Thursday, Feb. 19

* Montréal en Lumière begins. Free cheese!
* MTL ZOO vernissage, feat. work by two dozen Montreal artists
* Swans play le National
* Underground Comedy Railroad at Comedyworks
* #Bootyism DJ night, Chinese New Year edition, at Korova
* POMPe LGBT dance party at Katacombes

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Earth Crusher 3
Work by Earth Crusher
It’s the first day of the midwinter festival Montréal en Lumière which means Place des Festivals will be lit up with art, music, games and more, from now until the festival’s signature closing event Nuit Blanche. Today, head to Complexe Desjardins for the festival’s cheese showcase, La Fête des fromages d’ici, where you can sample a variety of different Quebec regional cheeses for free. (This event continues through Saturday.) 150 Ste-Catherine W., 11:30 a.m.7 p.m., free

Don’t sleep on MTL ZOO’s 3rd annual show bringing together two dozen of Montreal’s best and brightest artists, including Jeremy Shantz, MC Baldassari, Bryan Beyung, Miss Teri, Earth Crusher, Jason Botkin, Bonar and many more, gathered together in the Galerie l’Agora of the Cégep de Vieux Montréal. 255 Ontario E., 510 p.m., free

Cult MTL columnist Johnson Cummins has written epic poems about Swans, and the band’s live shows in particular. Find out with why tonight at le National. The opener is Xylouris White. 1220 Ste-Catherine E., 8 p.m., $25

The Underground Comedy Railroad stops at Montreal’s Comedyworks tonight with its fourth annual show featuring stand-up talent Rodney Ramsey, Andrew Searles, Daniel Woodrow, Keesha Brownie and Patrick Haye. 1238 Bishop, 8:30 p.m., $15/$10 students.

Ring in the Year of the Goat in style at Korova’s #Bootyism night, Chinese New Year edition, with DJs Hua Li, De Jesus and Gloze. 3908 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., free

And down in the depths of Katacombes, monthly queer dance party POMPe gets “Demoniq,” raising funds for Monster Academy and welcoming B.C. DJ Kasey Riot into the unholy fold, feat. residents JNNBNNRCK and Like the Wolf, plus the decks debut of DJ Cuteface. 1635 St-Laurent, 11 p.m., $5
Check out our complete listings for more concert, nightclub, theatre, comedy and art events.