,,, Ultra Noticias, Radio TV Multimedia, Vlex Mexico)

Norway (,,,

Spain (Kobe Magazine, El Mundo Visto Por Esteban Capdevila)

the U.K. (, Daily Record,, Essentials,, Lavender & Lovage)

the U.S. (AAA Northern New England,,,,, Consumer affairs, Eturbonews,, Leading Edge, LuxuryWeb Magazine, Manhattan Mercury,,,, Register Guard,, Seven Days, Sioux City Journal,, The Eagle, The Epock Times, The News Herald, The Register Guard,, Time Magazine,, usofficialnews,,, Morning Journal, Blog The Herb Society of America, Blog, Current Affairs Magazine, Morning News Headlines)

As well as Australia (, Belgium (La Libre,,, Chile (, Denmark (,, Finland (Optio Magazine), Greece (,, Iceland (Wow Airline inflight), Italy (, La Republica,, Japan (Go On, Goon Travel Magazine), Latvia (,,, Rïga Vilni), the Netherlands (, Eindhovens Dagblad), Poland (, Romania (, Russia (,,, South Africa (Cape Town Magazine, Eat Out), Switzerland (24Heures Suisse) and Turkey (Food and Travel).

Good news for our next edition

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE joins forces with the ITHQ for its gourmet program:
2018, an edition celebrating savoir-faire!

The first bit of good news: next year, the festival celebrates expertise! With the ITHQ celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Montreal named the favourite city for foreign students (according to a study by British research institute Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd., the festival has decided to present a special international edition, welcoming the world’s greatest hotel management/culinary schools. In all, we will host fifteen schools, welcoming as many young representatives of the next generation as we do stars of international gastronomy associated with those schools. In its goal to help the gastronomy industry grow and persist, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE seeks to combine creativity with savoir-faire, the innovative potential of our young people with an exchange of knowledge made possible by expertise. The future of global gastronomy comes to Montréal in 2018!

About the ITHQ

Since 1968, the ITHQ has been Canada’s centre of excellence for education in tourism, hotel and restaurant services. The only hospitality school in the country to offer enriched secondary and post-secondary programs, the ITHQ has built its reputation on the excellence of its education, which was developed to meet the highest industry standards. Innovative training, a 4-star teaching hotel, two teaching restaurants, a gastronomy research centre, a hospitality consulting centre, and a strong network of contacts make the ITHQ the top choice for educating highly qualified staff who know what it takes to be the best.

Isabelle Boulay: honorary co-president 

And here’s yet more good news: Isabelle Boulay will be an honorary co-president of next year’s artistic program! With her new album, En vérité, already on sale, the artist will land in Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts on March 1, 2018 to unveil it to festival fans. After her thrilling tribute to Serge Reggiani, Boulay makes her passionate return to the stage with greatest hits and the terrific songs from her latest album, magnificent original songs written by some of the greats. Marking her 25th year as an artist, Isabelle’s singular voice will be accompanied by veteran musicians to create a uniquely emotional moment for her audience!

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and its partners

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.

The 19th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will be held from February 22 to March 4, 2018 

About the Society for the Celebration 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

You can find all our press releases and additional pictures and videos in our virtual press room.

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

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