Montreal is throwing an all-night party, and you’re invited. Nuit Blanche is an artistic and cultural marathon that turns the city into an after-dark playground with light-up art installations, free music shows and museums open late, inviting the curious to explore into the wee hours.
The March 2 spectacle, part of Montréal en Lumière Festival, will feature over 100 free activities across the Quartier des Spectacles, downtown, Old Port, Plateau, the Quartier Latin and the Village, Mile End, and Hochelaga.
If you’re into art, food, music, or just looking for a unique way to spend your evening, Nuit Blanche has got you covered.
Two people in glowing costumes hold up neon-coloured rings.Victor Diaz Lamich; Courtesy of Nuit Blanche.
What to do
While the programming is extensive, here are some highlights to get you excited (full list available here).
In the Quartier des Spectacles, the night will come alive with:
- Grande Roue Loto-Québec: A giant Ferris wheel will offer panoramic views of the city lit up at night for a unique way to see Montreal from above, available until 2 a.m.
- Défi de vitesse Tim Hortons: A skating challenge for those looking to test their speed on ice, located near the Grande Roue.
- Skate Canada’s Spectacle Hivernal: A free figure skating show at Place Loto-Québec skating rink, featuring top talent in a series of performances starting at 7:30 p.m.
- Mulled Wine Pop-Up Bar: A spot to get a warming drink to keep the night’s chill at bay.
- 5 à 7 SAQ at Quartier Gourmand: An opportunity to taste spirits from Distillerie de Montréal, accompanied by insights from the distillery’s co-founder, a host, and a mixologist, from 9:15 to 10:30 p.m.
You can dance to the beat of the city’s nightlife, energized by extended hours for drinks:
- Moonshine at MTELUS: A celebration of African club culture with free entry, running from midnight to 6 a.m., ensuring the party continues till the first light of dawn.
- 24 Hours of Vinyl at the SAT: You can jam under the dome to vinyl DJ sets, free before 10 p.m., then paid until 8 a.m.
You can experience behind-the-scenes magic at Maison de Radio-Canada with:
- Special taping of Jeannot BBQ: You can get a glimpse of live radio in action at 8 p.m
- Karaoké Radio-Canada: Join in a night of singing, featuring a lineup of favorite tunes, at 9 p.m.
- Sur mesure concert featuring Jeremy Dutcher: A memorable performance at 11 p.m. followed by tours of the production studios to see where the broadcasting magic happens.
People cut out black and white collage at the MBAM during a prior Nuit Blanche.Benoît Rousseau, Courtesy of Nuit Blanche.
Some of Montreal’s museums are also opening their doors wide, offering:
- McCord Stewart Museum: Urban Sketchers Montreal and a watercolor workshop.
- Musée des Beaux-Art de Montréal (MBAM): A workshop inspired by the works of Georgia O’Keeffe and Henry Moore, with a special half-price rate for the exhibition.
- Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (MAC): A workshop inspired by Anna Binta Diallo’s mural at Place Ville-Marie. You can also explore the Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia exhibition.
How to get around
For those whose evenings typically end when the last metro car disappears into the night, Nuit Blanche offers a rare opportunity to see the city in a different light.
The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is extending its services, with metro, paratransit, and buses running until morning. Those planning to take full advantage of the night’s offerings can get an unlimited metro evening pass. Plus, the more you ride, the more likely you’ll find a “mystery metro car” with onboard surprises.
Nuit Blanche is a night where the city may not sleep, but still dreams, and the only thing missing is a reason to go home.