O is it ever nice to have an all nighter in Montreal. And this year’s theme is especially risqué: What is Your Creative Fantasy? I can think of a few that involve paint, glitter, scissors, and a glue gun, and they are not especially child-friendly. I mean, what would your child doing out after 3 a.m. anyway? If nothing else, unlike New Years, the Nuit Blanche promises that the STM goes ALL NIGHT. OMG, YES. It isn’t free. But snag one of those 24-hour tickets for $11 or the all-night unlimited one that starts at 6 p.m. for $6 and ride from one end of the orange line to the other stopping at every station (I’ve done it. Totally worth it but takes a long time).
Montreal’s Nuit Blanche is organized around “Pôles” – hubs, basically, for late night events. Many neighbourhoods are represented, Centre Ville, Mile End, Montreal Nord, the Plateau, Quartier des Spectacles, Quartier Latin Village, Vieux Montreal, Hochelaga. At each hub is a collection of events, some of which will run all night. There are other events outside the hubs too, as many have been adding their Nuit Blanche offerings on the social media hub of Facebook.
More often than not, I’ve spent my Nuit Blanche hitting up some museums. There’s something completely revelatory in hitting up art at what seems like the wrong hours. However, not every museum pulls an all nighter, and many shutter their doors at midnight or earlier. One must be diligent in making a plan… or simply just happy to let the plan fall by the wayside and go with the flow.
For those of you who are much more meticulous in figuring out your play by play, here are some picks for your night that will keep you moving through the festival.
Sing Karaoke at Radio-Canada
The music is francophone, and there’s no telling which of your favourite artists will show up. Philippe Fehmiu will animate an hour and a half of singing. Here’s hoping they don’t put you on the radio unless you’re good. 21 – 22:30 at Radio Canada. Once Karaoke ends, Jeremy Dutcher takes over for an hour long show. (1000 Ave Papineau).
24 Hours of Vinyl at the SAT
The SAT always knows how to throw a classy party. Maybe it’s all those chin stroking deconstructed beats types that hang out there to learn the latest in 360 degree filmmaking. At any rate, the SAT, newly reopened after renovations, will be spending the Nuit Blanche and beyond in a marathon of vinyl records. It’s free to go before 10 p.m., but then requires a ltitle more to stay on. Check it out HERE. SAT(1201 St Laurent). 7 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Nice Try at Usine C
Is it a competition? A kooky art project? A reflection of your worst Tinder experience ever? In this edition of Nice Try, artists have 48 hours to design a 10-minute performance. The performers are revealed last minute. The theme of this particular iteration is “Love at first sight” and seems to entail a blind dating game. I hope there are 1970s brown and orange flowers. If the artistic pairings fall short, at least there is a promise of tarot cards, seduction potions, and DJs. 19:30 – 1. Free with reservation (1345 Av Lalonde)
Imagine that homosexuality has become an integral part of Mormon religion. Well, this performance art imagines that (keep in mind, the theme for this nuit blanche is what’s your creative fantasy?). Dressed as Mormon missionaries and using ergonomic harnesses, two artists promise to perform “speculative queer-religious rituals.” From 19 – 1 at Projet Casa (4351 ave de L’Esplanade).
If dancing in a surrealistic fluorescent room sounds like the perfect opportunity to see what wears off first – your pharmaceuticals or your energy – now’s your chance. Bain Mathieu (2915 Ontario Est) will be open from 21 – 8. Reserve your ticket in advance.
Lions de Cannes
Why not watch the best advertisements in the world from the past year, snag a drink, and go back and watch some more. It’s very unlikely you’ll be tempted to buy anything, but you are sure to be wowed by the talent, creativity, and cleverness of the ad industry. Theatre Outremont (1248 Av Bernard Ouest) is screening the 105 minute reel on loop. 22:30 – 2:30.
Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia
Although still not in its proper home, the MAC’s latest exhibition about Pussy Riot is available to check out for free. I can’t wait for the full MAC to reopen again. But for now, PVM is its home (Cathcart and Mansfield). The exhibit is free on Nuit Blanche. Woot. 18 – 1.
The Belgo Building (372 ST Catherine O) contains the studios and workshop spaces of artists and performers. Nuit Blanche is when many open their doors to let the plebians in. See the art, watch the performances, drink something neon green and too sweet. Wander up those damned long staircases and realize going down them again is no easier. All is free. Yay. various hours.
I liken Club Soda (1225 Boul St Laurent) to MTelus’ weird aunt. However, turns out that she’s no less fun and when you spend some time inside, rather charming and beautiful. DJs like Poirier, Piyou, and Uplift51 will give you some music to dance to that combines dancehall, soca, afrobeats, and afro house. Did I mention it’s free? 22 -3.
For more options, check out the website for Nuit Blanche HERE.