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Montreal en lumiere lights up February

Posted by Andrés / February 16, 2012

20120216_montrealenlumiere.jpgPost-Valentine's Day, either because of or in spite of the holiday, is when people in northern climates are the most depressed. So we've heard, right? I mean, I haven't seen any scientific evidence to back that up and am just as likely to chalk it up to an urban myth. Anyone feel like Googling that? Irregardless of the facts, February is a pretty dreary month, which is why this 13th annual Montréal en lumière festival is very welcome indeed. This year is sure to be extra special, as it's the first time the completed Quartier des spectacles (see the plan below) will be fully utilized to host the festival downtown Montréal. In previous years, it was spread out a bit (and focused more on the Old Port), but its more central location is sure to draw out the crowds. Lucky for us, this means there is a slew of free outdoor activities and concerts. There's the Loblaws spheres, the Milk Urban Slide, the Rickard's Bar, and more blatantly co-sponsored attractions. Did I mention this starts tonight?

Let's call a spade a spade: some of the Montréal en lumière events are piggybacking and would have occurred without the omnipresence of the festival. Examples include plays at the Centaur Theatre and shows at Club Soda, all of which were likely scheduled around this time anyways. But there are plenty of Lumière exclusives that include fine dining with chefs from around the world, classical music and jazz concerts at Place des Arts, and dance shows. Don't forget to read Amie's interview with Jean-Baptiste Marchand of La Fabrique, one of the chefs serving up during the week. We'll surely highlight a few events in the coming weeks, but I want to highlight the free stuff - because I'm cheap, and, admit it, so are you. Here's two to get you going:

This Saturday at Jean-Talon market, far from the nucleus of the goings-on, you can taste the fine dining of approximately ten producers from the Outaouais region: chocolate, pork, cheese, beers, smoked foods, and more. It starts at 9:30am. (+)

Music lovers are going to like the 10+ free outdoor screenings on the schedule all playing on the RBC Stage at the Place des spectacles. Also on Saturday, get a taste of traditional Québécois music with the always-popular-around-New-Year's band, La Bottine Souriante. Next week, great bands like Miracle Fortress will be playing, and even Bran Van 3000 makes a return on Saturday, the 25th.

This last coincides with the beginning of Nuit Blanche, the be all and end all of the Montréal en lumière festival. The night clearly overshadows every other event from the previous week and will likely be the subject of many a post here at MP. Please come back.

20120216_montrealenlumiere2.jpgMontréal en lumière (February 16-26, 2012) - More info

Images courtesy Montréal en lumière.

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