Montréal, “the city of festivals,” known for its superb cuisine and vibrant nightlife, will light up the Canadian skies and warm the soul with outstanding culinary offerings and exciting cultural entertainment during the 13th edition of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival.  This midwinter party, formerly known as The Montréal High Lights Festival, features an unrivalled performing arts series, exceptional food and wine tasting activities and brilliant light shows, including a multitude of complimentary activities attracting adults and children alike.


Each year, the Festival features a country, city, and region while taking place in Montréal. This year’s featured country is Belgium, the featured city is Seattle, WA and the featured region is Quebec’s Outaouais.


A unique event in the world of delectation, notably for its concept pairing the finest Montréal chefs with the greatest culinary masters from five continents, the gastronomy and wine program of the festival has become an absolute must for foodies. Since 2000, some 400 renowned chefs, wine producers and speakers have taken part, offering unforgettable experiences in such components as the Festival’s Finest Tables, famed for their perfect harmony of food and wine.


Yves Mattagne, an illustrious master of contemporary Belgian cuisine and a receipt of two stars from the famed Michelin Guide, is this year’s Honorary President.

  • Three Honorary President’s Dinners on Friday, February 17, Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19.  The chef will be welcomed by Normand Laprise of Toque!, in collaboration with Belgium chef Marc De Canck of restaurant La Chronique.


Featured city Seattle’s culinary treasures will be showcased through Chefs Matthew Dillon of The Corson Building, Jason Franey of Canlis, Ethan Stowell of Staple & Fancy Mercantil,Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s, Jason Stratton of Spinasse andJason Wilson of Crush.


This year’s wine list will feature ambassadors from vineyards such as Amber Lane from Bergevin Lane, David Millman fromDomaine Drouhin, Jeff Gordon from Gordon Brothers Family Vineyards, Christophe Hedges from Hedges Family Estate, Steve Thompson from King Estate Winery, Marty Clubb fromL’École No. 41, Gilles Nicault from Long Shadows, Butch Milbrandt from Milbrandt Vineyards, Sean Boyd from Rotie Cellars, Kirk Brewer from Precept Wine and Jim Bernau fromWillamette Valley Vineyards.


More from the Gastronomy Program:

  • Visitors can enjoy the Quebec Chefs and Cheeses, in the Grand Salon of the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, during which the four chefs will present 12 culinary creations based on various Quebec cheeses. A full slate of 400 guests will elect the winning chef of this unique contest.
  • The Wallonia-Brussels Convivial Dinner will be hosted on Saturday, February 25, in Bonsecours Market, where the chef of Buvette du Café des Spores, Nicolas Scheidt will showcase three classic Belgium dishes.
  •  Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19, the mezzanine of Jean-Talon Market hosts workshops, demonstrations and tastings for fans of the Outaouais region.
  • Throughout the 11 days festival, restaurants throughout the area will offer Festival Lunch Menus, which will include exotic three-course meals for $12.75, as well as the Culinary Tours and gourmet itineraries that allow guests to discover Montreal with their taste buds.


Every facet of culture including music, circus arts, song, theatre and dance 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.


The Festival’s honorary Co-President Toots Thielemans, a harmonica pioneer, contributed mightily to bringing the instrument a new musical pedigree. While working primarily in jazz, the Brussels native has never hesitated to cross over into pop and world music. A brilliant whistler and accomplished guitarist, Thielemans plays the harmonica with a speed and fluidity generally associated with saxophonists


Other highlights include:

  • France D’Amour will perform songs from her Jazz album
  • Marie Denise Pelletier will make her grand return to music
  • Catherine Major will celebrate her 3rd album
  • Brigitte Boisjoli and her Félix for Discovery of the Year
  • Antoine Gratton will launch La défense du titre
  • Stromae will bring electro-chic edgy sounds
  • Été 67 will perform some energizing rock
  • My Little Cheap Dictaphone will perform atmospheric rock
  • Coeur de pirate will sail in to present songs from Blonde
  • The Barr Brothers will charm Club Soda
  • Paulo Ramos will fire up the Nuit brésilienne
  • Performance by the “new” members of the Rat Pack
  • A new vision of winter courtesy of the Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental
  • Acrobatic poetry of C!RCA
  • A crucial creation from Pigeons International at Grâce à Dieu, ton corps.


This February the festival transforms the Quartier des spectacles and its Place des Festivals—the festive heart of downtown—into the ultimate family destination. The Free Outdoor Site bursts with open-air activities including braziers, shows, activities for children, all showcasing Montréal’s renowned party spirit and flair for entertainment.


Every year, the festival closes by kicking off the “Nuit Blanche” celebrations around the world. The Nuit blanche à 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.


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