Montréal, December 1, 2010 – Following its best summer season for tourism in 10 years, Montréal is ready for a repeat success this winter! The mercury can drop as much as it wants, but it won’t matter. Montréal will provide a warm atmosphere thanks to a cocktail of top quality activities for all tastes. Both inside and outside, Montréal will be the place to be this winter for its cultural, sporting, scientific and gastronomic events.
Festivals and events
All season long, Montréal will offer a varied programme, luring both visitors and Montrealers into a unique and festive frenzy of events. Who hasn’t dreamed of seeing the Cirque du Soleil? The troupe’s Quidam showwill be in town from December 18 to 30. Another major circus event will be the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (February 15 to 27), which will showcase talented artists from all over the world for the very best in circus!
Tens of thousands of party-goers will come together over three wild January (13 to 29) weekends to revel in the frostiness of the Igloo Kingdom while dancing to a burning electronica beat. Welcome to Igloofest! Featuring the hottest homegrown and international DJs, this essential music festival blows the winter blues away with unbelievable music, an out-of-this-world light show and a collective energy so bright it could melt a glacier!
Looking for activities to do with your family? Everybody is sure to have a good time at the TELUS Fire on Ice “pyro-musical” shows that light up the skating rink at the Quays of the Old Port (December 4, 11, 18, 25, and January 8). From December 4 to 31, Old Montréal’s Extravaganza features indoor and outdoor Christmas activities for the entire family, finishing with the outdoor New Year’s Ball at Place Jacques-Cartier and fireworks in the Old Port. Last but not least, La fête des Neiges de Montréal is the family fiesta! Between January 22 and February 6, a whole range of entertaining activities will be held at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
The MONTRÉAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival has become a regular winter fixture in Montréal, and this year’s 12th edition will take place from February 17 to 27. The programme involves talented artists, inspired chefs, and extraordinary designers, who all give free rein to their passion, their vision, and their creativity. This year’s theme, Female Stars in the Montréal Heavens, should provide some memorable and unique moments.
Those with more classical taste have not been forgotten! Some of the most noteworthy exponents in this category include the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Opéra de Montréal, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and the Orchestre métropolitain, whose excellent international reputation continues to grow.
With a programme that is as impressive as it is varied, Montréal’s many museums will provide an alternative for those who feel the cold, with an irresistible combination of culture and warmth. Visitors can get the Montréal Museums Pass, a cultural passport that opens the doors to some 34 museums in the city. It’s the ideal way to get the most from your museum experience.
From February 11 to June 26, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will present a major archaeological exhibition (with more than 300 artefacts!). The Warrior Emperor and China's Terracotta Army will take visitors on a distant journey covering 1,000 years of Chinese history. On a more “contemporary” note, Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, will uncover the secrets of downtown’s most emblematic thoroughfare, the city’s centre for culture, entertainment, and of course shopping: Sainte-Catherine Street! Until April 24, an exhibition will trace the different roles of this legendary street and show the factors that contributed to its growth over a period of 250 years.
The Musée d’art contemporain is offering up Blue (until March 27), an original exhibition that explores the fascinating interaction between light, colour and language. More than just an exhibition, Blue is a journey into the realm of colour. The McCord Museum presents Toys (until March 6), a playfully interactive exhibition. Through a keyhole, you can catch a glimpse of a world that's larger than life: the world of childhood and the imagination.
Until April 24, the Château Ramezay Museum will be whetting your appetite with Let’s Eat! This enticing exhibition explores different aspects of the culinary culture in Québec, from the arrival of the first settlers to contemporary times.
Lots of fun outside!
Rather than sheltering from winter inside, Montrealers like to run around outside and have fun! One of the most popular activities is Starlight Snowshoeing on Mount Royal, where a guide from Les amis de la montagnetake you into the forest at night-time. It’s an illuminating way to discover Mount Royal, every Saturday, from January 8 to March 12. Skating is also available in Mount Royal Park, on Beaver Lake (from December 15), and on the ice rink on the Quays of the Old Port (from December 4).
Lacking inspiration? Here are a few original ideas for those who already have everything: the Sweet Deals allow people to stay in Montréal longer at lower prices – for all types of accommodation. For more details on the discounts and gifts included in this package, visit www.tourisme-montreal.org/offers; the Montréal Museums Pass is a cultural gift that lasts all year; how about show and concert tickets or gift certificates from La Vitrine, Montréal’s centralized box office; or a unique gift from the Salon des métiers d’art du Québec (December 3 to 22 at Place Bonaventure).
With so much to see and do in Montréal, who could possibly get bored? The numerous winter attractions in Montréal are an excellent pretext for extending the holiday period a little longer – right up until spring!
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Please refer to the winter events calendar.
Marie José Pinsonnault
Manager, International Relations