Nuit Blanche is the all-night Montreal High Lights event which just happens to be THE BIGGEST PARTY ALL WINTER IN MONTREAL! (Sorry for the yelling, but it’s important.) It starts on Saturday, February 26 at 8pm and ends a couple hours past whenever you fall asleep on Sunday. It involves everything from underground art to dance to music to sport, but you can just read about that on their website or just load their app onto your phone. There’s so much going on, you probably just want someone to cut through the clutter. I’ve got you covered…
If you’re looking for where the wildest dancefloor of the night will be found, look no further than Club Soda and the 8th instalment of Karnival, the party started by local legendary dancefloor destructor, Poirier. He’ll be joined by his frequent collaborators Face-T and Boogat, Ninja Tune head honcho Ghostbeard, two Brazilian dance troupes and several secret guests. This free event goes from 10pm-3am.
What better time to learn the sophisticated sexiness of the tango than late at night? Nuit Blanche offers two options: Air de Tango on St-Laurent offers 5 sessions (9 & 11pm, 1, 3 & 5am) which involve an intro to the dance and its history, some basic steps and a demonstration, while down in Old Montreal, Studio Tango also has hour-long intro/lesson/demo sessions (8, 9:45 & 11:30pm, 1:15am) on the go. (Of course, if you’d prefer to rock, head up Studio Bizz (551 Mount-Royal East) and rockabilly and jive the night away- after getting your hair pompadoured by the on-site hairstylist.)
Pop Montreal, one of/the city’s coolest fests, is throwing one of the cooler events of the night featuring DJ Annie Q, the much buzzed-about electronic musician Grimes and artist Tyson Parks, who is going to hook up a motion capture system to allow the audience to digitally body paint the (really neat) CCA building. I’m not even totally sure what that means but it sure sounds cool. There’s also hot chocolate ice bar, a special visit by Milan’s Kaleidoscope magazine and much more.
Late-Night Swimming: Sneaking into secret outdoor pools late at night is a favorite pastime of Montrealers in the summer. Thanks to the Hilton, you don’t have to sneak into their heated outdoor pool, open 8pm-5am, because it’s an official event. Why is this one of Nuit Blanche’s best parties? Um, everyone will be wearing bathing suits?
Down at Lion D’Or, get into an incredible range of North African music. From 8pm-5am (cover is free after 11), they’ve got Bambara Trans, Sokoun Trio, Syncop, incredible dancers from the Sanaa Danse baladi school and much more.
Anyone whose grabbed breakfast after 3 in the morning knows that the place is usually rocking. Nouveau Palais is the Mile End grease institution which was recently given an overhaul by chef Gita Seaton. She’ll be joined by Marc-Andre Leclerc of Grumman78 (the legendary taco truck which pulls up to the NP on weekend nights), providing their own specialities, as well as some classic bacon and eggs.
Photo Credit: © Festival Montréal en Lumières