Nuit Blanche 2020

Claudia Bernal, Portraits performatifs, 2019. Digital print.

Nuit Blanche 2020: The Top 21 Events

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

On Saturday, Feb. 29, the Montréal en Lumière festival culminates in Nuit Blanche 2020. As always, the annual late-night art happening will take over a large part of the city with events of all kinds.

We here at Cult MTL have taken a dive into the depths of the Nuit Blanche 2020 program to select the best parties, exhibitions, shows, screenings and physical activities going down all over Montreal. We’ve left out 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.

To mark Montréal en Lumière’s 21st edition, we’ve selected 21 highlights from the rest of the fest. Whatever you choose to do, art-party hard!

Party with us at Nuit Blanche 2020

Phi Centre’s annual Nuit Blanche party is the Cult MTL co-signed Simulation/Accélération. Expect DJsets by NDN (aka former Tribe Called Red member Ian Campeau), Zandoli II (aka Tonton Osman and GLOWZI) and Sies Marlan (aka Anne Bertrand) and Juju Le Moko, as well as participatory installations and performances. (Lorraine Carpenter) 407 St-Pierre, 9 p.m.–3 a.m., free

Next door at Phi Foundation, Eva & Franco Mattes and Phil Collins exhibits will be open until midnight, with Eddie Jude Hareven facilitating a conflict management workshop, one proposing we use the “principles and foundations of transformative justice and prison abolition in our everyday relationships.” Soul Summit will end the evening with a DJ set. (Note that reservations are required and space is limited. Contact (Nora Rosenthal) 465 St-Jean, 8–10:30 p.m., free

24-hour party people


Sheuetam is an interactive and immersive 24-hour performance by Soleil Launière (Innue, Mashteuiatsh) a graduate from the National Theatre School’s Artistic Residency Program, in which the sonic accompaniment is created by the electric charges generated both by her body and by plants. (NR) National Theatre School (5030 St-Denis), 2 p.m. Feb. 29–2 p.m. March 1

Also on the marathon tip, Music Is My Sanctuary’s annual 24 Hours of Vinyl will rock around the clock at Agora de la Danse. The event’s 20th edition promises over 20 DJs and a record fair on Sunday. (LC) 1435 Bleury, 9 p.m. Feb. 29–9 p.m. March 1

The 12th edition of the Massimadi Afro LGBTQ film fest wraps with the Dance the Revolution party at la Sala Rossa. On the bill: queer Montreal rapper Backxwash and a “mystery DJ.” (LC) 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m.–3 a.m., free

Queer Archives is in the Belgo Building presents All Nuit Long, a cozy evening looking back through the archives to celebrate and learn from the queer artists who’ve passed through Studio 303 over the studio’s three decades. There’ll be beer, a whisky-ginger cocktail, juice, popcorn and samosas on sale. (NR) 372 Ste-Catherine W., #303, 9 p.m.–1 a.m., free

Place des Festivals will be transformed into a dancefloor care of the hip hop/electronic/bass music of L.A. producer/DJ Tokimonsta and Vancouver Island producer Whipped Cream. (LC) Jeanne Mance & Mayor, 11 p.m.–1:30 a.m., free

Early start

Inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis

Bring your five-year-old to an apocalyptically-themed dress-up party, Bio/Hazard at Skol in the Belgo Building and then allow them the sublime pleasure of sounding even more like an alien being than they doubtless already do. (NR) 372 Ste-Catherine W. #314, 5 p.m.–1 a.m., free

Who doesn’t like Kafka? Metamorphosis is visceral and weird and a good time for everybody except for Gregor Samsa, really. In celebration of Canada’s being “the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair,” the Goethe-Institut is doing a virtual reality installation based on everyone’s favourite bug-themed parable. (NR) 1626 St-Laurent, 5 p.m.–1 a.m., free

Blockhaus Bar proposes OUPELAÏ!, their own take on mini-putt featuring recycled and transformed objects. (LC) 3328 Ontario E., 6 p.m., free

DJ Mightykat will spin for the duration of Vert, an exhibition of work by 50 contemporary artists at the Marc Gosselin Gallery. (LC) 3880 Ste-Catherine E., 6 p.m., free

See the ongoing exhibition Un, dos, tres por mí y mis compañeras at Optica. Continuing through March 21, the exhibitionis a retrospective of Latino art in Montreal from the ’90s to today. (LC) 5445 de Gaspé #106, 6 p.m.–1 a.m., free

The annual art fest Art Souterrain, which uses Nuit Blanche as a launching pad (and runs, this year, through March 22), hypes their Journey to the Centre of the Earth as the world’s biggest escape game. After all, it stretches the length of the Underground City. Through puzzles and interactive games by Échappe-toi Montréal, whose crew of actors will be on hand, audiences of all ages will see artworks of all kinds and familiarize themselves with Montreal’s history and contemporary art. (LC) Starting point at Place d’Armes metro (960 St-Urbain), 6 p.m.–12 a.m., $25

Mix it up

Inflatable Deities

Speaking of escape, Vortex Escape Room/Virtual Reality presents Gangs of Montreal. “Enigmas, actors and Swing dance will mix with your infiltration.” (!) (LC) 3841 St-Laurent, 7 p.m.–2 a.m., $10

The converted dance of our ancestors is “a multimedia choreographic performance…inspired by the ancestral dances of Mexico” that will integrate mapping software and projections with not only dancers’ movements, but those of the public as well. (NR) The Cultural Institute of Mexico Montreal (2055 Peel), 7 p.m.–12 a.m., free

Art collective Inflatable Deities present Mourning of the Living Past, a warped, psychedelic, dystopian time-travel sci-fi show integrating performance, video and music. (LC) UQAM (1564 St-Denis), 7:30–8:30 p.m., free

If you’re part of that contingent that believes the true meaning of Nuit Blanche is getting high and listening to organs in the dead of night, you’re probably not wrong. Enjoy Organ Recital: Soluble Cities at the Gesù. (NR) 1200 Bleury, 10:30 p.m.–1:30 a.m., free

Movies of all sorts


Billing itself as the “trashiest sleepover in town,” SPASM promises a line-up of weird short films and a line-up of drag performances at none other than Café Cléopâtre. (NR) 1230 St-Laurent, 2nd floor), 7 p.m.–3 a.m. $5

The Canadian Centre for Architecture and Fantasia International Film Festival have teamed up to present a Soviet double bill called A New World in One Night, featuring Planet of Storms (1962) and Per Aspera Ad Astra (1981), both enchanting and kitsch sci-fi gems. (NR) 1920 Baile, 8 p.m.–2 a.m., free

Peikutipishkua promises an evening of short films by Indigenous artists as a celebration of Indigenous knowledge and to “honour the voices that have protected and will protect the water, air and land.” (NR) Monument National (1182 St-Laurent), 10 p.m.–1 a.m., free

Cinéma du Parc and Plein Écran present Monsters in the Woods, a program of spooky short films screening on a loop. A chill, chilling way to end, or begin, your Nuit Blanche. (LC) 3575 Parc, 11 p.m.–1:45 a.m., free

For the complete guide to Nuit Blanche 2020, see the Montréal en Lumière website.

For more recommended Montreal events, see our daily To-Do List.

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