Place des Festivals
On Saturday, March 3, the 19th edition of the Montréal en Lumière festival culminates in Nuit Blanche, the annual late-night art happening that takes over a large part of the city with events of all kinds.
We here at Cult MTL have once again taken a dive into the depths of the Nuit Blanche program to select the best parties, exhibitions, shows, screenings and physical activities going down all over Montreal. We’ve left out most of the rides, light installations and food & drink stations in the Place des Festivals — if you choose to contend with the crowds at Nuit Blanche’s outdoor Ground Zero, a walk-through between stops should satisfy your desire to sample the festive vibe (and you can see the full Place des Festivals program here). Here are our highlights from the rest of the fest — art-party hard!
MUSIC AND PARTIES
In collaboration with Cult MTL, Phi’s Contrastes event is part party, part concert and part political-art happening, with the funk/soul house sound of Crew Love (feat. Wolf + Lamb), DJs the Fitness and MC Pony with VJ Fvckrender and a special appearance by Husser in the show room and an installation by Atelier New Regime that promises to “confront current social issues,” plus VR stations on the second floor.
407 St-Pierre, 9 p.m.–3 a.m., free
Party at the outdoor Chalet Bell stage where Canailles will be spreading love and body heat with their energetic bluegrass/zydeco/country sound.
Ste-Catherine btwn Jeanne-Mance and St-Urbain, 7 p.m., free
The Nuit Blanche edition of DJ Killa-Jewel’s Sunday Scratch Sessions brings a live turntable jam to St-Laurent metro station.
St-Laurent & de Maisonneuve E., 8 p.m.–12 a.m., free
Producer and DJ Poirier’s annual Karnival party at Club Soda proposes a dancehall, soca, Afro-pop and Afro-house dance party.
1225 St-Laurent, 12–3 a.m., free
Party at Artgang with the Gaybash crew’s PLUR (Peace Love Unity Runway) with music and visuals by Cakes da Killa, Mike Q, Cryote, BOYCOTT, FVCKRENDER, Pretend Play, KDN Company
6524 St-Hubert, 10 p.m.–6 a.m., free/$10 after midnight
24 Hours of Vinyl
DJ Lexis and the Music Is My Sanctuary crew present the annual wax marathon known as 24 Hours of Vinyl, now in a new larger space and hosted by Agora de la Danse/Tangente.
Edifice Wilder/Espace Danse (1435 Bleury), 7 p.m.–7 p.m. on March 4, free
Women of Montreal hip hop
Catch a concert showcasing local female hip hop artists Sarahmée, Naya Ali, Marie-Gold and Tyleen Worrell.
L’Astral (305 Ste-Catherine W.), 12–3 a.m., free
SAT hosts a double-sided party with the REMIXologie cocktail party with UltraLounge DJs and, in the Satosphere, the multisensory REMIXSession event, with snacks, DJs and VJs supplying sounds and sights within the 360° dome and “l’Odoradôme” (we’re guessing this involves pleasant smells) by AJ Jarôme.
1201 St-Laurent, 10 p.m.–3 a.m., REMIXologie free, REMIXSession $5
One-stop fun at the Belgo
Montreal has an art mecca in the heart of the festival zone in the Belgo Building, with four storeys of galleries and studios, many of which will throw open their doors during Nuit Blanche, making for the perfect destination to explore. Events at the Belgo this Nuit Blanche include Studio 303’s (Re) Mix Videodance curated by Kim-Sanh Châu and Guillaume Vallée, the collective painting exhibition Coexistence of Elements at Galerie Luz, the all-woman group expo Into the Dollhouse at Ymuno, a festive night of performances, zine-making workshops and more from Rock Camp for Girls-affiliated artists at SBC Gallery and plenty more.
372 Ste-Catherine, various studios, various times from 6 p.m.–2 a.m., free
Nuit Blanche serves as the opening night for Montreal’s ambitious and sprawling annual underground (literally) art festival Art Souterrain, which for the past 10 years has filled the Underground City with interactive installations that often combine high-tech futurism with insightful social critique. Through this year’s theme, Labor Improbus, dozens of Quebec, Canadian and international artists will explore ideas about working, from economic crises, holidays, migrant labour and even sex work.
Check out Art Souterrain installations at various sites around the downtown metro lines like Palais des Congrès, Place Bonaventure, the World Trade Centre, Complexe Guy Favreau and 1000 de la Gauchetière, 6 p.m.–1 a.m., installations continue through March 25
See the CCA’s fascinating current exhibitions The University Is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture, which collects memorabilia and clips from the experimental British mass education program from the ’70s, and Greystone: Tool for Understanding the City, Phyllis Lambert and Richard Pare’s photography series documenting some of Montreal’s prettier old houses.
Down in Old Montreal, contemporary art space DHC/ART teams up with Projets Hybris to present the interactive and performative art intervention thegiftsofthegifted, in conjunction with the venue’s current exhibitions L’OFFRE and Bill Viola: Naissance à rebours. During the event, performers and visitors will create spontaneous and playful moments with each other and the audience through an assortment of tools, materials and props.
465 St-Jean, 7 p.m.–midnight, free
Mile End artist-run space Bref hosts an Astral Happening with starry outdoor projections, art exhibition, cocktail bar, DJs and tarot sessions.
261 Bernard W., 8 p.m.–1 a.m., free
A tribute to Scaner
The Under Pressure festival hosts (S)CANVAS, a pop-up tribute exhibition in honour of Montreal’s world-renowned late graffiti artist Scaner, who passed away in 2017, which will include graff, digital art, photography, DJs and bar service.
407 de Maisonneuve E., 8 p.m.–2 a.m., free
Indigenous art party
Nuit Blanche is your last chance to see Galerie de l’UQAM’s double-exhibition by prominent Indigenous artists Maria Hupfield (The One Who Keeps On Giving) and Michelle Bui (Pool of Plenty), and to mark the occasion, the Buffalo Hat Singers and poet Natasha Kanapé will be performing throughout the evening. 1400 Berri, 8 p.m.–1 a.m., free
Glass, fire and light
Pointe Ste-Charles glassworks studio Espace Verre teams up with Neon Family to present an evening filled with fiery demonstrations of glassblowing and flameworking techniques, plus an exhibition of brightly lit and interactive artworks by Fanny-Jane and Carole Frève.
1200 Mill, 8 p.m.–2 a.m., free
Check out the Darling Foundry’s brand-new exhibition Drinkers of Quintessences, which examines the gaps between artistic expression and the ubiquitous entertainment industry — plus you’ll have a chance to see the special performative outdoor work Ligne d’or, ligne de vie by André Fournelle that involves a massive bronze cast and a lot of gold leaves.
745 Ottawa, 10 p.m.–12 a.m., free
Simon Lacroix and Pascal Pilote’s Total Crap soirées have been a Nuit Blanche mainstay for years. This year, the program assembles the very worst montages in the history of film and TV. Club Soda (1225 St-Laurent), 7–11 p.m., $5
Messed up movies and drag
The SPASM festival has also been a recurring Nuit Blanche favourite over the years. The genre-oriented short film programming has consistently pushed out fucked-up pearls on the unsuspecting public over the years, with the location bringing drag performers into the mix!
Café Cléopatre (1230 St-Laurent), 7 p.m.–3 a.m., $5
Cinéma au Palais
Spectrum Productions helps teens and adults on the autism spectrum express themselves through the medium of film. You can see some of these productions alongside films by Concordia grads as part of the free Cinéma au Palais event.
Nouveau Palais (281 Bernard W.), 5:30 p.m.–3 a.m., free
Festival du nouveau cinéma pairs up with la Guilde art gallery for an evening of shorts by Caroline Monnet that also includes the Carte blanche shorts commissioned by the festival every year, a performance by Guy Sioui Durand and a DJ set.
La guilde (1356 Sherbrooke W.), 8 p.m.–1 a.m., free
Short and sweet
The Plein(s) écrans online film festival moves to the silver screen for one night with an evening of shorts curated by the team behind the most important online shorts festival.
Cinéma du Parc (3575 Parc), 11 p.m.–2:30 a.m., free
Dance studios Tangente and Agora de la danse team up to present the high-energy dance showcase Bouge Anyway! featuring talented contemporary and urban dancers battling it out in a competition showdown in front of a panel of judges and the audience.
Édifice Wilder (1435 Bleury), 9 p.m.–1 a.m., free
Night of 100 Improvisers
Théâtre Sainte Catherine packs in the talent for “poetic-musical-artsy crazy improv scenes” at their Night of 100 Improvisers, where performances, languages, styles and inspirational art forms will be switched up every hour.
264 Ste-Catherine E., 8 p.m.–3 a.m., free
The Drawn & Quarterly bookstore teams up with indie publisher Metatron to host what they call a “surreal evening of collective curiosity” featuring an interactive, digital, collective writing experiment (aka “exquisite corpse”) and a marathon-style reading featuring a dozen young, local writers.
176 Bernard, 11 p.m.–1 a.m., free
BYO skates to glide around the Olympic Stadium.
4141 Pierre de Coubertin, 5 p.m.–2 a.m., free
Skating with ice dancers
Grab your skates (or rent a pair onsite) and join contemporary ice dance troupe le Patin Libre for a dance party on ice at Mile End’s Arena St-Louis, where you can learn new skate skills from the pros, glide across the ice to the sounds of live DJs and, catch teaser performances from the troupe’s upcoming new show.
5633 St-Dominique, 10 p.m.–1 a.m., free
Yoga by candlelight
Three 75-minute yoga classes are being offered, with special music and a sparkling-wine aperitif.
Studio Mouvement Humain (6334-A St-Hubert), 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., $10 (registration suggested)
Swimming with inflatables
Jump into Montreal’s Olympic pool and take on the Wibit, a race course that emcompasses climbing, jumping, running and acting like a kid.
Olympic Park Sports Centre (4545 Pierre de Coubertin), 8 p.m.–12 a.m., free
Two words you thought you’d never hear together unite in an evening of hula-hoop demonstrations and workshops (every half-hour) with experienced instructors and African percussionists from Sultanosto School.
Studio Bizz (551 Mont-Royal E., 3rd floor), 9 p.m.–1 a.m., free
See the complete Nuit Blanche program here.