Isa Tousignant, Author at Tourisme Montréal Blog - Page 2 of 23

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Posts by Isa Tousignant


Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.


Actually cool Montréal souvenirs

It’s so nice to have things to remember a trip by, but is there anything cheesier than tourist-shop fare? Luckily there’s a crop of stores in Montréal that offer genuinely cool branded gear you’ll actually want to take home not just for you, but for anyone on your gift list. And no snow globes in sight. Le Rhinocéros From local designer clothing and accessories by Travis Taddeo, Denis Gagnon, Des Rosiers and Okinx to wacky costume jewellery and crazy cellphone covers, Le Rhinocéros is a good-time store in the Phi Centre in Old Montréal filled with unique local finds. Our favourites are the scarves they get printed with art by local creatives like Renata Morales and Joe Becker. Au Sommet This boutique at the bottom of one of the most spectacular views of downtown Montréal you can have, the summit of Place Ville-Marie, sells made-in-Montréal goods pretty enough to decorate the house with. Among many other decorative objects, go there for the series of cushions by Monumental Love featuring Montréal landmarks such as the Farine Five Roses sign and the Orange Julep. YUL Designs A veritable who’s who of Montréal creators, YUL Designs is like the Etsy of made-in-Montréal ware,… / Read More →

10 Montréal art stars we loved at the Red Bull Music Academy

From September 24 to October 28, 2016, the 18th season of the Red Bull Music Academy visited the Phi Centre and injected a jolt of excitement into Montréal’s creative scene. The event brought together 70 producers, singers, beatmakers, DJs and visual artists, coming from a total of 38 countries—it was truly a microcosm of the world’s best in music and art production. But some of the most exciting discoveries were the participants from right here at home. Here are 10 of the Montréal artists we discovered in the Phi Centre space over the month of celebrations, and where we can all go to keep enjoying their magic—post-Academy. Étienne Chartrand Objects and creatures come to life in Chartrand’s mythology-building spaces, painted or otherwise, with ceramics work that freezes time and installations that aspire to reflect a parallel reality. Chartrand draws inspirations from popular culture, abstract expressionism and automatism. For purchase, you find his work at galleries Artgang Montréal in Rosemont or Robert Poulin near Little Italy, plus you can contact the artist directly via his wacky website. The art exhibition at RBMA Montréal (curated by Trusst) features Celia Perrin Sidarous, the Montréal-based photographer whose work challenges the way that everyday objects… / Read More →

Get your wellness on at Montréal spas

The exciting bustle of arts, culture, festivals and food that defines Montréal guarantees any traveler a good time, but it doesn’t exactly equate relaxation. For that, we’ve got world-class wellness centres that put the “aaaah” in spa. Whether you’re looking to relieve sore muscles, rejuvenate tired skin, take a day to yourself or spiff up for a big date, Montréal has got the spa for you. Come to #aviespa and take advantage of our #november #promotions . #hammam access and #backmassage or full #bodymassage express #facial and #massage or #couplesmassages . Visit our #facebook page or our #webpage to get all the details! . #detente #spaday #monthlypromotions #relax #faciaux #steamroom #promotionsdumois #novembre #vieuxpprtmtl #oldportmtl #montreal #giftideas Une photo publiée par Aviespa (@aviespa) le 1 Nov. 2016 à 10h38 PDT Avie Spa du Vieux Montréal Located in the Marriott SpringHill Suites, in Old Montréal, Avie Spa du Vieux Montréal is just the spot for a primping session: there’s a hair salon on site, as well as great mani and pedi stations, waxing services and a vast selection of body treatments. Come with a gang of girlfriends for a pre-wedding session or as a couple for a relaxing rest in the… / Read More →

See art in the cultural heart of Montréal

Walking tours are a fantastic way to get a sense of the city—especially one of the many cool itineraries suggested by the people at Art Public Montréal, who focus on Montréal’s incredible cultural offerings. This is a city where art shines year-round and in every detail, down to the amazing public art you can visit for free city-wide. So grab a map, your walking shoes and your camera, and explore this crop of artworks at the heart of the metropolis. L’Artiste est Celui qui Fait Voir l’Autre Côté des Choses (1992), created by Claude Bettinger Bettinger’s creative approach demonstrates his interest in the notions of memory, movement, light and transparency. In this impressive work located at Place des Arts, he uses these interests as a launch pad to explore perceptions: his giant telescope, kaleidoscope or periscope, depending on how you look at it, allows passers-by in the corridor of the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme to view the facade of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier without having it in their direct line of sight. Où Boivent les Loups (2016), created by Stephen Schofield Through drawing, sculpture and performance, Schofield has built up an impressive body of work centred around the representation of the human body…. / Read More →

Eat up at the Montréal Vegan Festival!

Ready your appetites: November 5 and 6 mark the third and biggest-yet edition of the Montréal Vegan Festival, in the heart of Old Montréal, at the beautiful and historic Bonsecours Market. There’ll be over 40 exhibitors this year in this event that keeps on growing, with a ton of goodies to sample plus lots of opportunities to learn about the benefits of upping the plant-based quota in your diet. Des délicieux bol @auxvivresrestovegan. Inscrivez-vous au défi végane session 2 pour pouvoir profiter de plusieurs cadeaux. #fvmtl #defi21jours Une photo publiée par Festival Végane de Montréal (@fvmtl) le 25 Sept. 2014 à 6h33 PDT Aside from the exhibitors, there are conferences, thematic workshops, cooking demonstrations and a new and improved library section packed with over 150 different titles to discover. Come on down to get your books signed on-site by authors like Élise Desaulniers (Cash Cow), Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals), and many more. George Laraque racontera son cheminement vers le véganisme dimanche 6 novembre. Vétéran de la LNH, Georges Laraque est bien plus qu’un dur à cuire : citoyen engagé, philanthrope, leader adjoint au Parti Vert, entrepreneur (co-propriétaire de Crudessence et de Rise Kombucha) et, depuis qu’il est devenu végétalien en… / Read More →

10 Best Spots for Fall Photos in Montréal

Montréal in the fall is awash in a sea of colours. Pretty much the whole city looks stunning, but there are some spots that stand out as downright epic – as if Mother Nature planned a photo op. Here are 10 of our favourite spots for drop-dead gorgeous shots; make sure you check them out and tag us on your Insta posts! #MTLmoments #fallintomontreal Beaver Lake Just shy of the top of the pride of the city, Mount Royal, Beaver Lake is a man-made pond that turns into a skating rink in the winter. Before that, though, it reflects the surrounding trees in all their rainbow coloured splendour. Mount-Royal Cemetery Not that we’re morbid or anything, but nothing will put you in a Halloweenie mood like a walk through the cemetery at the top of Mount Royal – the vegetation is gorgeous, and the graves are a fascinating way to get a piece of local history. Marché Jean-Talon One of Montréal’s many amazing public markets, Marché Jean-Talon flanks Little Italy and is a picturesque outing where you can pick up all sorts of souvenirs, from local cheeses to specialty wines to cut flowers to beautify your hotel room. Lachine Canal… / Read More →

Hotels serve up savoury menus for MTLàTABLE

If you’re staying at a Montréal hotel between November 3 and 13, you’re in luck! That’s when MTLàTABLE takes place, Montréal’s wildly popular restaurant week full of incredible experiences and knockout prix fixe deals in restaurants all over the city – including at many of the city’s best hotels. The formula is simple: for 10 days only, 150 of Montréal’s best restaurants are offering three-course meals at a flat rate of $21, $31 or $41. There’s also a $15 brunch program in some of the restaurants, and a $21 late-night program for you night owls out there. Here are the hotel restaurants participating: Bijou Resto I Bar, Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel Just inches from the Montréal–Trudeau International Airport, the menu at Bijou Resto Bar features fresh local ingredients and sumptuous Québec cheeses. Bistro Laurentien – La Coupole, Hôtel le Crystal Lovers of fresh oysters on the half-shell and myriad tartares will be in gourmet heaven at La Coupole Bistro Laurentien downtown. EAST Pan-Asiatique, Renaissance Montréal Hotel EAST at the new Renaissance Montréal Hotel downtown features Asian cuisine with a modern twist, complete with recommended wine pairings. Restaurant L’Ô, Novotel Montréal Centre Known locally for its great breakfast buffet, L’Ô… / Read More →

Five must-see local films at Festival Nouveau Cinéma

The 2016 edition of the Festival Nouveau Cinéma is the exciting last festival of the fall season, filled with glittering film buffs milling around in dashing scarves from cinema to cinema downtown and beyond. It unites groundbreaking and limit-stretching films from around the world by the hundreds as well as a selection of Quebec films that’s sure to be stellar, thanks to a near-impeccable approach to programming. From October 5 to 16, 2016, here are five local films presented at the festival in English (or with English subtitles) that you simply can’t afford to miss. 1) PRANK, directed by Vincent Biron This debut feature film by short-film star Biron was a hit at both the Venice film festival and TIFF, and now the tale of this lovelorn teenage outsider turned professional prankster comes to Montréal. Full of awkward hilarity and poignant haplessness, this film depicts adolescence to a tee. 2) DÉSERTS, directed by Charles-André Coderre and Yann-Manuel Hernandez The directors of this Death Valley road-trip movie are better known for their experimental art films and shorts, which explains its unique approach to the loaded filmic moment. As the main protagonist meets a woman on his path, the journey changes and turns inward… / Read More →

See art among the skyscrapers in Montréal

A walking tour is probably the best way to get the sense of any city. But when you follow one of the many cool itineraries suggested by the folks at Art Public Montréal, you’ll get the best sense you can of Montréal’s artsy core. This is a city where culture shines year-round and in every detail, down to the amazing public art you can visit for free! So grab a map, your walking shoes and your camera, and explore this crop of art works among the skyscrapers of downtown Montréal. Monument à Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1953), created by Émile Brunet Did you know Brunet also designed the Canadian pavilion for the Exposition universelle in Paris in 1937? His portrait of the former prime minister that stands in Dominion Square represents Laurier’s successful union of western and eastern Canada, thanks to the symbolic use of the maple leaf. Note the bed of flowers, too, at Laurier’s feet: French lilies, Scottish thistles, English roses and Irish clovers mix to represent Canada’s four founding nations. Autoportrait (2012), created by Nicolas Baier Baier is a young and active artist whose works you can see at the nearby Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, as well… / Read More →

Let’s binge-watch Montréal

The unique flavour of Montréal is what makes it so popular as a travel destination, but it’s always a challenge to describe in words. There’s nothing like seeing it for yourself! That’s why God invented YouTube. Montréal is a four-season playing field, with a whole new atmosphere to discover and dig into as the weather goes through its travel-worthy extremes. With activities, museums and outdoor entertainment galore, a million parks and underground shopping for miles, there’s also no better place for the family — your kids would never forgive you for leaving them home. The food scene? It’s world renowned. From gastonomic festivals year-round to restaurants lauded by international media, you can taste aaaaall of the flavours right here. Speaking of festivals, the city streets come alive with entertainment, music, dancing, eating and more at the Montréal International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs, Montréal en Lumière, YUL Eat, Osheaga, Pop Montréal and so, SO many more… Montréal is known as a city of dance (hello, La La La Human Steps!), circus (this is the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil after all), opera, visual arts and classical music, as evidenced by the beautiful Place des Arts in the state-of-the-art Quartier des… / Read More →