Thursday, February 21, 2013

2013 Montréal en Lumière, Feb 21-Mar 3

The 14th Montréal en Lumière kicks off tonight at the Quartier des Spectacles. The festival is a broad-ranging affair with shows and concerts of all kinds as well as fine dining and drinks. The opening show at Théâtre Maisonneuve will be La Pista Tango and blends circus arts, tango and illustration.

Featured concerts include Alain Lefèvre, Diana Krall and The Zombies. The food spotlights will be on Buenos Aires, Philadelphia and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, with Argentinean chef Francis Mallmann as honourary president. As always, there will be many free activities and events. The festival draws to a close with the annual Nuit blanche.

One of the largest winter festivals in the world, an annual celebration drawing 900,000 fans to experience the joy of Montréal wintertime through a unique program combining performing arts, gastronomy, free outdoor family activities, and a full night of exquisitely original discoveries! Music, circus arts, song, theatre, dance… every facet of culture glitters in Montréal during the Arts Program of Montréal en Lumière. The program puts the spotlight on the city with a rich and eclectic program welcoming icons as well as emerging artists from home and abroad. Over the course of 11 days, an array of new discoveries, original creations and dazzling performances become part of the daily fabric of Montréal life.

Every year, the festival closes by kicking off the “Nuits blanches” celebrations around the world. And what a kickoff! The Nuit blanche in Montréal invites locals and tourists to enjoy some 180 mostly free activities, all of them linked by a free shuttle service. Whether onstage or onscreen, in the great outdoors or under the spotlights, in music or in story, installations, exhibitions or dance, the city lights up the night with a full spectrum of fun and festive discoveries for all!

The MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE free outdoor site

Montreal, Tuesday, February 5, 2013 — One thing is certain: the programmers of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE free outdoor site have the right winter spirit, and they’ve delivered a calendar packed with pleasure in all its forms for this 14th edition presented by RBC! There is pure foodie pleasure with the new formula offering gourmet pit-stops all over the site—a smash hit last year!—and musical delight with high-calibre free outdoor shows and DJ-VJ sets; the pleasure of rediscovering your childhood with a wild ride on the gigantic slide; gorgeous visuals courtesy of impressive artistic lighting on the site and mind-blowing projections on the surrounding facades that take the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE name absolutely literally! Yes, there will be 1001 paths to pleasure at this festival from February 21 to March 3, on the Place des Festivals, the Place des Arts esplanade and—a new addition this year—the Promenade des Artistes!

The return of the Escales gourmandes: feast before the fest!

Building on the strength of last year’s mega-success, our gourmet pit-stops are back! Once again, they’ll be ready to delight the most exacting gourmands, with an impressive variety of tastes for every budget… while also offering gourmet nods to our great featured city, Buenos Aires, and our American featured city, Philadelphia! Ladies and gentlemen, start your appetites! Head to the Petit Balmo for its Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and huge homemade pretzels, restaurant L’Atelier d’Argentine and its giant BBQ serving up vacio (beef) and cerdo (pork) sandwiches and empanadas, the Maison du chocolat and delectable products from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, kiosks offering Belgian waffles and frites, the Provigo Sphere where local producers invite you to discover regional treats…

The Promenade des Artistes

We’ve added a new “Main Street” to our site… which means even more activities! The festival’s free outdoor site extends even further into the Quartier des Spectacles by folding the Promenade des Artistes (De Maisonneuve Blvd.) into its program. You’ll find Totems exquis Casino de Montréal, a stunning interactive tableau inviting visitors to assemble strange, enormous creatures and project them onto UQAM’s Pavillon Président-Kennedy (presented in rotation with video projection Le jour des 8 soleils, courtesy of the Quartier des spectacles), as well as the photo exhibit marking the 10th anniversary of Nuit blanche. We thank the Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles, Tourisme Québec and the Arrondissement de Ville-Marie for making these activities possible.

The Place des Festivals

The heart of the action! Along with the Escales gourmandes, you’ll find activities for every taste. Whether it’s a ride on the Air France Ferris Wheel, a colourful interlude watching mind-blowing architectural lighting, dancing or enjoying a drink, or joining in a spontaneous and progressive visual creation with the Ballons interactifs Casino de Montréal (6 p.m. to 9 p.m., excluding Sundays and February 25 & 26), you’ll come back to this always-buzzing site time and time again. And festival fans will also be happy to learn that our most popular activities are back:

Bell mega-projection Abécédaire au carré: the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan takes centre stage

It was an immense success during the first Place des Festivals edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, and this mega-projection is sure to be a fan favourite again! To our delight, GEODEZIK returns with a new creative adventure in video-mapping presented by Bell, Abécédaire au carré, which once again promises to make our Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan look wild… 26 times over! The thousands of visitors who participated in last year’s presentation will tell you—it’s indescribable! You’ve got to see it to believe it! Don’t miss it, with three presentations every evening of the festival (6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., excluding February 24 to 26). Spectacular!

The RBC Dome

This year, the huge, eye-catching white sphere on the Place des Festivals becomes a 360º movie theatre! And a 20-metre sphere makes a very impressive silver screen! Don’t miss the film BLOOP, created by TURBINE and presented by the RBC Visa Avion Card in collaboration with the RBC Blue Water Project, relating the story of water in all its states. An immersive film screened continuously. On weekends, just outside the Dome, at the Vive le hockey RBC Tent, fans can also meet RBC Olympic athletes Benoit St-Amand (luge hockey gold medalist in the Paralympic Games) and Caroline Ouellette (ice hockey triple gold medalist, Winter Olympic Games).

L’Espace Financière Sun Life: entertainment… and a major event!

Located at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance Streets (right near the Musée d’art contemporain), this new zone offers a variety of entertainment throughout the festival, centred on the themes Warmth, Colour, Movement and Dance. And this is the site of the Sun Life Financial Big Family Photo, inviting all festival fans to gather with hand-held sparklers (to be distributed approx. 7:30 p.m.) and show their festival love. This unique photo will then be posted on our website, where all participants can have fun finding and tagging themselves. It’s an event you simply cannot afford to miss, on the first Saturday of the festival, February 23, around 7:30 p.m. The more the merrier!

Bell DJ-VJs

There’s no better way to heat up even the most glacial evening than dancing like a maniac! Join us for sets by the Bell DJ-VJs—still alongside the illuminated dome—every night at 9:15 p.m.: Roux Soundsystem (February 21), Black Tiger Sex Machine (February 22), Random Recipe DJ Set (February 23), Pablo Guadalupe, Drum Addiction (February 27), DJ Angelo (February 28), Sagewondah, French Connection DJs (March 1) and LEBARON, Rendez-vous musique (for Nuit blanche, March 2). The RBC Dome lights up with images courtesy of VJ Video Girl, VJ Brille Brille and VJ Ma’’, who’ll add their kaleidoscopic colours to the hippest beats.

The Zone Bell: braziers, lasers and a photo exhibit, Buenos Aires in Pictures !

And there are even more activities in the Zone Bell! On Ste. Catherine St., close by Balmoral St., visitors can experiment with the FIBE TV service in the Boîte Bell, unleash their creativity with the interactive laser game or take a break and relax around a brazier. Nobody will want to miss the photo exhibit Buenos Aires in Pictures: if the grand featured city of our 14th edition is a little far away in terrestrial terms, you can enjoy this charming visit in photos: tango, bares notables—the cafés so deeply entrenched in the Porteño heritage—and the cultural spaces and events that define it as the cultural capital of Latin America… In addition, you can discover more on the Argentinean capital and its tourist attractions at the info kiosk on Buenos Aires just next door.

Bistro SAQ

This lovely trio of geodesic domes presents cheeses, soups, duck confit, beef bourguignon and a selection of wines and beers daily, and also a special tasting evening starring duck in many presentations (details at the end of this communique).

Galerie of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan: Tony Bennett, painter

For this 14th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the legendary singer offers us an immense privilege: presenting a major Montreal premiere featuring a selection of some of his loveliest pieces, signed Anthony Benedetto. Do not miss this unique opportunity to join us in the Galerie and discover another facet of the very talented Tony Bennett, accomplished painter and watercolorist, whose work will transport you with its emotive power and beauty. Free admission. From February 14 to April 14.

The Place des Arts esplanade

The RBC Stage

It’s absolutely essential! Where else can you catch extraordinary outdoor winter performances by some of today’s finest artists? Perfectly located on Ste. Catherine St., just slightly east of Jeanne-Mance, the RBC Stage once again serves up free shows guaranteed to thrill festival fans. First: fun for the kids, at 2 p.m., with Les Petites Tounes—rockers who no longer need an introduction!—the weekend of February 23-24, and the comtesse d’Harmonia (aka Joe Bocan), the following weekend (March 2 and 3), with her show Pour faire danser la terre… Then, at 8 p.m., we welcome Dumas, a born performer, who kicks off the party February 21, followed the next evening by the sparkling Pascale Picard Band and, February 23, Latino-québécois beatboy Boogat. The 2nd course presents Nicolas Pellerin et les Grands Hurleurs (February 27) in a very foot-tappingly trad party, legendary Montreal indie-rock group GrimSkunk (February 28), the very cool Qualité Motel (March 1) and, last but not least, another of our finest gems, David Usher in the festival closer… and Nuit blanche opener! To amp up the ambience, don’t forget that VJ Cafrine (returning this year) and VJ Yanneek add their vibrant visuals to enhance the musical performances on every evening shows are held. Finally the RBC Stage welcomes dance fanatics to tango demonstrations and workshops hosted by dance school Las Piernas Tango, at 5:30 p.m. (February 21 to 23 and February 27 to March 2).

The Milk Family Fun Zone and the big Urban Slide

The Milk Family Fun Zone offers activities sure to please the widest range of winter warriors: start with the gigantic Urban Slide, of course—110 metres of crazy zooming fun, with wild sound effects and multicoloured lights!—but don’t forget the giant parlour games, the Photo Studio, a contest with instant prizes, and of course the delights of the Milk bar. Young or old, child or teen or adult, with family or friends, you’ll find it all in this perfect rendezvous point!

A magnificent site

Last year, the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE outdoor site returned to the site of its birth, the downtown core. And it was only too obvious how perfectly its new home suited the fest! Admirably located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles—making it remarkably accessible to all Montrealers and tourists—the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE outdoor site now contributes more than ever to downtown entertainment and the cultural, gastronomic and economic redynamization of Montreal life. And how! Only one edition was required to illustrate how completely and comprehensively the event enlivened and beautified the city through 11 days and nights of festivities: illuminating streets and buildings, projections, colorful décor, etc. Fans will be happy to learn that the tandem responsible for last year’s magnificent progressive architectural lighting, Marc Tétreault and Jean Laurin, returns this year with a movement-based interpretation of the site, on the theme of “a dynamic environment”, a progressive luminous concept that mutates—sometimes randomly, sometimes on purpose, always intended to enhance everyone’s winter experience.

Now more than ever, the festival site offers everything you need for a winter party—even right after work. A 5 à 7 Happy Hour? A snack, or a full meal? Absolutely! Quench your thirst at the RBC Dome (after 9 p.m.), the Balmoral, SAQ sales points, the Milk Dairy Bar, Rickard’s bar, the Porto Cabral kiosk, the Amarula bar or Café Jura. There’s an abundance of choices for your dining pleasure with the Gourmet Pit-stops and, as ever, excellent sausages made expressly for the festival and grillin’ marshmallows at the Sun Life Financial Braziers, but also churros with delectable dulce de leche! On weekends, by the way, don’t forget to gather ’round these braziers to create lovely souvenirs thanks to the squad behind the Sun Life Financial Big Family Photo.

The return of the Festival of Quebec Cheeses

Finally, we’re absolutely delighted to announce the return of the Festival of Quebec Cheeses, from Wednesday, February 20 to Saturday, February 23 on the Grande-Place in Complexe Desjardins, after missing last year’s festival due to renovations then underway in Complexe Desjardins. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet Quebec cheesemakers, whose diverse array of exceptional products never ceases to impress. To add to the pleasure, you can also discover different wines, ciders and beers on the site.

Opening hours of the Free Outdoor Site

February 21 to March 3 (except Monday and Tuesday): 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: noon to 11 p.m. (Nuit blanche, March 2: noon to 3 a.m.)
Sunday: noon to 6 p.m.

Beyond the site, you’ll also find the Tuques bleues, a nocturnal snowshoe adventure on Mount Royal, the annual benefit event hosted by Amis de la montagne, now in its 16th edition, scheduled for Thursday, February 21 at 5:45 p.m. It’s a festive outdoor activity that contributes to the conservation of Mount Royal. Registration:

Bistro SAQ special evening tasting

Soup: duck consommé with confit, corn and barley

Cold appetizers: Rougié trio of duck cooked with Argentinean white wine—rillettes, pâté de foie gras, foie gras au torchon

Main course: duck breast Rougié a la Périgourdine and foie gras cutlets sautéed in Mycryo accompanied by pearl barley and vegetables

Dessert: Xangos (cream cheese and dulce de leche in a fried tortilla)

Wednesday, February 27, 6 p.m.

Tickets: $65.31, wine, tip, taxes and fees included

Reservation: 1 855 790-1245 •

For full festival program, click here:

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