Press release | For immediate release

Montreal, December 20, 2022 – This winter, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the Alliance du centre-ville are transforming downtown Montreal into a welcoming and festive playground. Since December 1 and continuing until March 5, 2023, as part of the Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île initiative, Montrealers, visitors and downtown residents are invited to enjoy luminous and creative experiences and participate in the many sporting and cultural activities that make downtown a magical and irresistible destination during the holiday season.


Luminothérapie, 13th edition
Series of installations on Sainte-Catherine St. W. and Esplanade Tranquille
Until March 5, 2023

Thanks to Luminothérapie, downtown is gleaming with splashes of colour from several luminous art installations, making it the perfect place to be amazed, get some exercise and have some outdoor fun with the whole family while enjoying a unique Montreal winter experience.

The on-ice interactive work Au bord du lac Tranquille, a creation of Mirari and Normal Studio, is the starting point. It reveals our rich Nordic biodiversity through a dreamlike journey to the heart of Quebec’s vast waterways. Twice daily for 30 minutes, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., the city’s largest refrigerated outdoor skating rink springs to life with fascinating aquatic fauna as creatures playfully follow the skaters.

Afterwards, visitors of all ages are invited to stroll among the other interactive works, all located on Sainte-Catherine Street West, and learn their secrets.

Winter-themed lights and video projections
Multiple locations in downtown Montreal

More than a half million colourful lights can be seen throughout the downtown core. They create a magical ambiance as they illuminate the district’s unique architectural heritage, public spaces and shopping streets. Highlights include the interactive work INSITU, projected since December 19 on the on the Place des Arts Esplanade side of the Maison symphonique de Montréal; the new Cité Mémoire piece TIOHTIÀ:KE VILLE-MARIE projected on the PVM Esplanade at Place Ville Marie; the wintertime digital projection on the façade of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; and special lighting of the Ring, a work by Claude Cormier in the heart of the PVM Esplanade presented by Ivanhoé Cambridge.

Chinatown in lights
Until March 2023

Montrealers and visitors are invited to discover Dragons Chasing the Moon, a suspended outdoor installation by artist Karen Tam. The work, which the artist describes as “joyful and light,” comprises a multitude of floating panels, inspired by traditional Chinese paper cutouts, entwined with the lampposts on De La Gauchetière St. The colours of the panels – pink, yellow, orange, red – are associated with the Lunar New Year. Tigers, rabbits, snakes and other auspicious symbols can be seen overhead.

Special Holiday programming on Esplanade Tranquille

A diverse free program of music, literature, fireside chats and sports will continue until January 6 on Esplanade Tranquille. A multitude of fun, Holiday-themed original activities for all will create joyful moments in Montreal’s cultural core for children and the young at heart. Montrealers and visitors are invited to make the most of winter in a warm and enchanting setting with plenty of activities on the rink and inside the warm chalet, where there will be fireside literary gatherings every Tuesday.

Detailed program and schedule:


Le Royaume de Noël
Complexe Desjardins
Until December 24

Until Christmas Eve, the ambiance inside Complexe Desjardins is simply magical! How could it not be? The real Santa Claus has set up his kingdom there, welcoming children to his enchanting realm. On the Grande-Place, you’ll find the inspiring Marché de Lëon and see presentations of the impressive multimedia show Fontaine Boréale.

Le Grand Marché de Noël
Place des Festivals
Until December 31

Follow the sweet aromas of mulled wine and hot chocolate and check out the thirty-plus chalets where you’ll meet local and regional artisans. There are also activities to delight the whole family!

More information:

Noël dans le parc
Place Émilie-Gamelin
Until December 31

For its 29th edition, Festival Noël dans le Parc presents a program of free shows and activities daily in Place Émilie-Gamelin. Christmas tree vendors, activities for families, live music, snacks and a beer garden are all part of the extensive program.

Program and schedule:

Sainte-Catherine St. W.
Until January 6, 2023

To celebrate the magic of the Holidays in the heart of downtown Montreal and spread Christmas cheer on Sainte-Catherine St., L’Odyssée, presented by XP_MTL, features a giant work by Cree artist Jason Carter, The Legend of the Bears, symbolizing strength, hope and comfort.

Enchanted Worlds
McCord Stewart Museum
Until January 8, 2023

The famous mechanical window displays from the Ogilvy department store are now on display at the McCord Stewart Museum. The indoor exhibit includes free activities for children.


Why not ring in the new year outdoors in the Quartier des Spectacles?

New Year’s Eve party at the Grand Marché de Noël
Place des Festivals
From 7 p.m. – Free

For the first time, the Marché de Noël is hosting its own New Year’s Eve party! Starting at 7 p.m. on Place des Festivals, not one but two stages will host the evening’s special program. The market will shift into party mode with DJ sets, concerts and short performances to set the mood and electrify the crowd. There will of course be the traditional countdown at midnight, accompanied by special effects. The party is free and open to all. It all adds up to a fantastic way to cap off the holiday season!

A musical New Year’s celebration with Noël dans le Parc
Place Émilie Gamelin
From 3:30 p.m. – Free

For the first time, Festival Noël dans le Parc will welcome numerous artists and musicians to Place Émilie-Gamelin on December 31. The festivities get underway at 3:30 p.m. with youth shows by Katam and his Tam-Tams Bon débarras, until 7 p.m. Then, at 7 p.m., Place Émilie Gamelin will become an electrifying open-air nightclub with performances by Dj Millimetrik, Les Frères à ch’val, Mélisande and Bran Van 3000 to wrap up the year in style!

Welcoming the new year on skates!
Esplanade Tranquille and Sainte-Catherine St.
Until 1 a.m.

For one night, the Esplanade Tranquille skating rink and the Luminothérapie installations will be open until 1 a.m. Visitors are invited to celebrate with some skating! It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the non-stop musical soundtrack at the rink and admire Au bord du lac Tranquille before taking a stroll along Sainte-Catherine St. to Phillips Square to check out the rest of the installations.

Several outdoor and indoor activities will happen downtown and in the Quartier des Spectacles on December 31. Details and schedules:

Complete programming for Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île:

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  • Public transit: numerous STM bus routes and more than ten metro stations on the green and orange lines serve the area.
  • Cycling: countless bike lanes crisscross the downtown core.
  • The area includes accessibility measures for persons with reduced mobility. Please see the individual venues’ websites for details.


Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île is downtown Montreal’s collaborative winter project. It is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the Alliance centre-ville partners: the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, SDC Montréal centre-ville, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Tourisme Montreal and the Ville de Montréal. The initiative is a continuation of a series of summer projects launched in 2020. The winter Moments comprise a variety of outdoor activities organized by the partners and other cultural and economic stakeholders active in the area bounded by Atwater, Sherbrooke and Papineau streets and the St. Lawrence River. The Moments include a host of original winter activities to be enjoyed outdoors in the downtown core: interactive and luminous installations and experiences, festivals and events, exceptional opportunities to meet talented local artisans, beautifully illuminated public spaces and other delightful surprises. From November to March, these initiatives have been brought together under the communication campaign Les moments du coeur de l’île and invite Montrealers, visitors and tourists to enjoy the luminous winter wonders of the heart of the island that make Montreal a unique winter destination.

More information:

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Montréal centre-ville
Emmanuelle Allaire
514 298-6298

Quartier des Spectacles Partnership  
Mélanie Mingotaud  
514 582-5272   

Tourisme Montréal
Aurélie de Blois
514 918-5290