One of my all-time favorite Montreal festivals is Nuit Blanche sur tableau noir, happening this year from June 7-10 on Mont-Royal. The festival begins like any other Montreal street fair with a 2.5 km stretch of the Avenue being closed to traffic and open for business, restaurants stretching their terasses into the street and shop owners bringing their wares and their specials onto the sidewalk. The air smells of street-meat and Mont-Royal comes alive with a crush of people from all around the city and the sound of music and laughter. Friday night after dark is the main event, the vendors have long since pulled out of the street and closed up shop, the restaurants and bars have filled up with people eager to watch, as darkness falls the giant white lights are turned on along the streets and the artists start their work.

Nuit Blanche Sur Tableau Noir is a festival celebrating art in its many forms with forty four artists participating in painting the street over the night of the 8th (Friday.) The festival is a very friendly community event, with passersbys welcome to watch the artists at their work, and artists working well into the early hours of Saturday morning finishing their creations.

The theme this year is “J’aime Mon Voisin” (I love my neighbor) and all the artists will be painting their own take on that idea. On Saturday the street fair is on again with crowds having trouble tearing their eyes from the colorful paintings on the street and from the colorful wares on display.

The festival is a celebration of other types of art as well with poetry and music happening in the Compagnons-de-Saint-Laurent Park park, as well as a special art installation, a massive ” bonjour” that visitors are welcome to add their own touches to throughout the summer months. Don’t miss this very special Montreal Festival!

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