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Posts by Isa Tousignant

Laughs and Lap-Dances (okay, not really) at Zoofest

Like any good off-festival, Zoofest takes advantage of the comedy frenzy going on in town because of Just For Laughs (JFL) and offers an alternative type of programing. Centred on Canadian talent, which tends to slip between the cracks of JFL’s focus on international heavy hitters, Zoofest branches out into a uniquely cool indie Vaudevillian vibe, with entertainment spanning burlesque to straight-up stand-up by way of weird yet hilarious stage shows. Here are five gigs you won’t want to miss at the event, running from July 9 to August 1. 1) Chris Locke: Cats, Man You may know Chris from his best-selling stand-up album, The World Is Embarrassing. He’s a cat-owning madman whose show delves deep into the fur-covered nooks and crannies of his life with feline friends, a long-suffering wife and junk foods from all nations. Fifteen minutes in, you’ll understand why he was the 2014 Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Stand-Up winner. July 20 to 23, 7:15 p.m., Monument-National 2) Something Wicked This Way Comes Enter the darkest chambers of your mind and leave your reservations at the door for this special night of tease, featuring Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière, Stitch the Geek and their collection of curious… / Read More →

Your sun and sand getaway: Great beaches in and around Montréal

Think “Montréal,” and water sports aren’t the first things that come to mind. But aren’t we just full of surprises? Beaches and lakes abound both in and around the city, and with these come all sorts of organized aquatic fun, like places where you can rent or bring your own SUP, kayak or canoe, and enjoy sailing and water skiing. If you like your summers as cool as they are active, put these 10 spots on your summer bucket list. 1) Clock Tower Beach Right smack bang on the Old Port of Montréal, this is the city’s quintessential urban beach, complete with soft sand, great beach fare courtesy of the nearby food truck stand and a scene that makes people watching so, so fun. There are chairs, parasols and refreshing mist machines that nicely make up for the fact that swimming isn’t allowed. 2) Pointe-Calumet Beach Club This beach has family-fun written all over it, with two trampolines on the lake, inflatable bouncy games for kids, and activities like face painting and treasure hunts most weekends of the summer. Sports lovers can go mellow with pedal boats rides or more serious with kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing or beach volleyball. You can… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: July 3 to 9

When you’re not jazzing it up this week, you’ve got laughs, drama, picnics, acrobatics and even more live music to choose from. Not too shabby, eh? Just another summer week in idyllic Montréal! Musical madness You’ve still got until July 5 to soak up the incredible feast for the senses that is the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, where there are dozens of free shows throughout the Quartier des spectacles in addition to beer stalls, cocktail booths, food stands and an onsite art gallery. Keep the beat going with the International Percussion Festival in Old Montréal and the Old Port from July 3 to 12, an interactive drum and dance event that also involves visual arts, film, food and workshops. July 7 kicks off the hot and lively Nuits D’Afrique festival, which brings in the best of African and world music from all over the globe for shows that span the downtown core. Performance fests Apart from a summer full of music festivals, though, there’s a bucketful of performance goodies to be had this week too, starting with the amazing, chock-a-block Just for Laughs. From Jane Lynch to Wanda Sykes to Neil Patrick Harris and Dave Chappelle, this edition… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 26 to July 2

Music is in the air in Montréal this week, not only with the Jazz Fest kicking off at full volume, but also AIM, the three-day music electro fest that has got bum-shakers from far and wide excited. Whatever beat you bop your head to (Canada Day, perhaps?), summer has swing in this fair city! (festival action) Vic Vogel, Beirut, Bebel Gilberto, Cibo Matto, Erykah Badu, Mika, Huey Lewis and the News… it can only be the highly anticipated Festival International de Jazz de Montréal! In addition to these must-sees, there are dozens of free shows throughout the Quartier des spectacles from June 26 to July 5, not to mention beer stalls, cocktail booths, food stands of all sorts, an exhibition space with purchasable art by Montréal greats and photos from past editions of the festival, plus awesome merch stores – in short, all you need for a full day’s entertainment. Is it any wonder this is the mother of all our summer music festivals? Electronic music lovers won’t want to miss this year’s AIM Festival, from June 26 to 29, featuring three days full of dance-friendly beats from, among others, Jamie xx, Tiga, Pleasurekraft, Isolee, Kerri Chandler, Kevin Saunderson, The… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 19 to 25

C’est la Saint-Jean! This week Québec celebrates its national holiday, which, combined with the Francofolies, Fringe Fest and Suoni Per il Popolo, means Montréal is basically celebrating non-stop. Join in the party with free live music, great cultural outings and beautiful spots to lounge in the sun. Let’s celebrate The Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities set the night of June 23 alight all through to the national holiday of June 24, with awesome free music (Ariane Moffatt, Daniel Bélanger and Marie-Pier Arthur are all on the star-studded bill) at the Place des Festivals. On the 24th during the collective day off, the celebrations take to the neighbourhoods, with roads closed all over town, live music, food, activities and a general air of slightly hung-over merriment. From Parc La Fontaine on the Plateau to Parc Benny in NDG, there’s something somewhere for everyone! Festivals en fête The Francofolies, meanwhile, continues with an amazing selection of free outdoor shows in the Quartier des spectacles until June 20, making way, after a short reprieve, to the highly anticipated Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. (Get your must-see list here.) Up on the Plateau, Suoni Per Il Popolo sets the tone until June 22, with a smaller,… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 12 to 18

Music is in the air as festival season gathers steam – and volume. Catch French tunes in the street, indie music in clubs, dance tracks in the park on weekends and fun in the sun in all our beautiful green spaces. Fresh and fun Bask in the sunshine by testing your climbing skills at the urban acrobatic venue Parc Exalto at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, a three-storey rope-climbing structure. You can also play soccer or mini-golf, or jump along on an acro-bungee trampoline. As of mid-June, you’ll be able to cool down at the beach in Parc Jean-Drapeau, just one of many amazing spots to chill out in the city. Bring your own grub, and if you’re inspired, try one of these picnic and park pairings. Afterwards, celebrate the amazing day you had with one of these amazingly shareable pitchers. Speaking of pitchers, the Mondial de la Bière continues at Palais des congrès until June 14. The beer festival unites amateurs and connoisseurs alike for a taste of new hoppy brews and pairings with great food. Musical festing Francofolies kicked off on the 11th and will fill downtown with local and international French sounds until June 20, including Patrice Michaud, Dumas,… / Read More →

Get Your Montréal Glamour Look

Montréal is known for its casual flair and its democratic approach to style (case in point, you can pretty much walk into any club in jeans), but boy, do we love dressing up anyway! Whether it’s for a graduation ball, a wedding or a posh summer party, get your glam on at these hot Montréal retailers. Gents Waxman House Tuxedos Renting a tux – or better yet, buying your own – is a rite every man eventually embarks upon. Why not start at the pinnacle with Waxman, an iconic address on Parc Avenue that since 1927 has been known for the quality of its service as well as the vast selection of its choices. With a barbershop and espresso bar on site, it’s a one-stop shop to a more magnificent you. Harry Rosen The array of high-end brands at this suit-purveyor extraordinaire ranges from Hugo Boss to Canali to Zegna to Armani. If it’s just a kick-ass suit you’re after, the choice is yours at Harry Rosen’s two Montréal locations; you can even get one tailored to your own specifications thanks to their bespoke service. But you can also buy formalwear here, not to mention shoes, belts, bags and more…. / Read More →

7 Montréal essentials: Festival wear

The key to an amaaazing festival experience? First: killer programming. (We’ve got you covered.) Second: The perfect gear. You want to be as cute as a groupie, but also light on your feet, prepared for weather changes, and ready to dance at all times. Here’s all the festival wear you’ll need, courtesy of 100% Montréal brands. Atelier New Regime The five-panel camper-style Hammers cap with snazzy New Regime label woven on the front says nonstop summer fun with its floral print and sportswear look. Lightweight and adjustable, it’s the perfect way to manage the sun during those hot daytime shows. Find it online, or in person at New Regime’s workshop at 4030 St-Ambroise, Suite 311. $20.95 Maison Bourdon These sunnies are designed and made in Montréal, which is only part of what makes them so cool. They’ll be an essential part of your daytime festival experience, both to add an air of mystery to your outfit, and to protect your eyes from the glare of the superstars onstage. Find this or three other models online, or at carriers including Diffusion Griff 3000 (350 Saint-Paul E.) and Signatures Québécoises (560 rue St Joseph E.). Starting at $150 The Editorial Magazine Face… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: June 5 to 11

There’s so much going on these days in the city, from big arts and culture festivals like MURAL and the St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival to music happenings like Suoni per il Popolo and Francofolies (see last week’s guide for more). But topping a lot of charts is the high-speed funfest of Formula 1 and all the gastronomic and bacchanalian celebrations that it entails. Get ready, get set, and go below to see what’s on the road ahead! EAT All Montréal is alight with the high rollers in town, and they’re laying out the red carpet. At Auberge St-Gabriel, the trio of owners – Guy Laliberté, Garou and Marc Bolay – haven’t spared any expense to create the momentous Momentum weekend. From June 4 to 7, expect culinary masterpieces, a constant flow of fine liqueurs, intoxicating music every night, not to mention drivers and international celebrities. There are a couple of foodie trajectories to choose from in Old Montréal. From June 4 to 7, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., all of Saint-Paul Street West is basically the venue for a terrasse-hop. And boy, what terrasses there are – get a load of the view from the Phi Centre deck! There’s… / Read More →

5 Reasons why you can’t miss MURAL 2015

We don’t need to convince you. Everyone wants to be at MURAL, the annual street art festival that takes over the Main with parties, street food and the live, high-colour spectacle of world-class street artists leaving their mark on the city’s walls. But this year, from June 4 to 14, you’ll notice some kick-ass new developments. In addition to bringing in 20 international artists from eight different countries (with Spanish artist Elian, American duo 2Alas and Mexican artist Curiot among them), MURAL is going bigger and better than ever! We asked co-founder André Bathalon to give us his top 5 list of hot new stuff at the fest. 1) The first two editions of MURAL were held over four days, but this year we’re doing it over a whopping 11. During the first weekend, not only are the murals beginning, but we’re also launching an art fair in the main exterior space, where the bloc parties happen, in the spirit of Scope in Miami or The Armory Show in New York City. It will extend beyond street art; we’ve invited a dozen Montréal galleries to come and show their artists’ works. It’s free, and it’s the perfect way to start… / Read More →