The first Saturday night (and Sunday morning) of March marks Montreal’s 5th annual Nuit Blanche, an all-night festival of pretty much anything and everything. The festival has variations around the world, including Toronto, Chicago and Paris, where it started 6 years ago. This was my second Nuit, and I have to say its probably my favourite community event I’ve ever taken part in. A free shuttle bus takes you around a full city of events, everything from a giant ice slide running through the old city (see above video), tons of art exhibitions and installations, a mini film festival (Festivalissimo, La Noche de los cortos features short films from all over the Spanish-speaking world), a disco party in the chambers of old city hall, extreme amounts of booze (people just walk around with it), karaoke at the opera house, a Mars-centered show at the planetarium, a giant old church playing themes from classic horror films on its organ, etc, etc, etc.
Its a extremely bizarre evening that ends up feeling like seven different nights (for the price of half of one, almost everything is free). Just think of drinking a king can of Heineken inside a church while the organ plays the theme from Jaws. Anyway.. I made it until about 3:30 when the planetarium show (in french so I had no idea what was going on), almost induced some group vomiting and I couldn’t bare to make it to our final proposed destination: Free breakfast at 4:30 AM in one of the city’s downtown shopping centers. But after the jump is a bunch of photos, which probably make no sense out of context but suggest the eclectic spirit of the night.