Montreal en lumière lights up the city for a thirteenth season (February 16 to 22, 2012) with an amazing line-up of art shows, exhibitions, concerts, pretty sidewalk attractions, outdoor activities and more! Place des festivals hosts the majority of the action, with an array of DJ’ed dance parties, including our beloved Black Tiger Sex Machine (who totally nailed it at Igloofest this year!), and what is purported to be a very impressive series of ‘progressive architectural lighting’ displays in Quartier des spectacles. Most importantly, adjacent to the DJ booth, the SAQ will set up a Bistro de glace so that you can enjoy a cocktail and an appetizer as you dance the night away!

For Montreal foodies (the sheer masses of you, and me), the festival this year includes a variety of outdoor food kiosks offering everything from Rickard’s Red to Parisian macarons to French fries. Cool lights, good music and beer/pastry. Amirite?

A plethora of family activities are also lined up for the week-long event (disclosure: you don’t need to be ‘with a family’ to enjoy the action – hello, date opportunity!), including a winter Ferris Wheel, ice slides and general outdoor good times.

Of course, the highlight of the whole damn thing is Montreal’s very fabulous and very famous Nuit Blanche, which this year falls on Saturday, February 25. Start your engines, because this year’s city-wide all-nighter is bigger than ever. General advice: select one or two activities you really want to see or do, with a small group of friends, and stick to the plan! Nothing is worse than wandering around the city trying to find an activity sans line-up, without really knowing what you’re lining up for. Go early, dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes and bring all of your patience (it’s a virtue, you know!) Great iPhone and Android apps are available for this year’s event as well, outlining maps, activities and schedules so that your evening may run as smoothly as possible. Best part: the metro is open all night!

Enjoy our mild yet brisk winter weather while you still can, Montreal!

~ Tyler Yank