Your ultimate guide to 2020's Nuit Blanche in Montreal
All-nighters are fun. But, when the entire city gets involved, it’s even more fun.
February’s been dark, cold, and snowy and Nuit Blanche is going to end the month on a pretty eventful note.
Predominantly used to conclude the Montréal en Lumière outdoor festival, Nuit Blanche is a city-wide all-nighter where events pop up throughout the city at unusual hours.
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The 17th edition of the nocturnal promenade will be linked together by a shuttle service at Quartier des Spectacles, allowing festival-goers to move easily and quickly from one district to another. Plus, the metro will be open all night for added mobility.
Spread out across boroughs all over the island, Nuit Blanch offers 138 different events throughout the 24-hour party, a little something for everyone. And in some cases, a big something for everyone.
With so many events scattered throughout the city, it can be a tad overwhelming to look at the Nuit Blanche schedule and have everything figured out.
We’ve put together an ultimate guide to steer you in the right direction during the 24-hour bash to put your time to best use.
You couldn’t miss this festival, even if you tried. Here are a variety of great events, some of which are free, happening all across Montreal on February 29 (and some that trickle into March 1.) Check out the festival’s website for a full list of activities throughout the day.
Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives
What: If you’re not a fan of mummies, you probably won’t like them any better at night.
For Nuit Blanche, the MMFA is offering half-price admission to its Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives exhibit.
The exhibit, produced by the British Museum, reconstructs the lives of six people who lived along the Nile between 900 B.C.E. and 180 C.E., using an innovative approach that combines the arts and science.
(Note: If they get up and start walking around the museum that is NOT part of the exhibit.)
Time: 5 pm – 12 am
Where: Musée des beaux-arts de Montreal, 1380 rue Sherbrooke
Giant Escape Game : Journey to the Centre of the Earth
What: Escape roomers can experience the history of Montreal’s underground city in the launching of an all new game titled, “Journey to the Centre of the Earth: The Forgotten City.”
In collaboration with the Art Souterrain festival, Échappe-Toi hosts their newest escape room throughout 4 km of Montreal’s underground city as gamers will be required to answer different riddles throughout their journey in order to escape with the treasure of ‘the forgotten city.’
Time: 6 pm – 12 am
Where: Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Guided tour of Vieux-Montréal
What: Discover Old Montreal from a whole new perspective, in the company of a professional guide. Experience the architectural splendours and history of Old Montreal as you observe the charming illuminated places, streets, and historic buildings of the port.
The departure takes off from the Tim Hortons inside the Palais des congrès in French only.
Time: 6 and 8 pm
Where: Tour Kaleidoscope – Congress center, 1001 Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Price: $20, reservations required
What: This will be so bad, it’ll be good.
Total Crap presents hilarious montages of the worst footage from TV and film ever made.
Time: 6:30 – 11 pm
Where: Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent
What: Montréal en Histoires will offer guided tours of the Cité Mémoire. Guests will be greeted by agents at the Grand Tableau, located near the Champ-de-Mars metro station. Cité Mémoire will feature giant projections of varying aspects of Montreal’s history.
Time: 7 pm – 1 am
Where: Metro Champ-de-Mars, 158 rue Saint Antoine Est
What: Veering away from the traditional events at Nuit Blanche, SPASM Night offers an entire night of short films from around the world as well as famous drag queens performing live on stage. All for $5.
Time: 7 pm – 3 am
Where:Café Cléopâtre, 1230 St-Laurent
A Night in the Atrium’s Enchanted Forest
What: Lace up and hit the ice at the refrigerated rink inside the tallest building in Montreal. The ice is open until 1 am and DJ Darth Paul will be supplying the beats.
Time: 7 pm – 1 am
Where: Atrium Le 1000, 1000 de la Gauchetière
Nuit Blanche at l’Observatoire Place Ville Marie
What: In contrast with the city’s wintery views, the Observatoire welcomes guests to a lush vegetation inspired décor enhanced by forest green lighting and environment.
Time: 8 pm – 1 am
Where: Place Ville Marie Observatory, 1 place Ville-Marie
What: Lumière Noire is a dream-like multidisciplinary event showcasing a slew of colours, dancing, and dozens of DJs throughout the 11 hour party.
Time: 9 pm – 8 am
Where: Bain Mathieu, 2915 Ontario
Karaoké on ice
What: The Old Port skating rink will be transformed into a giant karaoke stage fusing music, skating, and singing.
Time: 9 pm – 1 am
Where: Clock Tower Pier
Journey Through Harmony
What: With so much happening around the city, you might want to spend Nuit Blanche relaxing. From the Bota Bota water circuit, massages, wine and cheese, and Swedish massages – spend the night in spa mode.
Time: 9 pm – 1 am
Where: Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau, 358 de la Commune Ouest
Price: $70 – $170
Night of 100 Improvisers
What: Theatre Sainte-Catherine is going hard on the improvisers on Nuit Blanche, bringing in a new improviser and changing the themes and styles every hour on the hour for seven hours.
Time: 8 pm – 3 am
Where: Theatre Sainte-Catherine, 264 Ste.Catherine Est
L’envers du décor
What: The SAT invites guests to take part in an interactive audiovisual work, including a series of live artistic, musical and video performances.
Using telepresence and projection technology, the SAT merges its spaces, offering guests the chance to travel from one floor to another, without physical limits.
Time: 8 pm – 3 am
Where: Society for Arts and Technology [SAT], 1201 St. Laurent
Price: Free, $10 for the Satosphère
Put on Your Dancing Boots
What: Warm up by dancing to choreographies from the Just Dance video game, projected onto a screen with a giant herd of people.
Time: 8 pm – 12 am
Where: Grande Bibliothèque, 475 de Maisonneuve
Featuring three batting cages, a pro shop, and a resto-bar, Grand Slam is offering a sports complex all night where guests can hone their sports skills before the spring and summer seasons.
Time: 12 pm – 1 am
Where: Grand Chelem – Ball center, 3930 rue Ste. Catherine Est
Price: $6 – $45