During the winter Montreal,heats up with a number of winter festivals. It's a way of encouraging Montreal residents and visitors alike to get out and explore the city instead of giving in to the temptation to hibernate during when the weather outside is frosty.
- Igloofest (Mid-January to early February)
Every weekend for the past 9 years at the Vieux-Port quay near Jacque-Cartier bridge, Montrealers gather under the stars in a pop-up igloo village to dance and enjoy electronic music.
Closest Metro Station: Champs-de-Mars or Place d'Armes
- Fete Des Neiges (Mid-January to early February)
Parc Jean Drapeau, named after the well-known, former Montreal mayor, skating along a special ice path, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and rides in horse-drawn sleighs put the fun back into winter. There is a giant Ferris wheel, a zipline and, of course, lots of hot chocolate.
- Montreal en lumiere (last Saturday in February)
On the last Saturday of February, during Montreal's annual Nuit blanche event, the city shines a spotlight on the arts scene. Arts organizations throw open their doors and put up special displays and installations through out the downtown core. There are outdoor and ice carving competitions and opportunities to sample gourmet food. This year Switzerland is the featured country for culinary events. Many restaurants offer special prix fixe menus during Montreal en lumiere.
The Metro runs all night.
- La fete des fromages d'ici (3rd weekend in February)
At Complexe Desjardins, sample the finest cheese dishes that Quebec has to offer. it's a gourmet delight.
Closest Metro Stations: Place des Arts and Square Victoria
- Art Souterrain (Late February - Mid March)
Art Souterrain (translation Underground Art) local and international contemporary artists in 13 zones of Montreal's underground city including Place Des Arts, Complex Desjardins, Gare Centrale (Central Station), and Place Ville Marie. The concept is to take art out of the galleries and arts organizations and integrate it into daily life where people can view and experience it.
Each year, a different theme is explored. This year's theme is Security in our Society: What Remains of our Personal Freedoms?
Corporate groups and conference attendees that come to Montreal during the winter will discover that its reputation as a major festival city is well earned.
Photo Credits: Matt Hobbs