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Look back at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 18th edition

The MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 18th edition, presented from February 23 to March 11, 2017 by RBC in collaboration with Bell, was heralded as a superlative special edition to offer the proper launch to a major year of celebrations of the 375th of Montreal. And, good job to the comitee, it is mission accomplished! Over three weeks of festivities, the festival was a major success, confirming its importance and its role as a major event in Montreal winter calendar. As part of the official 375th anniversary program, we can’t forget the immense popularity of Lyon (France) as the grand featured city, the dazzling gourmet diversity served up by the Délice network, the highly promising success of Illuminart, presented by the Casino de Montréal, drawing large crowds despite the unpredictable weather, and our new illuminated curling activity!

375- 18e édition de MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 18th edition

The gourmet program of this MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 18th edition was a success all over the space! Having Lyon as our grand featured city guaranteed that this edition would be an absolute feast for Montrealers and tourists in love with French gastronomy. With our two honorary co-presidents, Jérôme Bocuse and Christophe Muller, the Institut Paul Bocuse and prestigious chefs including Joseph Viola (especially during l’Atelier Nespresso event), the savoir-faire and talent of Lyon chefs shone forth throughout the festival.

Likewise, the impressive diversity of flavours served up by chefs from member cities of the Délice network attracted huge numbers of gourmets and won over every crowd, while also ensuring that the international spotlight was trained on Montreal. More than ever before, our city was the North American hub of fine dining! Meanwhile, the festival also functioned as a crossroads of professional expertise, with a business delegation from the Délice network holding a conference in Montreal from March 1-3 on the evolution of culinary trends.

When it came to fine dining, this was a particularly popular edition, with record attendance and 65 sold-out activities, including chef Joseph Viola’s culinary voyages to Lyon in the Balmoral, the honorary co-presidents’ dinners and brunches in Maison Boulud, the Institut Paul Bocuse hosted by the ITHQ, Mousso x Ask, Sylvain Cossette cooking in restaurant Le Montréal, the Lyonnais brunch at Chez Chose and a dinner hosted by Patrick Senécal. Also, local and guest chefs alike were delighted with all the successful pairings of various different kitchen brigades, generating productive moments of shared creativity and know-how. There also was the first North American edition of Atelier Nespresso which we assisted during the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 18th edition.

And let’s not forget the second straight year of the “Pay Your Age!” program, offering kids the opportunity to experience a gourmet menu at minimal cost during the winter break week; or furthermore, the Mondial des cidres SAQ, a celebration of cider in Complexe Desjardins, as well as the 11th edition of the Festival of Our Cheeses, also in Complexe Desjardins.


  • 29 guest chefs participating in our 44 Air France Finest Tables program
  • Chefs from 14 different countries
  • Over 240 activities for every budget, including some free of charge
  • 12 youths from La Tablée des chefs participating in an activity
  • 65 sold-out activities
  • 4,500 Lyonnais soups concocted by Joseph Viola, served up free of charge on the outdoor site and in community organizations
  • 2,500 kg of cheeses (!!!) enjoyed and purchased during the Festival of Our Cheeses
  • Over 70 different cheeses presented by 19 Québec cheesemakers
  • 12,000 Nespresso (!!!) coffees distributed for free on the site


Hats off to all the hardy festival fans who braved the unpredictable weather to enjoy the festival’s outdoor site! From torrential rain to frigid cold, nothing stopped our fans from celebrating, dancing or discovering, whether it was the rain-soaked show by Rymz or the sheets of ice spun out by Mother Nature!

And when it comes to must-see, popular activities presented free of charge on the outdoor site, the RBC Zip-line and the Milk Urban Slide remain indisputable favourites with our fans. That’s no surprise: they stand both as major attractions and genuine iconic symbols of festival, both at home and on the international scene! And even the wee ones joined in the action all festival long, because our Milk Mini-Slide was more accessible than ever, with a new refrigeration system that kept the ride open continuously. Shows on the Coors Light Stage starring Lisa LeBlanc and Coleman Hell, and Bell DJ/VJ shows including the famed Misstress Barbara completed the fun-filled action.


We were speaking of it in the introduction, the new addition  Illuminart, presented by the Casino de Montréal as part of the official 375th anniversary program, was an immediate must-see, one the festival absolutely plan on presenting once again next year! As the culmination of the “Rendez-vous de la créativité multimédia interactive et lumineuse”, presented during the Je vois Montréal forum and organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal in 2014, Illuminart burst into life with 25 projects combining illumination and technology, spread over a 3.6 km circuit in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles.

A unifying event with a dazzlingly diverse program, Illuminart offered a fantastic showcase for artists from home and abroad, also focusing the attention of the entire world to Montreal and its incredible potential for creativity and innovation!



The first bit of good news: next year, the festival celebrates expertise! With the ITHQ celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Montreal named the favourite city for foreign students, the festival has decided to present a special international edition, welcoming the world’s greatest hotel management/culinary schools. In all, the festival will host fifteen schools, welcoming as many young representatives of the next generation as we do stars of international gastronomy associated with those schools. In its goal to help the gastronomy industry grow and persist, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE seeks to combine creativity with savoir-faire, the innovative potential of our young people with an exchange of knowledge made possible by expertise. The future of global gastronomy comes to Montréal in 2018!

The 19th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will be held from February 22 to March 4, 2018

Learn more here.

President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Gentologie.