what to do Montreal Nuit Blanche

Here’s what’s good at Nuit Blanche 2017

Our highlights of the biggest one-day multidisciplinary art event and late-night party of the year.



Cooking Sections

Downtown West (& Little Burgundy)

Spirit of ’57 at la Cuvée d’Hiver

Tasting event and retro party la Cuvée hosts its winter edition (March 2–4), offering microbrews, whiskies, spirits, cocktails and food, with live rockabilly and festive vintage vibes.

Salon 1861 (550 Richmond), 4 p.m.–2 a.m., free

Remix History

Worlds collide at Dawson College as Montreal DJs remix 50 years of history, as narrated live by nuns (!) and other special guests. 4001 de Maisonneuve W., 6 p.m.–1 a.m., free

Green films and culinary feats at CCA

Environmental fiction and edible climate change are the themes of the two-tiered Nuit Blanche programming at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. In their Théâtre Paul Desmarais, the NFB co-presents six hours of short documentaries and fiction films made between 1940 and 1970, the common theme being Canada’s (sometimes dubious) relationship to nature. Meanwhile, in the CCA’s Maison Shaughnessy, London chef duo Cooking Sections present a series of elaborate culinary performances incorporating installation, mapping and video to create and contextualize dishes based on the seasons, which will be shared with the crowd — entry is free, but RSVP is required as space is limited: rsvp@cca.qc.ca. 1920 Baile, 8 p.m. (Cooking Sections at 8 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 1:30 a.m.), free

Chagall, booze and bites at the Museum of Fine Arts

Take in the Chagall exhibit at the MMFA, featuring 340 works by the Russian/French modernist, sample some free Eastern European food and drink (vodka, bagels and pretzels), engage in a stained glass workshop (8 p.m.12 a.m.) and take the opportunity to check out the new Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, where henna hand tattoos and tea will be provided (5-9 p.m.). 1380 Sherbrooke W., 5 p.m.–12 a.m., exhibition $10

Mexican sights, sounds and tech

The Mexican consulate marks the relationship between our city and our North American ally  by showcasing contemporary Mexican art (by Arcàngelo Constantini, Rodrigo Sigal and Iracema de Andrade), music and technology. 2055 Peel, 6 p.m.–1 a.m., free

Neon and wax at Grévin

The wax museum is sidestepping the ’60s theme by throwing a retro party with a neon flavour: see the already trippy permanent exhibit (at a 50 per cent off rate) set to an ’80s/’90s soundtrack, with costumes, glowsticks and festive vibes in the celebrity ballroom. 705 Ste-Catherine W. 5th floor, 7 p.m.–3 a.m., $10 plus tax (under 18 must be accompanied by an adult)

Skating and art at the Atrium

With the city’s outdoor skating rinks closing due to a premature spring, indoor rinks are attracting more and more skaters, and as always, downtown rink the Atrium is getting some Nuit Blanche love, with an art installation and live performance by Jamie Janx Johnston. 1000 de la Gauchetière W., 5 p.m.–12 a.m., free

Art and the city at Au Sommet Place Ville Marie

See the city at night, all lit up for Montréal en Lumière, from the observation deck on the 46th floor of Place Ville Marie. While you’re there, take the opportunity to check out The Odyssey, a permanent exhibition about the construction and inauguration of the iconic building in the 1960s. On the 45th floor, the interactive exhibition #MTLGO explores Montreal’s rituals, attractions and people, with 55 video portraits of local celebs and plebs alike. Au Sommet’s resto-bar les Enfants Terribles will be open, as will the terrasse on the 44th floor, a great spot for snapshots and selfies. 1 Place Ville Marie, 8 p.m.–1 a.m., free

Yéyé designing and dance party at the McCord Museum

Get into the look and the sound of 1967 at this retro party, presenting live yéyé music by les Requins (sets at 8:30 and 11:30 p.m.) and — with fashion students from the Marie-Victorin CEGEP on-hand to guide you — a design-your-own-vintage-dress contest. It’s also an opportunity to see the Notman photography exhibit, providing a portal to Montreal’s past, and catch a sneak peek of McCord’s upcoming exhibit, Fashioning Expo 67. 690 Sherbrooke W., 8 p.m.–1 a.m.

Leonard Cohen on film & more divine music at church

Church becomes a Saturday-night happening at Christ Church Cathedral, a must-see for the neo-gothic architecture and candlelight ambiance as well as the programming: The 1965 NFB documentary Ladies and Gentlemen, Leonard Cohen will be screened from 6–7 p.m. (with sound — it will be projected silently for the rest of the night, with French subs); the Montreal Bicycle Community presents a photo exhibit charting the history of local cycling culture; a series of vocal groups and bands will perform, namely Choeur Gai and Groupe Vocal Diversion (gospel, alternating half-hour sets between 7 p.m. and midnight), Cathedral organists (7:30 and 8:30 p.m.), Monastic Office of Compline (Gregorian chant, with audience participation, 10:45 p.m.) and Soul Station Orchestra (jazz, 12:30–1:30 a.m.). Bonus: free fair-trade hot chocolate. 635 Ste-Catherine W., 6 p.m.–1:30 p.m., free

24 Hours of Vinyl party

Music Is My Sanctuary’s DJ Lexis hosts his annual music marathon at Nuit Blanche, spinning sweet sides alongside a team of local DJs (TBA) for a full day at le Bleury. 2109 Bleury, 7 p.m.–7 p.m. on March 5, free

Room Escape Game

Check out a series of “thematic rooms full of mysteries” — including a reproduction of Habitat 67 and Expo pavilion-style decor — and test your ability to escape from a locked room in 15 minutes at Montreal’s Mystery Room. 7 René-Levesque W., 8 p.m.–4 a.m., $7

CONTINUE TO PAGE 3: The best events at the Belgo Building, in the UQAM ghetto and Village