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Posts by Isa Tousignant

Get shopping at Montréal’s indie fall and winter markets

This city is a creative volcano, constantly erupting with new things to do, see and buy. There’s no better place to start for the latter than in the Montréal’s indie markets, especially around the holiday period, when they rev up their offerings of independent fashion, design, décor, jewellery and more. So save your green, it’s time to paint the town red! Marché des ateliers Capitol: November 13-14 Get your fash on at this market uniting 30 local designers in the Capitol building, in a two-storey space in the heart of Mile End. Capitol regulars will be on the spot, including women’s wear designer Betina Lou, unisex accessories brand Cantin and kids brand Romarine. There’ll also be guest designers, like the cute sweatshirt makers La Montréalaise Atelier, dress designer Valérie Dumaine and menswear brand Of Sharks & Men. Come of Friday night for wine, bites and music by DJ Noah Bick. Expozine: November 14-15, 2015 An indie fair like no other, Expozine is organized by Archive Montreal, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving local independent culture. This ode to the printed page unites hundreds of tables full of zines, comics, novels, poems, postcards and posters by publishers including Drawn… / Read More →

5 Montréal essentials: tasty treats

We’re celebrating food this month in Montréal. (Actually, we never stop celebrating it). The point is, the timing is ripe to profile five of the most fantastic flavour designers we’ve come across as of late. There are artisans for everything in this gastronomically daring city – from spicy peanut butter to fancy cocktail elixirs! So keep some space in your luggage for these mouth watering souvenirs. Cafiti Cafiti has become well known for their tasty products and beautiful presentation, which make the perfect hostess gift or souvenir – if you can bear to part with them! There are delicate meringues, crunchy bread sticks, pretty champagne vinegar pearls and our favourite, the savoury veggie preserves, which will breathe new life into any sandwich. Try the sweet and crunchy bread and butter pickles, the green pepper jelly or the sumac and chilli olives. Find Cafiti products online here, or in person at fine food retailers including select IGAs, select Metros and Fromagerie Hamel (Jean-Talon Market). Products starting at $3.95 MixIt At a loss for someone’s birthday present? How about a personalized tube of cereal? It may sound weird at first, but with the gorgeous packaging (complete with the name of the giftee)… / Read More →

What’s on now in Montréal galleries

September in Montréal isn’t just abuzz because it’s back-to-school time – it’s also a return to art, because so many of the city’s small contemporary art galleries and artist-run centres close for the summer months. The resurgence is such an exciting time! Here’s what’s going on in 10 key spots. Galerie Division Catch the work of Toronto photographer artist Scott McFarland in a solo show until October 10. His large-scale works are complex, patiently assembled pictures that resist classification solely as photographs.  Parisian Laundry As headquarters to the Mois de la Photo until October 11, you’ll find works by artists Roberto Pellegrinuzzi, Dominique Blain and Laia Abril (among others) that relate to the biennale’s theme of the Post-Photographic Condition. Check out the long list of participating galleries here. Fonderie Darling Until October 25, catch two shows: Hôtel Formes Sauvages, a video triptych by French artist André Fortino, and an exhibition by Roy Meuwissen in the small gallery about the news and the various artistic languages that recount it. Antoine Ertaskiran Painter Martin Golland gets solo run of this space in Little Burgundy with an exhibition titled Setting the Stage, featuring work depicting a fictional meeting point between a built environment… / Read More →

5 Montréal essentials: décor

We have a special relationship with the objects we use every day – which is why souvenirs you can enjoy in your home are the best way to remember a place fondly. Montréal has got a slew of handsome designs on offer, conceived by home-grown creative geniuses. Here are five Montréal essentials you won’t be able to live without! Monumental Love Sit pretty on a piece of Montréal history with the beautiful cushions by Monumental Love, a brand hat transforms gorgeous photos of the city’s iconic sights (think Orange Julep, the Five Roses sign, the Monster ride from La Ronde) into decorative objects. The full-feather pillows come in two sizes, 18 x 18” and 24 x 24”, and the photos are printed here in Montreal onto butter-soft cotton twill. The brand also makes magnets, prints, post cards – even phone cases. Find the cushions online here, or in person at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal boutique (185 Sainte-Catherine Street West), a great source for Montréal-made design right in the heart of Place des Arts. Starting at $60 for the 18 x 18” cushion cover. Atelier Non-Useless This Buddy table in the Friends series just goes to show how portable,… / Read More →

Four Great Day Trips from Montréal

Often described as the gateway between Europe and America, Montréal is also the ideal launching pad for some amazing daytrips. Within a couple of hours drive, you can see unique foliage, soak in natural springs, have a bona fide sugar shack experience, pick your own fruit, take a bite out of history or explore the nation’s capital. Which will you choose? Eastern Townships The Eastern Townships region starts barely an hour after you’ve crossed the Champlain Bridge, which goes to show how very close it is – and why it’s such a popular destination for cyclists. This area to Montréal’s southeast is mostly farmland and rolling hills, acting as the city’s breadbasket, with cornfields, fruit fields, vineyards, and dairy farms galore. Go for a day to take in the wine route, a cheese tour or an orchard hop (prepare to come back with bagsful of apples in fall). Or, for a weekend, reserve a couple of nights in one of the area’s renowned inns that dot the pretty towns, including Hovey Manor in North Hatley, Maplewood Manor in Waterloo, Ripplecove Lakefront Hotel and Spa in Ayer’s Cliff, or Auberge & Spa West Brome. Laurentians To the city’s north, this vast… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 18 to 24

It’s a pre-fall frenzy, with the cultural season on the cusp of busting open while Pop Montréal and Mois de la Photo alone are putting on more to-dos than you’ll be able to fit in. Hope you’re wearing your sneakers so you can hit the ground running! Pop till you drop Hop your way through Pop Montréal until September 20! Among the city’s most exciting music festivals, Pop unites hundreds of rock, pop, hip-hop, folk and electro artists in venues all over Mile End and the Plateau (and beyond). There are dozens of shows every night, not to mention music-industry insider talks, film screenings, the Puces Pop art & craft fair, Fashion Pop’s catwalk shows, Art Pop’s amazing exhibitions and talks (don’t miss yours truly interviewing amazing artist Olaf Breuning on Friday, September 18 at 6 pm). On Friday, September 18, highlights include AfriKeleKtro, Crystal Eyes and/or Mötorhead; on Saturday, Eleni Mandell is unmissable at an early 6 pm show; and on Sunday, finish the weekend off with an atmospheric smorgasborg courtesy of People Pretend, starting at 11 pm. A matter of image Sensory Stories at Phi Centre invites visitors to discover immersive experiences and new technologies that engage our… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 11 to 17

Back to school already? No worries, it’s recess every hour of every day somewhere in Montréal! Pop Montréal sets the tone for this week of full-packed fun, not to mention the tons of great art shows to see, plays and dance performances to catch and quiet nice times to be had too, like in the botanical gardens. Oh, and anyone down for a BMX competition? Pop music Welcome to Pop Montréal, one of the city’s most exciting music festivals (and that’s saying something in the city of festivals!), uniting hundreds of rock, pop, hip-hop, folk and electro artists in venues all over Mile End and the Plateau (and beyond). With dozens of shows every night, not to mention music-industry insider talks, film screenings, the Puces Pop art & craft fair, Fashion Pop’s catwalk shows, Art Pop’s amazing exhibitions and talks (don’t miss yours truly interviewing amazing artist Olaf Breuning on Friday, September 18 at 6 pm), expect your schedule to be extra packed between September 16 and 20. Opening night sets the tone with a party at Pop HQ, plus shows by Cœur de Pirate, Félix Dyotte, Molly Sweeney, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Ruby the Hatchet, Ecstatic Vision, Fanfaraï,… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal Museums Social Calendar

This city’s cultural scene never sleeps, and a big part of that is thanks to museums. From all-night dance parties to weekend art classes for the kiddies, there’s always something going on in the fine arts! September • It’s time for your close-up: September 9 marks the opening of an exhibition of work by photographer George S. Zimbel at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. • Don’t miss the Nocturne at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, on Friday, September 11, 2015. The museum stays open late (till 2 am!), plus it features live bands or DJs, drinks, workshops and revelry. (Entry is free to MACarte holders.) • On September 13 at 1:30 pm, enjoy a lecture entitled The New Predators, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, featuring Mois de la Photo curator Joan Fontcuberta in conversation with the artists Joachim Schmid and Isabelle Le Minh. • Want to help your local contemporary museum while having the night of your life? Join Montréal’s jet-set scene at the annual Musée Ball, this September 19 at Arsenal. From ball gowns to foie gras, you’ll find it all here. • On September 22 at 5:30 pm, a lecture entitled Bach and His… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 4 to 10

Labour Day is around the corner, school is starting again… but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Get out there and enjoy the best of summer with world-class visual arts, illuminated gardens, incredible films from the world over and an endless bounty of burgers. Pretty pictures The World Press Photo exhibition celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, returning to Marché Bonsecours in Old Montréal to wow image lovers until September 27 with the world’s very best in professional media photography. Then, from September 10 to October 11, the Mois de la Photo de Montréal photography biennale returns with an edition curated by Catalan artist Joan Fontcuberta according to the theme The Post-Photographic Condition. Here’s a taste of what to expect at both. This is also your last week to see the awesome shows on at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: David Altmejd’s sprawling solo show called Flux is engrossing in every sense of the word, full of his signature visceral odes to the process of metamorphosis and transformation, while Jon Rafman’s solo displays his penchant for kinky subcultures and videogame narratives in very entertaining installations (note: you’ll want to allow good time to sit and watch). YUL… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: August 28 to September 3

From the World Press Photo exhibition to the World Film Festival, the best of the planet is uniting in Montréal this week. Plus there’s enough outdoor fun to enjoy the best of this heat wave, including open-air art festivals, concerts in the botanical gardens, and more food than you’ll be able to fit in. Picture this The World Press Photo exhibition celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, returning to Marché Bonsecours in Old Montréal to wow image lovers until September 27 with the world’s very best in professional media photography. Read more here. On the Plateau, the 20th edition of the street-long happening on Mont-Royal Avenue, Nuit Blanche sur Tableau Noir, turns the street into a canvas from August 27 to 30. Watch as artists create live works right there on the asphalt as local musicians provide the ambiance, and games like mini-putt and bouncy castles add even more life to this lively street. Meanwhile, downtown, head to Place Émilie Gamelin for Chromatic Festival on Saturday, August 29, put on by MASSIVart. The fest presents urban art and graffiti creative workshops for kids and adults, plus shows off the fun with  live painting and music for passersby from 10 am… / Read More →