Enjoying break week in downtown Montreal

Press release | For immediate release

Montreal, February 15, 2023 – Until this March 5, the Moments lumineux du cœur de l’île initiative invites families to make the most of winter in the city with a host of awe-inspiring activities for all, lighting up the cold season! Luminous experiences, art, sports and culture – all free – turn downtown Montreal into an amazing all-ages playground.

From MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE to Luminothérapie, Montréal en Histoires and the new APIK event, downtown is the place to be this winter. Go for a skate on the Esplanade Tranquille rink, be amazed by Esplanade PVM’s Ring, admire the illuminated animals along Sainte-Catherine West, check out Karen Tam’s installation in Chinatown: whatever you choose, be prepared to enjoy some great luminous moments with your family!


February 16 to March 5
In the Quartier des Spectacles

For its 24th edition, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE presents an extensive outdoor program focused on skating and the joys of winter. The festival will present luminous public art, outdoor projections, performances, thrilling rides, a skating trail in Place des Festivals, and the eagerly anticipated 20th edition of Nuit blanche, February 25-26.

February 24 to March 5
Saint-Denis St., between Sherbrooke St. W. and Sainte-Catherine St. W. in the Quartier des Spectacles

This new sports-themed winter event will transform Saint-Denis St. into Mont Saint-Denis! The Quartier Latin will host a series of activities, starting with an impressive skiing and snowboarding competition on February 25 and 26. The adrenaline-charged special program is designed for all ages and includes a training hill, a climbing wall, an obstacle course and some great après-ski!

Until March 5
Series of installations on Sainte-Catherine St. W. and on Esplanade Tranquille, in the Quartier des Spectacles

The 13th edition of Luminothérapie invites everyone to have some outdoor fun with a series of six interactive and luminous installations, four original video projections and an on-ice interactive experience, Au bord du lac Tranquille, the starting point for the circuit. The work by Mirari and Normal Studio reveals the richness of Nordic biodiversity by taking us on a dreamlike journey through Quebec’s vast waterways. Each day, for 30 minutes, the rink comes alive with images of fascinating aquatic creatures that follow skaters around the rink.

Esplanade Tranquille skating rink
In the Quartier des Spectacles

Each day, skaters can enjoy themselves day and night. The free 1500 m2 rink can accommodate up to 400 skaters, making it the city’s biggest outdoor refrigerated rink. The rink also hosts a variety of free activities, including the new on-ice interactive experience Au bord du lac Tranquille. Programming is offered at noon and in the evening.


Bask in the glow of a half million lights
Until March 1

Throughout downtown, a half million lights showcase the core’s unique architectural heritage, public spaces and commercial strips, giving the city an enchanting glow. An initiative of SDC Montréal centre-ville.

The Ring by Claude Cormier
Esplanade PVM

Suspended at the main entrance to Esplanade PVM, this imposing structure embodies the face of Montreal, symbolizing the powerful bond between the city and its residents and visitors. The Ring, which is lit up at night, is a gateway to downtown produced by world-class developer Ivanhoé Cambridge and designed by Claude Cormier + Associés, a landscape architecture firm whose previous projects have helped redefine the city’s urban spaces.

Dragons Chasing the Moon
Until March 26

This luminous outdoor winter installation is a continuation of artist Karen Tam’s longstanding commitment to supporting the communities of Chinatown. It comprises a multitude of hanging panels, inspired by traditional Chinese paper cutouts, entwined around the lampposts of De La Gauchetière St. The colours of the panels – pink, yellow, orange and red – are associated with the Lunar New Year. Tigers, rabbits, snakes and other Chinese symbols of good fortune can also be seen above the street. The work culminates in Sun Yat-sen Park, lit up with luminous garlands, where the “dragon’s head” is represented by three large suspended hoops.

INSITU interactive wall by Montréal en histoires
Place des Arts Esplanade, in the Quartier des Spectacles

Projected on the Maison Symphonique, the INSITU project by Montréal en histoires invites visitors to enjoy an original immersive experience by participating in the live creation of a fun and crowd-pleasing interactive work. The projection, highlighting some of the city’s major cultural institutions, is a visual, ever-changing citizen-sourced poem. It’s a joy to discover and contribute to it! A work by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, with text by Michel Marc Bouchard.

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

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  • Public transit: the area is served by numerous STM bus routes and more than ten metro stations on the green and orange lines.

  • Cycling: all-season bike lanes crisscross the downtown core.

  • The area includes accommodations for persons with reduced mobility. Please check with individual venues 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