December 11, 2012 – The flagship event of Montréal en lumière, held in late February and early March every year since 2003, Nuit blanche is truly exceptional in more ways than one. The metro stays open all night, combined with a free shuttle service, and no fewer than 170 activities—most of them free—showcase every branch of culture: the visual arts, dance, sculpture, photography, poetry, video, music, theatre, and cinema.
Exhibitions and shows take place throughout the city: downtown and the Quartier des spectacles, Old Montréal, Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile End, and even the Olympic Park (where the Biodôme hosts a Moonlit Evening where the penguins are allowed outside!) In each neighbourhood, a discovery tour connects the various activities, with the help of the free shuttles which also connect to the other areas of town.
It’s a staggering feast for culture lovers. The plethora of institutions taking part include the likes of the city’s major museums, the Grande Bibliothèque, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, not to mention cafés, businesses, and art galleries that stay open all night.
At the same time, the famous Art Souterrain tour, which runs through three of the above-ground festival sectors, spreads throughout fifteen components of downtown Montréal’s underground city. From Les Ailes de la mode to Place des Arts, by way of Place Ville-Marie, Central Station, the Centre de commerce mondial, and the Palais des congrès, visitors discover performance pieces, installations, and multimedia works, some of them being created live.
The festival program includes maps of the various itineraries and the shuttle service, as well as all the details of the special activities, noting those where the artists will be present.