- The Festival
- Shows and concerts
- Fine dining
- Free outdoor site
- Nuit blanche
- Packages and Travels
MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is one of the largest winter festivals in the world, an annual celebration registering one million festival site visits from fans experiencing the joy of Montreal wintertime through a unique program combining performing arts, gastronomy, free outdoor family activities, and a full night of exquisitely original discoveries!
As the cornerstone of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the fine-dining program makes Montréal THE ultimate gourmet destination. Since the very 1st edition of the festival, some 500 renowned chefs, wine producers and speakers have taken part. Every edition is a brand-new ode to discovery!
All facets of culture take the spotlight in Montreal, thanks to the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE artistic program. It’s an eclectic program that showcases icons and new artists alike, from home and abroad!
The MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE outdoor site offers a multitude of free activities for all. During the festival, the Quartier des spectacles and its Place des Festivals—the headquarters of downtown celebrations—become THE essential winter destination.
As the best-attended single-day event in Montréal every year, the Nuit blanche assembles 300,000 nighthawks who brave winter temperatures to fully experience a singularly wild urban adventure.
So to enjoy everything this Nuit has to offer, climb aboard the Metro—open all night especially for the occasion!—and dive into some of our 200 cultural activities, most of them free, spread throughout the city. This Nuit promises to be dazzling!
2000: Founded by Alain Simard, the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival was launched with the intention of revitalizing the city in winter. With Paul Bocuse and Charles Dutoit as honorary presidents, the 1st edition draws 200,000 visitors.
2002: Almost half a million festival fans attend, including 400,000 people on the outdoor site for the Fête de la lumière and its fireworks display.
2004: The 1st Nuit blanche à Montréal is launched to mark the 5th anniversary of MEL, drawing 100,000 nighthawks.
2006: The Fête de la lumière moves from Ste. Catherine Street to the Old Port.
2007: The festival organizes its very first Grand Opening Event, with Éric Lapointe in a massive free outdoor concert.
2009: Launch of the Art Souterrain program: a 2.8 km circuit featuring 80 projects created by 130 artists.
2011: A special edition: Celebrating Women, with Carole Bouquet and Marie-Josée Lord as co-presidents.
2014: Festival attendance surpasses one million visits for the first time.
2015: A new attraction: the Zipline, allowing fans to soar over the outdoor site.
2017: First edition of Illuminart, a circuit of illuminated, interactive and technological projects.
View the complete history of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE.
With widespread support in the community, MONTREAL EN LUMIÈRE created a Board of Patrons that brings together personalities recognized for their commitment to the cultural, tourism and economic life of Montreal. In a way these are the godparents of the event, whose establishment and development they encourage through their knowledge and through their involvement in the Montreal milieu.
The Board of Directors of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE consists of 15 members. In addition to the Chief Executive Officer of the festival, Jacques-André Dupont, and its Founding President Emeritus, Alain Simard, it brings together nine representatives of Montreal’s cultural milieu, in tourism and business. Four representatives of L’Équipe Spectra, overseer and designer of the project, complete the Board.