The great meeting of performing arts and gastronomy continues: Montréal en Lumière completed on Tuesday the unveiling of the programming for its 25th edition, held from February 29 to March 10, by announcing the return of Ben l’Oncle Soul and Émilie Simon. Its rich culinary component will also reflect environmental concerns.
The main idea of the Montréal en Lumière festival is the same as that which gave birth to the Montréal International Jazz Festival more than 40 years ago: to energize the city center. In the depths of winter, this time. To “experience winter rather than endure it”, in the words of Jacques Primeau, general director of the event. This event combining culture, tableware and outdoor activities also has a social value, in his eyes. “It’s a contribution to our collective mental health to go out and meet,” judges the producer, who was one of the leaders and creators of the Quartier des spectacles.
The imposing gastronomic aspect of Montréal en Lumière stands out with the arrival of a number of Michelin-starred chefs, including Emmanuel Pilon (Le Louis Singapore, will be at the Monarque). The festival reflects the environmental concerns of our time by also welcoming eight Michelin-starred “green” chefs including Ed Tejada and Ryan Walker of Silo, a London establishment which was the first “waste-free” restaurant in the world, Glenn Viel (at Maison Boulud ) and Caterina Ceraudo (at Graziella). Note also that the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality of Quebec (ITHQ) will welcome for two evenings the indigenous chief Maxime Lizotte, from the Wolastoqiyik Wahsepekuk nation, established near Cacouna.
Montréal en Lumière had already revealed the headliners of its shows which will take place in major venues (Kronos Quartet, Lisa LeBlanc symphonique, Bruno Pelletier, etc.). The concerts announced on Tuesday will be presented in more intimate contexts. Ben l’Oncle Soul will sing at Studio TD on March 1, Émilie Simon returns to Montreal on the 7th at Gesù, Pierre Flynn will perform at the same place on February 27 and Alex Nevsky will be there on the 24th, with his instrumental project De la Beauté. Maurin Auxemery also insisted on the return of The Storyville Mosquito, a show that Kid Koala has been carrying around since 2019, and which combines music, puppets and live cinema. “Take your children! “, he said, speaking of the multidisciplinary event presented on March 2 at the Fifth Room.
No need to pay a penny to enjoy Montreal in the spotlight. The area around Place des Arts will once again be lively: skating, light therapy courses and games, the possibilities will be numerous and detailed at the start of next year. Note that, for the first time, the Nuit blanche will take place during the first weekend of the festival (i.e. on the night of March 2 to 3) and will have the theme “fantasy”. Special activities, some of which were designed with Télé-Québec, have been planned to entertain children and families who will be on school break from March 6 to 10. Finally, characters from the Cirque du Soleil show KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities will contribute to the animation of the outdoor site by interacting with the crowd.