The 21st edition of Montréal en lumière 2020 (MEL) is coming to town next week. As every year at this time, it is an occasion for Montrealers and visitors alike to enjoy this unique winter festival. This year’s MEL will run between February 20 and March 1, including the traditional Nuit blanche celebration, which will fall on Saturday, February 29 (this is a leap year, don’t forget). The Nuit blanche is a whole night devoted to music, dance, and of course, the delights of the table. Very important: the metro will run all night for the occasion.
This past Tuesday the lineup for the gastronomy section of MEL was unveiled. I should say that the menu is diverse in terms of the different culinary traditions to be present, as well as in terms of prices, which of course is very important as well. Thus, besides the many restaurants that will be hosting international chefs, the successful Quartier gourmand on the second floor of the Astral (305 Ste. Catherine West) will make a return. This is a place where you can attend free conferences and enjoy some tastings at reasonable prices.
Montrealers once again will be invited to defy the cold and venture into the numerous outdoor activities around the Quartier des spectacles: the Ferris wheel will be installed just on the Place des arts esplanade, the ice toboggan will be there as well, and many kiosks where people can experience food and drinks.
The organizers have also announced that “a Village Gourmand will be built on the outdoor site, in front of L’Astral. Among other things, it will feature La Nuit du Chocolat chaud, presented by Valrhona for the benefit of La Tablée des chefs, and the Jeu Quiz Gourmand, hosted by Randolph.”
Besides the chefs from different countries and the variety of culinary traditions offered by the participant restaurants, Quebec produces and specialty drinks will also be featured. At Espace SAQ Origine Québec, visitors can discover a great selection of Quebec cider cocktails. At the same time, from February 20 to 22, the 14th edition of Fête des Fromages d’ici will feature 20 Quebec cheesemakers at Complexe Desjardins.
Of course, music is also an essential part of MEL, among the artists to be presented are, Shay Lia and Jon Vinyl, February 26, 8 p.m., Astral. Montreal-based Franco-Djiboutian artist Shay Lia became known by writing hits for Kaytranada: Leave me Alone and Chances. Her debut album, Dangerous, has hit 10 million streams. Jon Vinyl is a young Toronto artist whose pop-soul songs are both sophisticated and vulnerable, with strummed guitar chords and waving synths. Other events include Voltigo, who will perform “a series of acrobatic feats from up to 25 metres in the air, with only 3 feet of water to stop them.” And also Dynamo, specially created for the festival, and announced as a “fun blend of circus acts, trampoline, and choreography.”
For detailed information, including the full program, ticket prices, and description of the different events visit
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