Montréal is a festival city to the core, even in winter. The electronic music winter festival Igloofest kicks things off in the middle of January, and thousands of young people turn out to dance to the beats of the hottest Montréal and international deejays.
If family outings are more your thing, La fête des Neiges de Montréal is the family event of the winter season at Parc Jean-Drapeau. In February, the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain from Paris came to town with phenomenal circus performers from all over the world eager to present nothing less than the finest show on earth.
Of course, there is the marquee event of the Montréal winter season, the MONTRÉAL HIGH LIGHTS FESTIVAL, which ran its 12th edition from February 17 to 27. Talented artists, inspired chefs and extraordinary designers converged to unleash their passion, vision and creativity. This year, the festival celebrated women. The Palais once again took part in Montréal’s Nuit Blanche, an all-night celebration of contemporary art that ran along Montréal’s underground city for 6 km from Place des Arts to Complexe les Ailes and showcased 108 installations and performances from sunset to sunrise.
If you’re looking for a warm activity, treat yourself to a Montréal Museum Pass. It’s your ticket to the city’s 34 museums and numerous exhibits, including The Warrior Emperor & China’s Terracotta Army, a major archeological exhibit running until June, 26 2011 at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archeology and History, unveils the well-kept secrets of one of the city’s most treasured landmarks, Saint-Catherine street. Later in the month, the museum presents Pointe-à-Callière’s Port Symphonies, an outdoor concert featuring every year the most unusual instruments, such as boat horns, train whistles and the Notre-Dame church bells. An extravagant concert experience, and it’s free!
Near Pointe-à-Callière, on the Quays of the Old Port, Bota-Bota, spa-sur-l’eau invites you to rediscover the Saint Lawrence river, through vitality, relaxation, modern design and a beautiful 360º view. Enjoy privileged access to the river along with the healing and invigorating power of the water circuit.
Winter is also about delighting in Mount Royal park by either ice skating on Beaver Lake, or snowshoeing at night along a guide-designed trail. Plus, myriad activities organized across the city’s nature parks, and Granby Zoo, which is open winter weekends and is only a one-hour drive from Montréal.
Winter in Montréal, what a season!
For more on winter in Montréal, www.tourisme-montreal.org/Accueil/