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MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE offers another sparkling edition of delicious food and fun

Each winter, Montréal sparkles with light, entertainment and gourmet goodness during the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE Festival. And this year, our favourite winter mood-booster is an official event on the program of Montréal’s high-profile 375th anniversary celebrations, offering even more brilliant ideas on how to spark up your life with fun, food, light and music. Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 edition, and why it makes sense to head north this coming February 23 to March 11. Fébrilité dans l’air dans l’attente du dévoilement de notre programmation gastronomique. On vous dit tout très bientôt ! #MTLenLumiere | Photo : Frédérique Ménard-Aubin Une photo publiée par MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE (@mtlenlumiere) le 28 Nov. 2016 à 9h08 PST Treat your taste buds to the fine cuisine of Lyon For the festival’s gourmet component, we’ll be lionizing the fabulous cuisine of Lyon, France. The festival’s grand featured city, home of an impressive 21 Michelin-starred chefs and some 4,200 restaurants, will lavish us with its lovely gastronomy, thanks to an impressive contingent of its chefs, including Jérôme Bocuse and Christopher Muller, the two honorary co-presidents. In restaurants across Montréal, the creativity will be flying off the charts as our guest chefs and local… / Read More →

Luminothérapie: A retro-futuristic installation at Place des Festivals

A avant-garde outdoor experience is coming back to Montréal’s Place des Festivals. For the seventh year running, the Quartier des spectacles (Entertainment District) will be transformed into a huge set for Luminothérapie, a celebration of sound and light that runs from December 8, 2016 to January 29, 2017. This year, the main attraction is LOOP, a captivating piece by Ekumen, the Montréal-based sound and media arts production agency. It was designed by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve and Ottoblix, in collaboration with Générique Design, Jérôme Roy and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks. This fairy tale-inspired installation features 13 giant zoetropes (cylinders) that promise to inspire awe both day and night. “We used a zeotrope concept—like a giant wheel—to encourage interactions between humans, unusual mechanical components and the imaginary world,” said Olivier Girourad, who works as a composer, sound artist and art director at Ekumen. “Zeotropes were the precursor to cinema,” explains Jonathan Villeneuve, the designer behind LOOP. Olivier adds that zoetropes even predate animated films. It would seem that this optical toy was invented in 1834 by two people simultaneously: England’s William George Horner and Austria’s Simon Ritter von Stampfer. Zoetropes create the illusion of movement through persistence of vision.   LOOP is a… / Read More →

Canada’s biggest Christmas tree lights up Montréal

Montréal’s holiday season is about to get even brighter as the country’s biggest Christmas tree rolls into downtown’s Place des Festivals, adding its magnitude of seasonal magic to an already festive scene. Inspired by New York’s iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree – a tradition since 1933 – and Montréal’s 375th anniversary, the team behind the “grand sapin” simply figured now was the right time to go big and go sparkly. The four co-founders of classy Christmas tree delivery company Sapin MTL, who together have years of experience in music festival and special event production, knew they could make their Christmas dreams come true – they teamed up with La Tribu and Just For Laughs to source and install the massive tree, with none other than Canadian Tire supplying the tree’s thousands of lights. To say that Sapin MTL aims high is an understatement. For the tree itself, they’re aiming for  over 75 feet. To put that in perspective, the average Christmas tree is around five or six feet, running up to 10 feet for those of us who can’t get enough of the Christmas spirit. And the Rockefeller Centre’s annual Norway Spruce usually measures anywhere from 61 to 100 feet…. / Read More →

Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour ready to score big in Montréal

While it’s actually quite remarkable that a city that’s equal parts hockey and festival crazy does not have an actual hockey festival per se, Montréal will nevertheless host the very next best thing when the super popular Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour pulls into town for the first time. Hometown Hockey will be setting up camp in the downtown Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles – also the site of other major MTL fests like the Montréal International Jazz Festival and Just For Laughs – on Saturday, November 12 (from 12-6 p.m.) and Sunday, November 13 (12-10 p.m.), and the atmosphere will indeed be festive. #ThatAwesomeMoment when Patrice Brisebois subbed in for a little one-on-one on the @mcdonaldscanada rink. #hometownhockey Une photo publiée par Rogers Hometown Hockey (@hometownhockey) le 22 Oct. 2016 à 10h47 PDT Fun for hockey fans of all ages Family-friendly programming and activities are planned for the entire weekend, and it’s all free. These include a concert by Montréal-based rocker Sam Roberts, two circus performances, as many as five or six Montreal Canadiens alumni live and in the flesh onsite (whom you’ll be able to meet at The Community Locker Room), local celebrities, a virtual autograph… / Read More →

The most Instagrammed spots in Montréal [part 2]

If you saw part 1 of our round-up of the most Instagrammed spots in Montréal and wondered why some of your favourite places were not on the list, fear not: part 2 of our series serves up ten more photogenic spots for capturing amazing #MTLmoments. Do you have a place to recommend? Drop us a line. Biosphere Hotspot: There are lots of great views of the Biosphere from Chemin Tour-de-l’Isle on Île Sainte-Hélène. Just hop the metro to the Parc Jean-Drapeau station and start strolling along the paths for a vantage point that sparks your inspiration. The Biosphere is a geodesic dome designed by architect Buckminster Fuller as the pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair, Expo 67, and is now the only environment museum in North America. Parc Jean-Drapeau – Biosphère ♻️🐝 #montreal #biosphere A photo posted by Armelle G. (@armelle18) on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:02am PDT Nearby: Once you are at Parc Jean-Drapeau there are tons of things to see and do nearby: the aquatic complex, Jean-Doré Beach, the Casino de Montréal the former French Pavillion, plus, if your timing is right, you can take in music festivals and happenings like Piknic Électronik, Osheaga and Heavy… / Read More →

Your Montréal Nuit blanche Survival Guide

Calling all nighthawks, night owls and burners of midnight oil. The once-a-year, all-night, nearly citywide arts, culture and performance party that is Nuit blanche is nearly upon us. It’s a vast undertaking with almost innumerable options and opportunities, and with that in mind, we offer you this guide to one of Montreal’s brightest winter nights. THE EVENT The 13th edition off Nuit blanche, part of the annual MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival at locations all over downtown Montréal and surrounding neighbourhoods, starting on February 27 and ending in the wee hours of February 28. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO One of the highlights of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is the always illuminating, always epic Nuit blanche all-nighter. Nuit blanche (“white night”) invites all comers to partake in upwards of 200 (mostly free) activities this year, including live music, film, dance, performance art, interactive installations, storytelling, digital and visual art, and great food to match a great night. IT’S WHERE EXACTLY? Almost everywhere MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s family-friendly free outdoor site in the downtown Quartier des Spectacles is the central hub from which all the action radiates. The site features a giant outdoor stage, interactive installations, dining areas, numerous fun activities (we don’t need… / Read More →

Your MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE Survival Guide

Cold weather festing hath no fury like the ever-strengthening MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival, which brightens moods and sets downtown Montréal alight with excitement each and every year. A blizzard of entertainment and activities awaits visitors at both indoor and outdoor locales, so let this be your guide to navigating the storm. THE EVENT The 17th edition of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival at various locations in downtown Montréal from February 18 to March 5, 2016. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO Over the course of 17 days, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will enjoy some 1,300,000 visits from fearless fun seekers at what has become one of the largest winter festivals in the world. The annual happening hosts an expansive, eclectic and high-powered program of performing arts (live music, theatre, dance, circus arts and more) at many of the city’s best venues. There are also almost innumerable gastronomic options (some 500 chefs, wine producers and culinary experts have participated over the years) and a lively range of events and activities on the action-packed outdoor site that visitors can participate in. THE LAY OF THE LAND Where everything’s happening The almost 200 paid indoor performances and… / Read More →

Montréal winter nights are bright with activity possibilities

Nighttime is always the right time for both family fun and slightly more adult-oriented activities and entertainment in Montréal during the winter season. Gliding on ice under night skies is a sublime pastime at the Old Port’s idyllic Bonsecours Basin skating rink, a huge open-air surface renowned for its exceptional ice. It features some of the most striking views of Old Montréal and the city skyline in an extremely fun-friendly environment. Each day has a different music theme: classical Mondays, world music Tuesdays, urban sounds Wednesdays, and so on. The ice is open Monday to Wednesday until 9 pm, and Thursday to Sunday until 10 pm. Skate rentals and lockers are available. Many of Montréal’s most beautiful parks also feature night skating along with music, warming stations and/or places to eat and, er, lubricate. The picturesque Parc Lafontaine, Parc Maisonneuve and Beaver Lake on the summit of Mount Royal are all examples of top-tier blading places that typically stay open on the weekends until 10 pm. For locations, skating conditions and other info, please go here. Speaking of the mountain, Mount Royal Park is an outdoor winter sports enthusiast’s dream. In addition to skating, sledding and cross-country skiing – there… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 22 to 28

We’ll never underestimate Montréal’s capacity to turn winter into a vacation-destination party – this week, it’s time to play in the snow at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Fêtes des Neiges, dance the night away at Igloofest, eat well at Happening Gourmand, and be awed by dance, theatre, film, and live music. Winter stays bright in Montréal this weekend at family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, where you can go tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, hot-chocolate drinking and doughnut-eating to your heart’s content at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau. Put on your brightest and warmest toque and parka and get ready to dance at massive outdoor dance party Igloofest – this Friday it’s Scuba and Jimmy Edgar, Rone and other artists while on Saturday hear the sounds of Maceo Plex, Odd Parents, Pierre Kwenders and more along with eye-popping visuals – and it all starts again on Thursday night with Mr. Oizo, Black Tiger Sex Machine and more! – at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Downtown at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie or head out to the Olympic Park (also home to the Biôdome, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH…. / Read More →

Luminothérapie and high-tech creativity light up city life

A ride on an illuminated seesaw while surrounded by storeys-tall video projections may be all you need to get comfortable with Montréal winter this December. The city greets the season with the new glittering creations of annual event Luminothérapie, reflecting just how ahead of the technological curve Montréal is all year, whether in video gaming or art making. The sixth edition of Luminothérapie, held December 10 to January 31, builds on Montréal’s affinity for technological innovation with a distinctly artistic and cultural edge – this year’s event turns Place des Festivals into an interactive-art playground filled with 30 seesaws emitting sound and light. Inspired by Montrealers’ love of outdoor play no matter what the weather, the designers of Impulse – Lateral Office, CS Design and EGP Group – have created a cheerful gathering place in the heart of downtown. Meanwhile, video projections by Montréal-based digital art team Maotik and Iregular transform nearby Théâtre Maisonneuve and UQAM’s President–Kennedy building as well as the Grande Bibliothèque, UQAM bell tower and five more looming facades into screens for gorgeous abstract visuals accompanied by soundtracks by Toronto-based artist Mitchell Akiyama. Luminothérapie grew out of Montréal’s participation in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, a global network… / Read More →