With more festivals than weeks in a year, it is fair to say Montreal is a city known for its celebrations. In normal times, locals and tourists will attend festivals in just about every condition, from blistering heats to the dead of winter. This year, however, many of our favorite festivals had to be canceled. Still, with enough time, festival coordinators and the city had no choice but to figure out how to host festivals even during a worldwide pandemic safely. Between online dance parties, virtual theatre, and social distancing light displays, you will have your choice of different festivals to attend this season to keep you cheery during the winter season after the holidays.
February 18-28, 2021
For the past 20 years, Montreal and Quebec’s finest culinary and artistic masterminds have united to create a jaw-dropping festival set to dazzling light displays. Although its epicenter is in the Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal en Lumieres features over a hundred separate events all over the city’s boroughs. As the name would suggest, Montreal en Lumieres lights the streets of Montreal up, bringing some cheer to the normally quite gloomy and dismal month of February, but the festival is so much more than that. Although the programming isn’t unveiled until the beginning of February, based on the last few years and how much Montrealers will need some winter cheer this February, we can expect an incredible 10 days in Place des Arts.
February 27, 2021
On the last night of February every year, to finish off ‘Montreal en Lumieres,’ the extravagant Nuit Blanche festival has Montrealers partying from dusk until dawn. The night features over 200 activities spread throughout the city, but the festival’s heart is centered around Place des Arts. Although Nuit Blanche is known for its incredible light displays, this night is about so much more than lights, with activities ranging from free museum exhibitions, free musical performances, and even carnival rides. The festival will release the full program at the beginning of February, but the festival is set to take place on February 27th from 5 pm until 3 am.
January 12-30, 2021
This year, Centaur Theatre Company figured out an ingenious way to get around the rules so Montreal can still experience the Wildside Festival in all of its glory. Between January 12th and 30th, 2021, the annual Wildside Theatre Festival will be virtual so that you can enjoy the fantastic lineup of shows from the comfort of your own home, and best of all, the shows are completely free. There are multiple shows, all created by local artists, all being performed on different nights, so make sure to check the festival’s website to see when the show that interests you is running.
January 16 – Feb 8, 2021
Montreal, a city known for its festivals, isn’t about to take a break when the weather gets cold. Igloofest, the nine-day EDM dance rave festival, has been embracing the cold weather the cold since 2007, and it’s not about to stop this year. This year the festival won’t be held in the Old Port as it has been in the past, but rather virtually so you can dance the winter blues away, safely, from the comfort of your home. Igloofest’s programming is to be unveiled at the beginning of January. Still, with last year’s festival boasting EDM legends such as Nina Kraviz and Charlotte de Witte, you can expect nothing but an unforgettable lineup this year.