Press release for immediate distribution

Flavour, fun, know-how—and one heck of a party!

Wrap-up of the 19th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE

Montréal, Monday, March 5, 2018 — And the curtain comes down on the 19th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE! Presented in collaboration with Bell from February 22 to March 4, this edition gave us plenty to remember: huge crowds on the outdoor site flocking to our free installations, classics and new additions (encouraged and enhanced by the weather!); great media visibility, both locally and internationally; in gastronomy, foodies were thrilled by the 50th anniversary of the ITHQ, a fine tribute to the Chef of the Century, Paul Bocuse, mentor of many chefs and first honorary president of this festival, and an unprecedented celebration of knowledge; a hundred shows featuring folk, dance, flamenco, theatre, rock, opera, classical and electronic, under the honorary presidency of Isabelle Boulay; and a fabulous Nuit blanche celebrating its 15th birthday as boldly and creatively as ever! Thanks to all of our chefs, artists, partners and above all, fans from home and abroad who join us year after year. And even as we close the curtain on this edition, our spotlights are trained on the next. Next year, for the incredible 20th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, we will celebrate with a global tour of gastronomy that will make the world’s head spin… Details to come!

In the meantime, here are some images from this edition:

A gourmet world at your doorstep

There’s no doubt: Montrealers love to combine know-how and flavour, and love to discover new things! For ten days and nights, we all shared an incredible experience: mentors, teachers and students, chefs and clients, with a re-energized openness to share recipe books, experiences and tips.

Dedicated to Paul Bocuse, this edition hosted 28 activities in tribute to the master: four Air France Finest Tables (La Chronique, Europea, Au Petit Extra, Le Valois), “Special Bocuse” menus revisiting his classics, fusing simple ingredients with masterful execution.

Among our top-flight guests, the ITHQ showcased the entire breadth of its greatness: a wealth of knowledge, and a source of tremendous talent, which radiated throughout the festival.

Photo 1 NB GastroThis edition also made its mark for the number of guest chefs, including 16 international chefs and 5 Michelin-starred chefs: including Alain Verzeroli (L’Atelier Joël Robuchon), Julien Lefebvre (La Chronique) and Gaetano Trovato (Maison Boulud), who drew huge crowds.

Among the many success stories, let us also mention a special region, the Côte-Nord, whose northern flavours thrilled the public and energized the creativity of our own local chefs, at Chasse-Galerie, Blumenthal and Ikanos.

Finally, we must emphasize that the theme of this edition—celebrating knowledge—was a massive success, with the pros and the public. All 14 workshops and conferences were sold out! In the scientific conferences, the Nordic Food Lab drew 300 people to L’Astral to experience a sustainable vision of food… and gourmet insects!

Heading towards the 20th…

For 20 years, the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival has illuminated our winter season, making its mark by virtue of its eclecticism and creativity, in the very image of our effervescent, insatiable city. In celebration of that, the festival plunges into its own history, reconnecting with some of the cities and regions it has showcased over the past two decades, which have featured over 550 chefs from around the world. From there, fans are taken on a gourmet voyage… one that promises to be even more delicious and exciting in its next incarnation!

31 guest chefs as part of our 32 Air France Finest Tables
8 countries
8 series
of activities
230 gourmet activities, some of them free
9 teaching chefs and 8 schools
22 activities in partnership with the 50th anniversary of the ITHQ

“MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE a été une super expérience que j’aimerais beaucoup renouveler. J’ai eu le bonheur de travailler et échanger avec Jérôme Ferrer et son équipe du Restaurant Europea. Nous avons non seulement découvert une grande table, mais aussi une entreprise florissante.”
— Christophe Haton, professeur at Ferrandi Paris, hosted by Europea (France)

« Je pars de Montréal avec des grands souvenirs, car j’ai découvert des parfums, des saveurs et gens qui m’ont fait sentir comme si j’avais une deuxième maison. La beauté de ses paysages, la convivialité de ses restaurants et le froid extrême font un mélange exceptionnel. »
— Marco Antonio Estrada Gallardo Aliat Universidades (Mexico)

“Savoureux, même sous la neige.”
—    Juliette Camus, Paris Match (France)

“If Montreal is a gastronomic capital today, a good part of that is due to this festival.”
— Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette (Québec)

« La 19e édition du festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE débute aujourd’hui ! La métropole devient la destination gourmande la plus en vogue, jusqu’au 4 mars prochain. »
— Anne-Lovely Étienne, 24 h (Québec)

NB Gastro 2“It’s not surprising that for the past 18 years the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival has taken place in February. This is a city that turns winter into an art form so it makes sense that this is when you’d have a festival celebrating the arts and food. Enough eating and drinking for just one week, n’est-ce pas? You have to walk for about a month to work it all off.”

“Montrealers know that the city is a gourmet destination but this festival adds some tasty exclamation points onto that statement by inviting many renowned chefs and wine producers to tantalize you with tastes!”
— Andre Gagne, (Canada)

“Let the light shine on Canada’s premiere winter party. So, what’s the best way to get a taste of everything? You got it—attend the upcoming festival of lights. […] During those 11 days the crème de la crème of Canada’s culinary and collaborative arts scenes get the spotlight they deserve.”
— Metro US (U.S.)

“THE ULTIMATE gourmet destination.”
—    Barry Hoy,

An improved outdoor site

Given the great weather, it was no surprise that the outdoor site was so packed throughout the festival! And of course, our iconic MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE installations were as super-popular as ever: the RBC Zip-line, the Milk Urban Ice Slide and the Québec Maple Ferris Wheel racked up the crowds on the outdoor site.

Fans were thrilled to discover all the new additions, adding to the experience. First and foremost, the Chalet Bell was a musical oasis, welcoming fans with its relaxed ambience right in the heart of the Place des Festivals, featuring concerts and shows, video games, workshops and friendly 5 à 7. Fun, and very popular!

And Illuminart presented by the Casino de Montréal deployed its 2nd edition around Place des Arts and the Place des Festivals: no need to leave the site to discover this incredible circuit of wonderful creations.

Discover some of the works here:

Last but not least, fans enjoyed a plethora of new free installations: Air France culinary workshops, a galaxy of treats served up by Maple from Québec, Zone Énergir shows, and the CBC/Radio-Canada Olympic Zone to keep the Games going!

225 km of cable
22,000 electrical connections
56 radiant heaters
1,400 lighting devices and 1,000 LED lights
6 km of cabling for the Illuminart artwork Apparatus Florius
Approx. 600 students participating in La grande nuée
180-metre (600 feet) descent for the RBC Zip-line, from a height of 15 metres (48 feet)
110-metre (360 feet) run for the Milk Urban Ice Slide
20 metres (66 feet): Ferris Wheel, with 16 gondolas and a capacity of 60 adults and 90 children (4,600 kg)

“Montreal is home to one of the largest winter festivals in the world, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. From Feb. 22 to March 4, this Canadian eclectic city literally lights up.”
— Tiffany Thornton, USA TODAY (U.S.)

“MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is an amazing city-wide festival that never ceases to surprise each year.”
— Michelle Cadieux,ébec)

Foule NB“Montréal n’a pas peur de l’hiver bien au contraire. La ville s’anime et ses habitants se croisent lors du festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, le plus créatif des festivals d’hiver. […] Il n’y a qu’à Montréal que l’on peut trouver un festival mélangeant toutes les formes d’art. Le design, la gastronomie, le contemporain, la danse, la musique, les arts numériques et de rue.”

“À l’occasion de MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, il y a le parcours Illuminart à ne pas manquer. Un parcours d’œuvres technologiques, de créations lumineuses et interactives fascinantes. Absolument magnétique.”
— Sabine Bouchoul, (France).

“Février tire à sa fin et l’hiver commence à vous déprimer ? Réjouissez-vous, la métropole reprendra un peu de couleurs dans les 10 prochains jours, avec la 19e édition de MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE.”
— Marie-Josée Roy,ébec)

Heartstreets NB“To say that MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE surpassed my expectation would be a massive understatement. They pulled out all the bells and whistles this year and pretty much threw a long party! With lots of fun events both outdoors and in, taking your loved one, friends or even family will end up leaving you asking yourself why you hadn’t done this sooner.”
— Soheila Hakimi, (Canada)

“This is a way to live winter and to see that even in winter it’s friendly, it’s fun, and we can do things that are very artistic.”
— Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press (Canada)

“MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is one of the largest and most eclectic winter festivals in the world. […] Families can participate in a plethora of activities from slides, shows, and Ferris wheel rides. Of course, Montreal’s festival of lights would not be complete without taking part in the Illuminart circuit of interactive light installations around the city.”
— Alyssa James, (Spain)

Nuit blanche: re(MIX)!

In the wee hours of Sunday, March 4, the 15th edition of the Nuit blanche closed out the biggest party of the year! A creative, surprising, astonishing, joyous night, packing museums, theatres, galeries, bars, boutiques, book shops, outdoor sites…. and even an arena!

dance metro 2Mild weather invited everyone to come out and play, take on the streets and join in the many activities running into the wee hours. Weather makes all the difference! The outdoor site was packed from the outset, with a genuine sense of euphoria in the air. Many activities were SRO in many Pôles, and the excitement was palpable in every discipline; our partners were left amazed by the enthusiasm greeting this 15th edition.

Among the highlights: tremendous patronage of our museums, including 2,200 visitors to the McCord Museum, approx. 3,000 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2,789 at Pointe-à-Callière, and 6,000 at a packed Musée d’art contemporain. City Hall welcomed 2,000, with 2,200 flocking to La Vitrine, 900 at McGill University’s Otto Maass Chemistry Building and 4,800 at the Cinémathèque!

Other home runs: the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Pôle Centre-ville (approx. 500), Atelier circulaire (900), Galerie Station 16 in Pôle Plateau-Mont-Royal (approx. 900), the Maison de l’architecture (400) in the Pôle Vieux-Montréal and the Segal Centre (approx. 300) in the Pôle Nord.

Crédit photo: Maryse Boyce
We can now recognize how deeply the Nuit blanche has penetrated the cultural DNA of our city by these huge evolutionary leaps. Starting with some 30 sites, growing to encompass 70 by its 4th edition in 2007, it embraced 150 partner sites all over our city in 2018!

And so, hats off to all those who have been with us since the very first edition, and who continue to invigorate, encourage and excite our nighthawks, 15 years hence. No doubt: Lion d’or, Café Campus, the Cinémathèque, École nationale de l’humour, Tours Kaléidoscope, Musée d’art contemporain, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Pointe-à-Callière, the SAT, UNEQ, Usine C and Montréal City Hall have been and remain our staunchest allies. Thank you all.

AgoraAnd we’re also thrilled to welcome new partners every year: Helm and La Cabane, Bref, Société Textile, Société V, Studio Earth II and XX Files, La Petite Librairie Drawn and Quarterly, Optica in Pôle Mile-End, as well as Medley Simple Malt, Nestor, Coton, Cinéthique Villeray and Café Chez l’Éditeur, Etoh, Studio Mouvement Humain and Casa d’Italia in the Pôle Nord.

And with the addition of the Pôle Hochelaga this year, the Nuit blanche is spreading even further throughout the city. And get ready for more next year!

The best-attended one-day Montréal event of the year!
208 activities spread out over 152 sites and 9 Pôles
179 free activities (86% of activities)
Over 300,000 Nighthawks, with more than 30,000 in one site!
Fantastic weather, encouraging our nighthawks to party, party, parrty!

“The highlight, especially for art lovers, is Nuit Blanche. […] Montréal’s wildest night of the year! It’s the perfect way to discover places in the city you may not have thought to visit.”
— Andre Gagne, Ottawa Life (Canada)

An incredible array of high-quality shows

AlaniEvery facet of our culture was showcased during this 19th edition of the festival. We are especially proud to have once again offered local artists the opportunity to make their Montréal premieres, including: Coco Méliès, Gabrielle Shonk, Papagroove, Lary Kidd, Random Recipe, Marie-Josée Lord and Isabelle Boulay, all of whom found a new and larger audience with new material, thanks to MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE.

600 artists
200 onstage performances
28 venues and stages

“The anticipated MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival once again brings music, circus arts, theatre, and world-renowned gastronomy to Quartier des spectacles. This 11-day spectacle is one of the largest winter festivals in the world.”
—      Marina Kay, Herald Sun (Australia)

Tha Franklin“Imagine nearly two weeks of outdoor fun, music, shows, fair rides and fine food, during the winter, in one of Canada’s most iconic cities, and you have arrived at Montréal’s annual festival known as MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. Montréal certainly knows how to throw a party, even in the winter, and I was treated to a packed itinerary, as well as plenty of free time to explore this vibrant city.”
—      Karen Booth, (UK)


637,000 website visits
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: over 110,000 subscribers
9,000 users of our mobile applications
40 video capsules with over 200,000 viewings on Facebook and YouTube
Interviews by Julie Taillon, Diandra Deschamps, Camille Laventure and Marc-Antoine Montpetit more than 35 exclusive articles

Incredible media coverage

Once again, this 19th edition of the festival was treated to complete media saturation coverage! In all, over 200 Québécois, Canadian and international media outlets covered the event. A selection:
Germany (, Die Tageszeitung,; Caribbean (; Australia (, Herald Sun); Belgium (; Brazil (; Canada (Acadie Nouvelle, Cape Breton Post,,,,,,,,; Chile (; China (Wings of China); Denmark (; U.S. (,,,, consumer affairs,,,,,,; France (,, Le Figaro, Le Progrès Lyon, L’Express Théma,,; Italy (,; Malaysia (; Mexico (,; Québec (24 h,, Beauport Express,,, Écho Vedettes,, Il Cittadino Canadese, Journal Comercio Latino,, Le Devoir, Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec,, Le Soleil,, Métro,,,,, SRC nouvelles, The Gazette,, Voir); Czech Republic (OK Magazine); UK (; Switzerland (Le Matin).

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and its partners

In conclusion, let us underline the essential support of our loyal partners: our co-presenter, Bell; our three major partners, RBC, the Casino de Montréal, and Les Producteurs de lait du Québec; our official sponsors, the Société des alcools du Québec, Énergir, Air France, Maple from Québec, Promutuel Assurance, the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal, Coors Light, the ITHQ, Complexe Desjardins, as well as all of our other official partners and suppliers. Thanks also to our three levels of government for their constant support: the Government of Canada—Canada Economic Development for Québec Regions and the Ministry of Canadian Heritage; the Government of Québec—Ministère du Tourisme, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine and SODEC — as well as the Ville de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Quartier des spectacles Partnership. Thanks also to the STM, who made it easy to get around during the Nuit blanche by keeping the Metro open all night.

The 20th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will run from February 21 to March 3, 2019.

— 30 —