February 23, 2013

Annual festival aims to shake winter doldrums

Annualfestivaltakes aimat winterdoldrums


The space also provides some tasty snacks, including a milk-and-chocolate bar, toasty Belgian waffles, and cafe and bistro offerings.

The outdoor rides and activities are free. The site is open daily during the fest except for Monday, Feb. 25, and Tuesday, Feb. 26. Hours vary but are mostly evenings during the week and all day on weekends. Check the website for the complete schedule.


Dozens of music, dance, circus and theater performances also reign under the Montreal en Lumiere umbrella.

La Tohu, Montreal’s premier circus venue, located in the St. Michel neighborhood, hosts Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, which loosely translates to the World Circus Festival of Tomorrow. The event features performances by the world’s best circus performers.

Performances are held now through Sunday, March 3. Adult tickets cost $36 to $55. For more information, visit


Closing Montreal en Lumiere is Nuit Blanche, a citywide evening of midnight museum visits, comedy acts, live concerts, ice-skating, movie screenings and theater that promises to keep attendees up all night long. This year’s milestone 10th anniversary features more than 100 activities. Many festivities are free, and shuttle service is also provided at no charge. Nuit Blanche begins the evening of Saturday, March 2, and goes well into the wee hours of Sunday morning.

What to expect in the middle of the night? Ice fishing at the Clock Tower Basin in the Old Port; a night at the museum, as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts stays open until 2 a.m. for visits to their latest exhibition, “Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon” (offered at a reduced admission of $10); and free, guided art strolls along Montreal’s famed Underground City with “Art Souterrain,” or Art Underground.

If you manage to stay up all night long, Pointe-a-Calliere once again hosts Port Symphonies, an outdoor, urban concert featuring train bells, tugboat whistles and Japanese taiko drums with “Cymbidium,” an original composition by Japanese conductor Kota Nakamura. It’s held for free at 1:30 p.m. Sundays, March 3 and 10, at Place Royale near the museum in the Old Port.

Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at

TO LEARN MORE For more information, venue locations and ticket prices, call (514) 288-9955 or visit www.montreal

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