It may still be winter in Montreal, but the spirit of summer festivals – especially all their free outdoor entertainment – is alive and well this week at Montréal en Lumière. The festival celebrates the creative life of the city with live music, theatrical and dance performances, all manner of art, and activities to keep everyone moving to the Montreal beat…
The Montréal en Lumière free outdoor site is open from Wednesday to Saturday, right in the heart of downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles, in a car-free area between Bleury and Saint-Urbain and De Maisonneuve and Sainte-Catherine streets. See the city from a different angle while riding the ferris wheel or from the top of the fun, fast and icy Urban Slide, and get moving with all kinds of kid-friendly activities, parlour games, a hockey shoot-out area, laser drawing, photo booths and more.
Entertainment is around every corner at Montréal en Lumière. Look up at Place des Festivals to see a new creative project from Montreal multimedia company Geodezik, known for its image-mapped outdoor projections that fit perfectly on city buildings: they’ll be projecting Abécédaire au carré, a bright and colourful animated story on the facade of Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan at 6:30, 7:30 and 9 p.m. each night; find yourself surrounded by short film BLOOP, about water in all its states, in the RBC Dome, from 5:30 p.m. every evening and from 12:30 p.m. on the weekend; see tango demonstrations and learn a few moves at workshops hosted by dance school Las Piernas Tango; and groove to live music and DJs every night on the RBC Stage. And while the food and drink isn’t quite free it’s plentiful, varied and will keep your energy up throughout the fest.
On March 2, head out in the early evening and stay out late for Montreal’s Nuit Blanche when the city’s museums and galleries – including the Montreal Fine Arts Museum, the Musée d’art contemporain, the Canadian Centre for Architecture (where Pop Montreal sets up a stage) – are all free to peruse, with all kinds of activities and artists on hand, from the Quartier des Spectacles to the Old Port to the Plateau and out at the Olympic Park. Even Montreal’s “underground city” is open all night for Art Souterrain – explore the labyrinthine underground passageways, see awesome and inspiring art, say hi to friendly strangers, and stay warm!
Montréal en Lumière, February 21 to March 3, 2013