The Festival

Twenty years! Now that calls for a real celebration, which is exactly what this 20th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, presented by Bell, promises to be. This year’s exceptional program was elaborated after some healthy and constructive introspection on how far the festival has come over the years. At the very beginning, the idea that inspired Alain Simard and led to the first edition, in 2000, was to energize Montreal during the winter months; to bring some warmth, light, festivities and magic to the city, in the heart of Quartier des spectacles.

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 575 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
  • 45 Finest Tables at the very heart of the event
  • Itineraries, workshops, talks, tastings and conferences
  • A concept of pairing between Montreal’s best chefs and their international counterparts
  • The first Nuit gourmande “in the world”

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
  • A Québec Maple Ferris wheel for young and old alike
  • A wild 110-meter descent (360-feet) in the Milk Urban Slide
  • A 180-meter (600-feet) takeoff above the site with the RBC Zip-line
  • 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 over more than 150 places throughout the city. This Nuit promises to be dazzling!

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.

2011: A special edition: Celebrating Women, with Carole Bouquet and Marie-Josée Lord as co-presidents.

2012: After a few years in the Old Port, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE declares Place des Festivals and its surroundings, located in Quartier des Spectacles, as its official free outdoor site.

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.

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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Madeleine Careau – Vice-President, Culture
    Chief Executive Officer, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
  • Bernard Labrecque – Vice-President, Economy
    Partner, IBM Global Business Services
  • Danièle Perron – Vice-President, Tourism
    Vice-President, Marketing, Tourisme Montreal
  • Claude Gendron – Secretary
    Vice-President, Finances, L’Équipe Spectra
  • Jacques Aubé – Administrator
    Executive Vice-President & General Manager, evenko
  • Nathalie Carrière – Administrator
    Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Branding, L’Équipe Spectra
  • Jean-Pierre Curtat – Administrator
    Executive Chef, Casino de Montréal
  • Caroline Jamet – Administrator
    Executive Director, Radio, Audio and Greater Montreal, Radio-Canada
  • Eve Paré – President and Chief Executive Officer
    Hotel Association of Greater Montréal
  • Jacques Primeau – Administrator
    President, Jacques K. Primeau Productions
  • Laurent Saulnier – Administrator
    Senior Director, Programming and Cultural Events & Vice-president of Spectra Festivals, L’Équipe Spectra
  • Suzanne Sauvage – Administrator
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Musée McCord

Next Editions


  • 21th edition
    February 20 to March 1, 2020
  • 22th edition
    February 18 to February 28, 2021
  • 23th edition
    February 17 to February 27, 2022

Nuit blanche à Montréal

  • 17th edition
    February 29, 2020
  • 18th edition
    February 27, 2021
  • 19th edition
    February 26, 2022


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.