Montréal en Lumière welcomes one and all to brave the cold for the 19th edition of the festival. Over the years, the event has grown to become more than just a ‘lights show’. The outdoor site will be host to many free activities. For the sports fans, there will be visits from Olympians, and simulcast projections of the winter games in PyeongChang, South Korea. To compliment the Olympic timing, there will be an accent on being active, with athletic games, Zipline, and the return of MeL’s signature refrigerated ice slide.

Local act Dubmatique will make somewhat of a comeback by opening the musical series on February 22nd. Canailles will close things down on March 3rd. If you rather keep your heart rate low, there will be plenty of calmer interactive activities such as comedy, DJs, videogames, and workshops. Not only will there be how-to’s for adults, but even kid-friendly cooking lessons. Further on the gastronomic themed activities, a special maple ‘village’ will include:

Virtual Reality tours of the maple syrup production process;

A ferris wheel view of the festival grounds;

Photo ops for social media;

And most importantly – tasting booths! Yum!

For those who like to imbibe with their gastronomic goodies, there will be plenty of Happy Hour (and cheese!) events. Do not miss the SAQ’s Mondial des Cidres if you want to participate in cider-related contests, tastings and gourmet stations. Specialty chefs such as Tanaka Atsushi and Thomas Haas will also be featured.


And if you were wondering – yes – there will also be some heated locations. The Chalet Bell, for example, will offer an area of innovation, discovery and comfort. Festivalgoers can enjoy a place to relax, try some intelligent WiFi, or cozy up to the fireplace.

But ah, what about the actual lights in this so-called Lights festival? Have no fear; the second year of the Illuminart project features a dozen outdoor light and sound installations. Utilizing the urban space around Place des Arts, local and international artists, as well as UQAM design students have created a dazzling array of walk-through and walk-around public art. Montreal can be chilly, so bundle up, but be prepared to experience the installations as they react to human presence as well as natural elements such as wind. Let’s hope for a wind chill of tolerable levels.


Montréal en Lumière (The Montreal Highlights Festival) takes place February 22nd – March 4th at Place des Festivals (metro Place des Arts). For more info: