About the Festival

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!

Montréal, a gourmet destination

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!

  • Countless culinary activities for every taste and budget
  • Workshops, tastings and conferences
  • The pairing concept at the heart of the festival: every year, the finest Montreal chefs and their greatest counterparts from five continents join forces in the kitchen

It’s showtime!

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!

  • Music: an eclectic program that equally embraces classical music, the next generation of artists, musicians from around the world and Montreal premieres
  • Theatre
  • Circus arts
  • Dance

Everyone outside! A free, fun outdoor site

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.

  • An extraordinary program circuit of interactive and luminous works: Illuminart
  • Activities for all ages: slides, the Ferris wheel, the Zipline, curling…
  • Free shows
  • Food kiosks for gourmet pit stops

The Most Awaited Night of the Year

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!

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE by the numbers

Cultural program:

  • Over 600 artists
  • 226 shows for 41 venues and stages
  • 6 countries represented

Fine dining

  • 34 Festival’s Finest Tables
  • 32 guests from here and abroad
  • 2,500 kg of cheese, 19 cheesemakers from 11 Quebec regions in the Festival of Quebec Cheeses

Nuit blanche à Montréal

  • 300,000 nighthawks
  • 208 activities spread out over 152 sites, 9 pôles
  • 17,000 visitors to Art souterrain—a 7 km circuit with 70 contemporary art projects

Outdoor site

  • Between 100 and 150 km of technical wiring
  • 1,600 lighting projectors
  • 18,000 electrical connections
  • 110 metres (360 feet) of wild zooming down the Lait Urban Slide
  • 180 metres (600 feet) of wild soaring over the site on the RBC Zipline

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE in 10 key dates

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.

Board of Governors

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.

  • Mr. Raymond Bachand Strategic Advisor, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Ms. Valérie Plante Mayor of Montreal
  • Mr. Alain Cousineau Corporate director
  • Mr. Guy Crevier President & Publisher, La Presse
  • Mr. Robert Dumas President, Sun Life Financial
  • Mr. Michael Fortier Vice-Chairman, RBC Capital Markets
  • Mme Phoebe Greenberg Director and founder, PHI Center
  • Ms. Manuela Goya Secretary General – Montreal, Cultural Metropolis
  • Mr. Louis Lalande Executive vice-president, CBC/Radio-Canada French Services
  • M. Alan MacIntosh Real Ventures
  • M. Geoff Molson Owner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Club de hockey Canadien and evenko
  • Mr. Erik Ryan Executive Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and External Relations, SNC-Lavalin inc.
  • Mr. Philippe Sureau Administrator and advisor to the president, Transat A.T. inc.
  • Mr. Martin Thibodeau President, RBC Royal Bank, Quebec Headquarters
  • Ms. Martine Turcotte Executive vice-president, Quebec Head, Bell

Board of Directors

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.

  • Michel Leblanc – Chairman of the Board
    President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
  • Jacques-André Dupont - Chief Executive Officer
    Chief Executive Officer, L'’Équipe Spectra
  • Alain Simard – Founding President Emeritus
    Chairman of the Board, L’Équipe Spectra Inc.
  • Madeleine Careau – Vice-President, Culture
    Chief Executive Officer, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
  • Eve Paré – President and Chief Executive Officer
    Hotel Association of Greater Montréal
  • Danièle Perron – Vice-President, Tourism
    Vice-President, Marketing, Tourisme Montreal
  • Claude Gendron – Secretary
    Vice-President, Finances, L’Équipe Spectra inc.
  • Jacques Aubé – Administrator
    Executive Vice-President & General Manager, evenko
  • Nathalie Carrière – Administrator
    Vice-President Communications and Publicity, L’Équipe Spectra inc.
  • Jean-Pierre Curtat – Administrator
    Executive Chef, Casino de Montréal
  • Caroline Jamet – Administrator
    Vice-President Communications, La Presse, President Éditions La Presse and Éditions Gesca
  • Bernard Labrecque – Vice-President, Economy
    Partner, IBM Global Business Services
  • Jacques Primeau – Administrator
    President, Jacques K. Primeau Productions
  • Laurent Saulnier – Administrator
    Vice-President Programming, L’Équipe Spectra inc.
  • Suzanne Sauvage – Administrator
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Musée McCord

Next Editions


  • 20th edition: February 21 to March 3, 2019
  • 21th edition: February 20 to March 7, 2020
  • 22th edition: February 18 to March 6, 2021

Nuit blanche à Montréal

  • 16th edition: March 2, 2019
  • 17th edition: February 29, 2020
  • 18th edition: February 27, 2021


MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is a private, non-profit organization by an administrative board consisting of members drawn from Montréal's artistic, economic and tourism sectors.