Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île: a lever of attractiveness for downtown Montreal 

Press release | For immediate release

Montreal, November 22, 2022 — The fight for downtown Montreal’s economic recovery and its continued attractiveness is fought on many fronts. Amongst them, the offer of a memorable winter experience attracting Montrealers and visitors alike while showcasing our expertise here and abroad.

This is the heart of the message conveyed by the partners of the initiative Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île led in collaboration by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montréal centre-ville, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Tourisme Montréal, and the City of Montreal, gathered through the Alliance for Downtown Montreal and launched tonight in the presence of Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy, Innovation, and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development, Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region.


This winter project brings together all the outdoor illumination and entertainment projects taking place within an area running from Atwater to Papineau and from Sherbrooke to the St. Lawrence River. It echoes the conclusions of a recent Léger survey conducted on 1,021 visitors to downtown Montreal and 1,404 Quebecers to identify what current and potential downtown consumers want. Carried out as part of the work of the Alliance for Downtown Montreal, it confirmed that the heart of the metropolis is characterized mainly by the quantity and variety of its activities and cultural offerings.

  • According to the survey, 91% of residents, students, and workers say they also come to downtown Montreal for fun.
  • For the vast majority of respondents—62% of visitors and 56% of the Quebec population—this is the main influencing factor that motivates their choice to visit downtown Montreal.
  • Three out of five respondents (60%) cited entertainment and arts offerings as a reason they would travel to the downtown area more often.

These results clearly demonstrate that, in order to ensure the downtown’s long-lasting economic recovery and the return of foot traffic, it is essential to offer an exciting environment and an experience that lives up to the public’s expectations, both in summer and winter.

Please refer to the fact sheet the Léger survey.


This is the goal of the project Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île, which highlights local know-how and creativity and will ensure the economic vitality of downtown Montreal this winter. Illuminated public squares, dazzling events and festivals, inviting decorations, interactive installations and public art: the stage is set for the city to consolidate its role as Quebec’s economic, tourist, and cultural hub.

Some of the highlights of this program:

  • The 13th edition of Luminothérapie in the Quartier des Spectacles, an interactive pathway of sound and light installations from December 1st to March 5, that will be extended for the first time westward on Sainte-Catherine Street, without forgetting the outdoor ice rink on the Esplanade Tranquille and its plethora of activities. These initiatives are from The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership;
  • The illumination of downtown with half a million lights highlighting the city’s unique architectural heritage, an initiative of Montréal centre-ville;
  • Creative and sensory installations by ré·CRÉATIONMTL and supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal’s “I Love Working Downtown” initiative.

Starting January, the winter campaign of Tourisme Montréal invites residents and visitors to discover 1,001 ways to enjoy the city through its art, culture, shows, gastronomy, and numerous activities. In Montreal's wintertime, it isn't the days that get shorter, but the nights that get longer. As soon as the sun sets, the nightlife awakens; iconic lights illuminate the four corners of the island bringing comforting warmth to winter activities.

Several other must-see events offering an exceptional winter experience in downtown Montreal:

  • Lighting of The Ring designed by Claude Cormier at the Esplanade PVM by Ivanhoé Cambridge.
  • The Holiday Kingdom at Complexe Desjardins until December 24, 2022.
  • The Great Christmas Market on the Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles, running through December 31, 2022.
  • L'Odyssée, a festive programme by XP_MTL to celebrate the magic of the holiday season in the heart of downtown Montreal from November 25, 2022 to January 6, 2023.
  • Enchanted worlds, Christmas mechanical windows at McCord Stewart Museum. Indoor and free exhibition for children takes place from November 25, 202 to January 8, 2023.
  • Noël dans le parc Festival from December 3 to 31, 2022 at Place Émilie-Gamelin in the Quartier des Spectacles.
  • Ours blanc sur glaces éphémères, an initiative by Espace pour la vie on the Promenade des Artistes in the Quartier des Spectacles, from December 4 to December 12, 2022.
  • The outdoor art installation INSITU on the façade of The Maison Symphonique from December 19 and the new tableau presented in Cité Mémoire TIOHTIÀ:KE VILLE-MARIE on the Esplanade PVM, Place Ville Marie.
  • A hanging art installation in the heart of Chinatown, an initiative by Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and Marché de Nuit de Montréal for the COP15 and support by the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts, from December 2022 to March 2023.
  • Winter projection on the façade of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from December 19, 2022 to February 24, 2023 followed by the digital projections of artist Nalini Malani starting February 25, 2023.
  • The 24th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE from February 16 to March 5, 2023 in the Quartier des Spectacles.

Les moments lumineux du cœur de l’île’s program is available here:

Follow Les moments du cœur de l’île on : Facebook | Instagram


“The numbers don’t lie, the reason our downtown area is so attractive is largely because it offers such a unique experience. As delegations from all over the world visit our downtown in search of inspiration and as our know-how is sought after to revive other city centres, it seems obvious to us to put this expertise to good use here at home.”

  • Glenn Castanheira, Executive Director of Montréal centre-ville

“It is important to continue the efforts to ensure the attractiveness, prosperity and conviviality of the downtown area. These outdoor installations will further enhance and bring colour to the metropolis, while contributing to its influence and that of the talents that call it home.”

  • Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy, Innovation, and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development, Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region

“Montreal is a world-class Nordic metropolis. It is important for the City of Montreal to celebrate this northernness and to associate it with a cultural offer accessible to the entire population and tourists. In itself the know-how and creativity of local creators allow us to enjoy lively and lighting streets. I invite all Montrealers to make the most of the programming that will shine a light on downtown this winter.”

  • Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montreal and of the Ville-Marie borough

“We are delighted to see such a strong commitment to continuing our summer collaborations into the winter, which will keep the downtown core dynamic and creative. The creators of the Luminothérapie works and the partners of the Quartier des Spectacles will offer a unique luminous experience in the heart of the city. Once again, these luminous moments are showing that culture makes an essential contribution to the economic vitality of cities.”

  • Monique Simard, Chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership’s board of directors

“Winter offers are back in force with innovative tourism products, and Tourisme Montréal is delighted to highlight the city's attractions to its own stakeholders. The past few years have encouraged us to speak directly to residents, and we will do so on a regular basis from now on! The moments lumineux in the heart of the island pool the human and financial energy of the parties involved for a most festive cold season!”

  • Manuela Goya, Vice-President, Development of the destination and Public Affairs at Tourisme Montréal

“The Chamber and its partners have been working together for more than two years to rekindle the downtown area. Today, our analyzes tell us that we are on a good trajectory, with 87% of workers in the city center present in the office each week. We know that the creative installations we supported have very positive effects on the attractiveness of downtown Montreal, such as the Ring. We are happy to contribute to the Moments lumineux du cœur de l’île and to offer workers this rich experience that will enhance the winter months. I give my regards to the leadership of Minister Fitzgibbon and the commitment of all players working to illuminate our downtown.”

  • Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal


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:


The Alliance for Downtown Montreal is an initiative of the SDC Montréal centre-ville, made possible with financial support from the Quebec Ministry of the Economy, Innovation, and Energy. The alliance is the result of a concerted effort by some forty decision makers actively involved in the downtown area. It is part of a desire to continue the unprecedented mobilization that took place during the pandemic to maintain downtown Montreal’s strategic assets over the long term.

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Montréal centre-ville, founded in 1999, is the Downtown Business Development Corporation (SDC), a non-profit organization that brings together nearly 5,000 member businesses located between Atwater Avenue and Saint-Urbain Street, and between Sherbrooke and Saint-Antoine Streets. Montréal centre-ville is the biggest organization of its kind in Canada.

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The Quartier des Spectacles is Montréal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues as well as numerous festivals and events. The Quartier also hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design and immersive environments. The Quartier des Spectacles has become an international showcase for digital public art.

The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, founded in 2003, is a non-profit organization with more than 85 members active in the district. It is responsible for animating the Quartier des Spectacles by programming cultural activities, managing and animating public spaces, providing distinctive illumination and promoting the Quartier as a must-visit cultural destination. The Partnership benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal.

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With a network of over 8,000 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.

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Tourisme Montréal is a private, non-profit organization that has been positioning Montréal as a world-class leisure and business travel destination for over 100 years. The organization leads innovative tourism strategies that have a twofold objective: to ensure visitors enjoy a quality experience and to balance economic growth with the city’s long-term interests. Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal’s tourism industry, and advises on issues related to the city’s economic, urban and cultural development.

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Montréal centre-ville
Emmanuelle Allaire
514 298-6298

Quartier des Spectacles Partnership  
Mélanie Mingotaud  
514 582-5272   

Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Jean-Baptiste Portrait
514 669-6768

Ville de Montréal
Camille Bégin
438 874-8588

Tourisme Montréal
Aurélie de Blois
514 918-5290