Press release for immediate distribution

Our free outdoor site Lights up a Montreal Winter!

An internationally prestigious event 

Montréal, Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — The party is almost ready to go, and in just a few short weeks, the downtown core will burst into life and light with the kickoff to MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, presented by RBC in collaboration with Bell, giving pride of place to Switzerland, the featured country of this 16th edition of the festival. Every year, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE finds a way to renew itself, with the most stunning example certainly being the magnificent illumination of its free outdoor site, especially since the festival returned to the Quartier des spectacles. And in 2015, the extent of all that hard work has been acknowledged in the loveliest fashion, as UNESCO has chosen the 16th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE as a special event as part of the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies! Needless to say, we’re very proud of that international recognition… and it’s spurred us to shine even more brightly!

Bell congratulates MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE for being recognized by UNESCO, highlighting a festival that is beloved by Montrealers and visitors alike,” said Martine Turcotte, Vice Chair – Québec, Bell. “As co-presenter of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, we are pleased to offer festival-goers original outdoor activities that contribute to the city’s vitality. Bell is at the heart of the cultural life of Quebecers and our partnership with MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE demonstrates our commitment to supporting its development.”

And so this is a particularly glorious edition, with a remodeled site to enhance the pleasure. Among the avalanche of free activities, fans will discover such new additions as a unique Zip-line zooming above Ste. Catherine Street, a brightly lit mini-village devoted to fine fare, a huge interactive installation glimmering with multicoloured pastilles certain to warm every heart, giant projection structures, mind-blowing luminous installations, Swiss-inspired menus and photo exhibits, and, finally, the unveiling of a long-awaited attraction, a mini-slide just for younger kids! And that doesn’t even include the free daily shows—at least one different performance every day!—and sets by DJs and VJs, the renowned Slide, games for the kids, the Ferris Wheel at the heart of the site, the countless delicious offerings at our famed Gourmet Stations… and lights, lights and ever more glittering, gorgeous lights! February 19 to 28, on the Place des Festivals, the Place des Arts esplanade and Ste. Catherine Street.

Switzerland in the spotlight

Maison de la Suisse

Thanks to the Maison de la Suisse, our featured country will be very well represented on the Place des Arts esplanade, at the foot of the stairs. This pavilion invites MEL fans to discover Switzerland in all its splendour, thanks to a special screening of the film Switzerland From Above by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, in the movie theatre presented by Switzerland Tourism, and invites guests to plan a trip to the country with Swiss International Air Lines! You’ll also find many more surprises on different days of the festival. In addition, Le comte des quatre saisons, an interactive creation by the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD), will be projected onto the exterior surface of the dome, where MEL fans can operate a giant mechanical key and take control of the story. You’ll also discover the answers to the Great Switzerland Contest, with a first prize of a trip for two to our fabulous featured country!

The Swiss Ferris Wheel

The always-popular Ferris Wheel is back, right in the middle of Ste. Catherine Street, in front of the MAC. The view is absolutely superb, encompassing practically the entire site and its magnificent array of illumination! Experience it with family, friends or that special someone!

Switzerland in photos

It’s the next best thing to being there! Join us at the corner of Ste. Catherine and St. Urbain Streets, at the foot of the Place des Festivals, and discover the featured country of this 16th edition in a Swiss photo exhibit that will have you dreaming of a trip to the Alps! The dreaming continues when you witness the giant luminous cubes on the Place des Festivals featuring magnificent backlit snapshots taken from a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

S.O.S. Fondue

Join us at the foot of the Place des Arts esplanade, where you can enjoy a delicious
cheese fondue served in a bread bowl. It’s the perfect winter way to warm up!



The Place des Festivals

This winter, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE literally illuminates the very heart of the Quartier des spectacles: not only will the Place des Festivals glitter like a thousand diamonds, but it will be bursting with major-league activities for every appetite—major shows and DJ/VJ sets, luminous ping pong, gourmet offerings, a super Zip-line and, a little further west, a stunning garden with its own irresistible menu…

The RBC Stage

Located at the northern extremity of the Place des Festivals, the RBC Stage needs no further introduction as the official HQ for live performances. In keeping with its festive tradition, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will present a different free show here every day when the site is open. The little ones will get the party started before anyone else, because their heroes will take the stage at 2 p.m.: Les Petites Tounes (Saturdays, February 21 and 28) and Benoît Archambault, who brings in a brand new show (and album), Les Pourquoi 2, le retour du grand roux (Sunday, February 22). In the evening, at 8 p.m., the action continues with an absolutely dynamic and diversified program: the ebullient Vincent Vallières sets the tone with the opening show presented in collaboration with ICI Musique, traditional Québécois
virtuoso trio De Temps Antan (February 20), sparkling blonde bombshell Brigitte Boisjoli (February 21), Switzerland’s Eliana Burki and her astonishing Alpenhorn (February 22, exceptionally at 5 p.m.), Radio-Canada World Music Révélation Pierre Kwenders (February 25), magnificent northern star Elisapie (February 26), the irresistible party animals of Random Recipe (February 27) and, to kick off the Nuit blanche right, the beautiful, explosive madness of Misteur Valaire (February 28)! Also, every evening, VJ Cafrine and VJ Yanneek will rotate appearances in the shows, spinning out their fabulous projections on giant tubes created by Lucion.


Bell DJs and VJs

Dancing is probably the best possible antidote for the February winter cold. Perfect timing: every evening, the festival presents some of the hottest DJs and VJs on Planet Cool! At 9:10 p.m., get ready for crazy rhythms and cutting-edge visuals from Vincent Lemieux and VJ Yanneek (February 19), CRi and VJ Nohista (February 20), RYAN Playground and VJ Ma” (February 21), Mr. Touré (February 25) and DJ Melodrastik (February 26) with VJ Cafrine both nights, 10KILOS.US (February 27) and Ariane Moffatt & Friends (Maina Militza and Jerry Pigeon) (February 28) with VJ Video Girl for the curtain call.

The RBC Zip-line

This sound-and-lighting Zip-line propelled by Arbraska is guaranteed to be THE major new attraction on the Place des Festivals: two elevated cables allowing riders to zoom over virtually the entire outdoor site, from Place des Festivals almost all the way to St. Urbain Street! The Zone RBC below will welcome the friends and family of the brave souls soaring above the illuminated site while they settle into cozy Adirondack chairs near a huge roaring fireplace. And Voyageurs RBC will be thrilled to find out what surprises await at the RBC® VisaAvion® Kiosk! At the corner of Balmoral and Ste. Catherine Streets, continuously during opening hours of the site.

Cercle Bell

You’ll have no trouble finding this new addition: it’s the illuminated spot dominated by the huge glassed-in windowed box in the heart of the Place des Festivals! And this year, MEL fans can even climb on top of the roof of the Boîte Bell for an incomparable view of the site! You can also discover The Pool by Jen Lewin, a new game involving hundreds of coloured illuminated LED discs: this gigantic interactive illuminated ping-pong game is a participatory event activated by MEL fans, who walk, run or jump from one pastille to another, turning the lights on and off and progressively changing the appearance and form of the piece. Beware: it’s insanely addictive—the kids will go wild for it! Every day when the site is open, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. (until 3 a.m. during the Nuit blanche). The installation will remain in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles until March 15. A co-presentation by MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and the Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles.

Casino de Montréal Garden of Light — Gourmet Pitstop

This magnificent gourmet pitstop at the corner of De Bleury and Ste. Catherine Streets awaits with its gigantic illuminated installations, created by TILT, and containers hosting food counters that will have your mouth watering: a giant BBQ, assorted meatballs and dumplings, tartiflette, a fish smokehouse, sugar pie by Jean-Pierre Curtat, executive chef of restaurant Le Montréal in the Casino de Montréal… And don’t forget the amazing Swedish log stoves, a storyteller, ice sculpting, a bar and plenty of entertainment! Enjoy unique evenings you can only find here, thanks to the Casino de Montréal!

Bistro SAQ

They’re back—and you absolutely must plan a visit to our essential trio of geodesic domes! They’ll serve up a menu including Quebec cheeses, soups, Veal Zurichoise, bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese, rösti-poutine, a Swiss-inspired menu, and a selection of Swiss wines and cocktails. And don’t forget the now-classic all-duck tasting evening (see details at the end of this news release)!

Galerie de la Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan :

La vie est déjà ailleurs, works by Pierre Gauvreau and Janine Carreau

A prolific painter, author, director and cosignatory of the Refus Global, Pierre Gauvreau passed away in 2011, but his immense œuvre remains. This exhibition presents pieces never before seen in Montreal along with some essential works, as well as recent works by his wife, Janine Carreau, consisting of pieces promised to Pierre Gauvreau at the very end of his life. A silkscreen of their “cadavre exquis” (exquisite cadaver), Trente ans plus tard mon amour, will be unveiled for the occasion. Free admission. February 19 to May 24, Galerie de la Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan.

During the Nuit blanche, fans can also learn more on Pierre Gauvreau thanks to the documentary Gauvreau ou l’obligation de la liberté by Charles Binamé, which will be screened continuously in the Salle Stevie-Wonder adjoining the Galerie.

The Place des Arts esplanade and Ste. Catherine Street

Just when you thought you’d packed your evening with the excitement offered on the Place des Festivals, the 2nd part of the free outdoor site unfolds before your very eyes. And what a sight! The illumination of the site reaches double-intensity, with the scintillating Ferris Wheel and the luminous serpentine form of the Urban Slide, yet more kiosks to tempt your tastebuds, an entertainment zone packed with fun… That’s right: the celebration continues all the way to St. Urbain Street!

The Milk Family Fun Zone, the Urban Slide… and a new slide for the little ones!

It’s been a long time in coming, and now it’s finally here: a super slide just for younger kids! We’re betting this will be the go-to spot for families, because in addition to the Milk Mini-Slide, they’ll find plenty of activities for all: the gigantic Urban Slide—a 110-metre wild descending ride, with sound and lighting effects as an added bonus!—fun supersized parlour games, a photo activity, a contest with instant prizes, and of course, the delights of the dairy bar.

Espace Financière Sun Life

An array of activities await in front of the Musée d’art contemporain, from entertainment—musicians, dancers, juggler, fire-eaters and street artists—to the ever-popular braziers, whether you’re looking to roast marshmallows, grill sausages or just warm up a bit. Fans can also enjoy the return of the Brighter Life Journey, an incredible experience that allows you to realize the impact small gestures can have on your daily life… and your finances! It’s an immersive world that allows participants to bring one of five major projects to life thanks to the renowned Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses.

La Halte gourmande Provigo

Welcome to the ideal spot for gourmet comfort-food experiences: not only can fans feast at three food counters serving up grilled cheese, hot chocolate and crème brûlée, they can also create their own winter delights, according to their own tastes, with the help of our chefs! It’s the perfect way to warm up your taste buds! Ste. Catherine Street, between the Ferris Wheel and the Slide, during opening hours of the free outdoor site (until 8 p.m. on the Saturday of the Nuit blanche).

Lanaudière – Soup’s On!

A lovely bowl of hot soup at the end of a winter’s day—you can’t beat that for comfort food! On Saturday, February 21 at 4 p.m., join us at the foot of the steps on the Place des Arts esplanade, near Ste. Catherine St., and enjoy a heartwarming bowl of creamy Lanaudière parmentier, served free of charge! Get it while it lasts!

The Gourmet Stations: because fresh air gives you an appetite!

The festival’s free outdoor site is bursting with delights for your eyes, ears… and tastebuds! Who can forget the festival’s Gourmet Stations, returning once again with their range of foodie favourites! Right off the bat, the new Casino de Montréal Garden of Light features an array of food counters—there’s something for everyone: the giant BBQ with the Satay Brothers, La Raclette Restaurant, meatballs from Le Ballpark, Saum-Mom smokehouse, l’Espace sucré (the Sweet Spot) — Le Montréal and sugar pie from the famed Casino de Montréal restaurant… We’ll literally serve up Switzerland on a platter thanks to the Maison de la Suisse and S.O.S. Fondue, presenting their delicious cheese fondue, served in a bread bowl. The Halte gourmande Provigo also has plenty of gourmet experiences in store, while the classic Bistro SAQ returns with its mouth-watering menu and its now-famous evening devoted exclusively to dishes featuring duck. Don’t forget the free soup offered by the fine folks of Lanaudière, our Québécois region to discover, as well as waffles, maple treats at Délices de l’érable, and sausages and toasted marshmallows at the Financière Sun Life Braziers, etc. Finally, you can always quench your thirst at plenty of handy spots on the site, including Le Balmoral, the SAQ Express and other SAQ sales points, Milk dairy bar, the Rickard’s and Amarula bars, the kiosque Porto Cabral kiosk, and the Espace café Jura.

The Festival of Quebec Cheeses

Last but not least, the Festival of Quebec Cheeses runs from Thursday, February 19 to Saturday, February 21 on Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet Quebec cheesemakers, whose diverse array of exceptional products never ceases to impress.

Le Salon du livre gourmand (Culinary Books Salon)
Presented by Renaud-Bray in collaboration with Les Éditions La Presse

Don’t forget, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE once again shows its innovative spirit with a brand-new salon dedicated to books focusing on cuisine and gastronomy, presented by Renaud-Bray in partnership with Les Éditions La Presse. On the menu: hundreds of books, new additions and discoveries, enlightening encounters and book-signing sessions featuring such notables as François Chartier, Marilou and Alexandre, Paul Gilbert, Bob Le Chef, Danny St Pierre… Yes, there will be something to satisfy every literary appetite! Complexe Desjardins’ Grande-Place, from Thursday, February 26 to Saturday, February 28. Free admission.

Opening hours of the free outdoor site

February 19-28 (except Monday and Tuesday): 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, February 21: Noon to 11 p.m.
Saturday, February 28 (Nuit blanche): Noon to 3 a.m.
Sunday, February 22: noon to 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 1: site closed

Beyond the site, you’ll also find the Tuques bleues, a nocturnal snowshoe adventure on Mount Royal, the annual benefit event hosted by Amis de la montagne, now in its 18th edition, scheduled for Thursday, February 19 at 5:45 p.m. It’s a festive outdoor activity that contributes to the conservation of Mount Royal. Registration:

All-duck tasting evening at the Bistro SAQ

In addition to its regular menu offered throughout the festival, the Bistro SAQ invites you to its now renowned all-duck evening featuring perfect food and wine pairings presented by a SAQ product Expert.

Les merveilles d’ici

Foie gras parfait with Neige apple ice wine

Foie gras parfait with maple syrup

Foie gras parfait with truffle pieces, foie gras rillettes

The popular foie gras poutine

A heartwarming combination of fries, cheese curds and foie gras sauce

Duck shashlik

A generous serving of all-duck brochette


A chocolate délice

Wednesday, February 25, 6 p.m.


Details and menu:

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. You can also call the Info-Lumière La Presse+ Line at 514-288-9955 or, toll free, at 1 85LUMIERES, or visit The program of Nuit blanche presented by Hydro-Québec will be revealed February 10. The 16th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will be held from Thursday, February 19 to Sunday, March 1.

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