a, Arts & Entertainment

The Tribune’s Guide to the 2013 Nuit Blanche

Montreal’s winters may be frigid, but the bleak weather doesn’t stop it from being one of North America’s most vibrant cities. The buzz of winter is most evident on Nuit Blanche, a night where the city explodes with light and activity.

As part of the Montreal en Lumière festival, artists, musicians, and everyday Montrealers will team up with the city of Montreal to present its tenth annual Nuit Blanche on Mar. 2. This evening, in which all sorts of venues open their doors for the entirety of the night, is conveniently taking place on the first Saturday of reading week—an excellent opportunity to venture outside of the McGill bubble and experience Montreal’s diverse culture.

If you’re planning on spending the night wandering around the city, remember that the Metro is open all night long, but it’s not free. Your best bet is to purchase an Unlimited Evening pass for $4, which works from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. on both metro and shuttle buses.

This Nuit Blanche, the Tribune offers its recommendations for free events all over the city.

Place des Festivals

The flagship venue of the festival, Place des Festivals will feature a huge urban slide, a ferris wheel, a 360° cinema, and more. Although this is one of the night’s most popular destinations, with long lines and crowded spaces, the area will be worth checking out at 9 p.m., when fireworks officially kick off the night.

Free. 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Corner of Jeanne-Mance and Ste-Catherine.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 

 

To complement its current exhibit Peru: Kingdom of the Moon and Sun, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is hosting a variety of activities, from a showcase of traditional Peruvian dances, to a multimedia presentation on Peru’s rich archeology and folk culture; to the delight of visual artists, there will also be a live-drawing workshop. But the highlight of the evening may be a free chocolate tasting by the Cacao Berry Lounge and live chocolate body painting (presumably, not at the same time).

Activities are free, and entry to the special exhibit is half price for the night. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

1380 Sherbrooke West.

Ballets Jazz de Montreal

 

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Ballets Jazz de Montreal (BJM) is offering free dance classes all night long. In the same building, the BJM will be showing a documentary and a multimedia exhibit of its history, as well as holding a dance rally.

Free. Reservation required if you intend to take a dance lesson. 8.30 p.m. to 3.30 a.m.

Maison du Conseil des arts de Montréal—Édifice Gaston-Miron

1210 Sherbrooke East.

Biodome Penguins

Attention animal lovers! On Nuit Blanche, the Biodôme takes some of its penguins from the facility and outdoors to play in the real Montreal snow and interact with visitors. Experts will be in the area to answer any questions about these birds from the South pole.

Free. 5 to 11 p.m.

Olympic park

4777 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave.

Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

If it’s a clear night, stop by the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, part of the Espace pour la vie complex. The planetarium, which will be inaugurated on April 6, will set up telescopes for visitors to stargaze and learn about astronomy.

Free. 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

4801 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave.

Coupe Bizzarre

For the more daring night owls, this Nuit Blanche the salon Coupe Bizzarre will be giving out free haircuts to those who stop by. The catch? You don’t get to choose the haircut. Trim at your own risk.

Free. 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

3770 Saint-Laurent Blvd

Atelier Circulaire

The printmaking experts at Atelier Circulaire are hosting a “scratching” session in which visitors will learn techniques of dry print etching on vinyl records while enjoying music by live DJs. Participants will be able to take their art home.

Free. 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

5445 De Gaspé Ave.

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