Here’s what’s good at Nuit Blanche

Parties, performances, films, art, crafts, animals, physical activity and food & drink are all up for grabs at this year’s edition of Nuit Blanche. See our recommendations here.

The Quartier des Speactles during a previous edition of Nuit Blanche
Nuit Blanche 2014 happens on Saturday, March 1. For the uninitiated, Nuit Blanche is an annual nocturnal smorgasbord of (mostly free) art, film, performance, parties and good times at galleries, libraries, museums, music venues, bars, restaurants, cafés and cinemas across Montreal, linked by a network of free shuttle buses provided by the STM. It’s also the climax of the Montreal Highlights festival, which presents a range of music, art and culinary events (see their programming here).

Here are recommended events from this year’s program:


Leading up to its 15th edition this summer, the MUTEK festival presents 15 hours of music courtesy of DJs and live acts. 175 Président-Kennedy, 7 to 10 p.m., 18+

Poirier, Face-T, Boogat, Mahdi, Pierre Kwenders, Fwonte and VJ Yaneek bring a world of bass music to the RBC stage at the Montréal en Lumière outdoor site (8 p.m.), and DJ Heidy P and VJ Video Girl keep the party going (9:10 p.m.). Place des Festivals (Ste-Catherine & Jeanne Mance), free

DJ Nicky spins Haitian kompa at l’Astral. 305 Ste-Catherine W., midnight to 3 a.m., free

Hotel le Crystal’s la Coupole restaurant sets up an ice bar while a choreographer teaches dance moves and a DJ mans the decks for a dance party. 1100 de la Montagne, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

The Music Is My Sanctuary collective presents 24 Hours of Vinyl, with 15 local DJs (“the city’s finest,” organizers say). Le Bleury Bar à Vinyle (2109 Bleury), 6 p.m. – 5 a.m., free

MusiquePlus’s Bouge de la returns for a televised Nuit Blanche dance party, feat Top 10 hits of the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s. 355 Ste-Catherine W. #100, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., free

For the fifth consecutive year, Poirier hosts Karnival at Club Soda, with fellow DJs and selectors Ghostbeard and Sagewondah. 1225 St-Laurent, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., free, 18+

Local lady DJs Vilify and the Salivation Army showcase their signature sounds — bass music and reggae/dancehall, respectively — at the PHI Centre. 407 St-Pierre, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

Live drums and music in the key of Top 40 is the soundtrack to a dance party at Café Campus dubbed La Nuit des Totems, which promises to transport party people to a starry fantasy world inspired by Laurentian shamanic cults. 57 Prince-Arthur E., 8:30 to 5 a.m., $6, 18+

DJs Christian Olsen, Sweet Daddy Luv and Archibald Singleton spin inside the Olympic Village planetarium, while spectacular projections of the cosmos fill the space. 4801 Pierre-de-Coubertin, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

Food & drink

Sip on Corretto Jura hot wine (a recipe concocted especially for Nuit Blanche, which may involve coffee), an exclusive range of ports, hot port at the Porto Cabral kiosk, and snack on “smoked meat” waffles, Haitian pastries and Argentinean grilled meats. Place des Festivals (Jeanne Mance & Ste-Catherine), 12 p.m. to 3 a.m., prices vary

If you’re checking out the Peter Doig exhibit at the MMFA, seek out the area of the museum where a chocolate fountain, exotic fruit and a beer tasting have been set up. 1380 Sherbrooke W., 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Try a free cup of chai at the Camellia Sinensis Teahouse. 351 Emery, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Free mechoui and sorbet is up for grabs at les Givrés, where space is being cleared for board-game-playing. 3807 St-Denis, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

Food trucks will be lined up to serve hungry Nuit Blanche-ers at Espace Jackie Robinson on the Olympic esplanade. 4545 Pierre-de-Coubertin, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., prices vary

Fun & gaming


Ferris wheel, Nuit Blanche 2013. Photo by Susan Moss.
Ferris wheel, Nuit Blanche 2013. Photo by Susan Moss.

Ride a ferris wheel and/or a giant slide on the Place des Arts esplanade. 175 Ste-Catherine W. 

The Montreal Play festival invites players to try out “modern board games” and meet the architects of Montreal’s gaming industry. 404 Ontario E., 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

City hall’s Hall of Honour will be occupied by game stations, with video games, board games and quizzes care of the Montreal Play festival. 275 Notre-Dame E., 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

Excentris transforms into a temporary arcade, featuring games by Montreal developpers and game demonstrations on one of the cinema’s big screens. 3536 St-Laurent, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

Competitive gaming (for prizes) on a number of platforms is happening at Prevost library, with DJs spinning and staff serving free snacks and beverages. 7355 Christophe-Colomb, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., free, 16+, reservation required (make contact)

Hackathon unites designers, programmers, inventors and developers for an evening of digital creativity and hacking. Eastern Bloc (7240 Clark, 2nd floor), 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., free, 18+

Live music & other performances

Troupes from the Montréal-Paris dance school will showcase their urban-dance styles while the in-house crew at Studio Diss Tortion present one-on-one breakdance/freeform battles, broadcast on giant screens, with music by DJ Benito. 372 Ste-Catherine W., #122 and #124, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., $2

The Grand Choeur de Montréal sing Mozart at St. James United Church. 463 Ste-Catherine W., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

The Goethe Institut is site of a neo-baroque call with Marlene Dietrich (played by Angela Konrad) featuring folkloric Bavarian dancing, music ranging from Brahms to Rammstein and plenty of German beer, in a trashy ode to Oktoberfest. 1626 St-Laurent #100, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

Local rappers Alaclair Ensemble reinterpret French play Le Cid. Usine C (1345 Lalonde), 10:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m., free

See local electro-punk act We Are Wolves as they play the closing party of the Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois film fest. 335 de Maisonneuve E., 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

At Metropolis, see local acts Boogat, Tire le Coyote, Alex Nevsky, Karim Diouf and Chantal Archambault live, with DJ sets by Philippe Fehmiu and Rebecca Makonnen. 59 Ste-Catherine E., 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., free

Bouge Anyway is a series of dance battles fusing contemporary and urban styles, with a panel of judges determining the winners. Agora de la Danse (840 Cherrier E.), 9 p.m. to midnight, free

Visual art & other sights

Get an eyeful of upbeat colours and patterns on a vintage Haitian bus, by a cash bar serving rum. Place des Festivals (Jeanne Mance & Ste-Catherine W.)

The Clock, a film by Swiss/American visual artist and composer Christian Marclay, will be screened in a loop for 24 hours. MAC (185 Ste-Catherine W.), 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Diego Pacini da Todi exhibition of graphic and photographic art inspired by political and citizenship crises. 372 Ste-Catherine W., #523, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., free

Get an eyeful of rope arts at the Night of the Ropes, featuring circus performances, erotic bondage, decorative ropes and photography. Katacombes (1635 St-Laurent), 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., free, 18+

Interactive media artist Jérôme Dumais has created a three-storey installation of metallic sound and monochromatic light created by a binary electromagnetic device that’s remotely controlled by the audience. Pavillon Judith-Jasmin (405 Ste-Catherine E.), 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

See Australian architecture in an exhibition of work by the internationally renowned Glenn Murcutt, with a free Australian wine tasting to boot. 1440 Sanguinet, 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

Catch exhibitions of work by Thomas Bégin and Nicolas Lachance at the Darling Foundry, site of a mulled wine tasting, too. 745 Ottawa, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

The Centre d’histoire de Montréal will display mugshots related to local scandals from the first half of the 20th century, and give the public an opportunity to have their own mugshot taken. Entry to the centre’s other exhibitions is also free. 335 Place d’Youville, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

Outisde the Biodome, see owls and other birds of prey (5 p.m. to 1 a.m.) and penguins (5 to 11 p.m.). 4777 Pierre-de-Coubertin, free


Fantasia festival screens DJ XL5’s Decadent Zappin’ Party (midnight), Best of Fantasia 2013 (1:30 a.m.), selections from the 2013 Quebec shorts program (3 a.m.). Place des Arts, Théâtre Maisonneuve (175 Ste-Catherine W.), midnight to 4 a.m.

As part of Studio 303’s feminist art series Edgy Redux, All Nuit Long is a short film program curated from Dayna McLeod’s 52 Pick-Up collection, plus interactive photo booth created by photographer Nikol Mikus, with decor and costumes. Belgo Building (372 Ste-Catherine W., #303), 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., free, 18+

30 three-minute films inspired by Quebec classics (La guerre des tuques, Incendies and Les Boys are listed as examples) will be projected in a loop in the Grand Bibliothèque’s auditorium. 475 de Maisonneuve E., 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

See the best of the Spasm film festival, which focuses on genre trash, from horror to comedy, with drag queens performing between films. Café Cléopâtre (1230 St-Laurent, 2nd floor), 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., $5, 18+

Crabhouse Serafim screens a selection of black and white comedy classics. 393 St-Paul E., 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

Nouveau Palais screens short films and videos, with DJs filling the silence between them. 281 Bernard W., 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

Short films and a feature will be screened at Cinéma Beaubien, with free popcorn to boot. 2396 Beaubien E., midnight to 2 a.m., free

Three presumably Italian cinematic masterpieces will be screened as Italian grub is served at Cinema e Cibo. 505 Jean-talon E., 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m., reservation required, free

Variety pack


Pop at CCA for Nuit Blanche 2012
Pop at CCA for Nuit Blanche 2012

The Montreal Creative expo-event, presented in collaboration with MassivArt, promises work by some of the city’s most creative minds, live music, a DJ set and a festive atmosphere. ARTV Studio (1600 St-Urbain), 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

See the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s current exhibition Casablanca Chandigarh, as well as number of local bands & DJs booked by Pop Montreal, including Kaba Horo and DJ Touski. 1920 Baile, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

Bain Mathieu’s Lumière Noire pairs a psychedelic fluorescent art exhibition with a DJ dance party. 2915 Ontario E., 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., $10, 18+

UQAM’s School of Design grads invite the public to an art auction of their works, and work by their profs, with a second-hand clothing shop, music and drinks on the side. 1440 Sanguinet, 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

The Fresh Paint gallery proposes live art (a 3D mural, to be specific) plus live music by Miss Me and Hoarkor and dancefloor DJing from the HighonBeats team. 221 Ste-Catherine E., 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., 18+

See the inside of le 2-22, the mammoth building on the southeast corner of St-Laurent and Ste-Catherine, where visual and media art, film, a specialty bookshop, radio, music, storytelling and a range of performances will be happening between its walls. 2 Ste-Catherine E., 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Formats bookstore open 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.), free

The SAT’s three floors will be occupied by visual art, DJ sets, a DJ/VJ dance party in the Satosphère and servings of winter stew and mulled wine in the Foodlab’s outdoor Yurt. 1201 St-Laurent, 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., free

Santropol transforms into Cabaret Santropolien, with dance, music and theatre performances by emerging local artists, with beverages and soup on hand for a warm-up and a skating rink on the back terrasse. 3990 St-Urbain, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., free

The Art Matters festival mounts theatre, dance and visual art at Mainline. 3997 St-Laurent, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., free, 18+

Club Espagnol de Québec presents Nocha de Luna, a DJ dance party with flamenco and mariachi performances, sopa de ajo served at midnight, and churros and hot chocolate served as breakfast in the wee hours. 4388 St-Laurent, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., $5

La Cuvée d’hiver is a feast of microbrew beers, whiskies, spirits and food in a Roaring ’20s/rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. Eglise Saint-Enfant-Jésus (5037 Ste-Dominique), 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., $8 (includes one drink), 18+

Get physical

Take a free class courtesy of les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. 1210 Sherbrooke E., 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., reservation required (make contact), free, 18+

Go skating at Mile End’s St-Louis arena, but be warned that the ice fills in for a dancefloor, as artists from le Patin Libre will be there to “joyfully help you navigate the ice” whether you’re ready for ice dancing or not. Skates are available on-site and there will be a performance around midnight. 5633 St-Dominique, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., free

Get a 30-minute introduction to hula-hooping. Studios Vert Prana (4365 St-Denis, 3rd floor), 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Wall-climbing and yoga classes (at 9:15 and 10:30 p.m.) are happening in the old Théatre Papineau. 4519 Papineau, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $5.75 

Make crafts

Les Sabines present a fanzine-workshop installation, plus hot drinks and music. 36 Queen, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., free (reservation required, make contact)

Tear it up and reassemble art at Monastiraki’s annual collage-a-thon. 5478 St-Laurent, 8 p.m. to midnight, free

Atelier Circulaire’s vinyl-scratching workshop won’t teach you turntable tricks, but provides instruction in etching on wax and intaglio printmaking while a guest DJ spins music. Participants can take their work home with them. 5445 de Gaspé #503, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., free
For the complete Nuit Blanche program, go here

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