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Posts by Isa Tousignant

Things to do in Montréal: May 29 to June 4

It’s festival season! Well, festival season never really stops in Montréal, but in the warm months it revs up into a positive frenzy, where there’s so much going on, you don’t know where to turn. This week, pick between live music, street art performances, mass cycling, circus exploits… or mash it all together for the week of a lifetime. It’s showtime See that sexy 25-year-old over there? That’s the Montréal Fringe Festival. At a quarter-century-old, the massive, entertaining theatre, dance, comedy and myriad performance experiment festival is as youthful as ever, offering the best and cheapest way of having a good time for the next few weeks. From June 1 to 21, hundreds of performers will attempt to wow you with their homespun shows and then gather alongside you in the Fringe Park, at the corner of Saint-Laurent and Rachel, for a beer or five. Don’t miss the good times! If circus is what you’re after, head to TOHU: Les Étincelleurs and L’Art de la Fugue, both until June 7, are shows by the best and brightest of the National Circus School. The first is high-octane acrobatics, the second a more poetic homage to Bach (circus style). Festival TransAmériques continues… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Michel Rabagliati

Michel Rabagliati is the man behind Paul, the character of his graphic novels based in Montréal and famous worldwide for quiet adventures in which Paul explores the countryside, the metro system and the fishing pond. Translated from their original French (Les Éditions de la Pastèque) into many languages (including English by Montréal comic publisher Drawn and Quarterly), Rabagliati’s work is boundless in its charm. He told us about his Montréal. Job: Graphic novelist Favourite pastime: Singing in a choir. It’s something I love, first of all because it gives me a reason to leave my house (I’d probably stay chained to my drawing table for months without noticing otherwise), and second, because it’s hugely satisfying. Working in harmony and bringing human voices together in concert is truly a unique experience. Who knows, maybe song is the solution to war! How long have you been a Montrealer? I was born here, in Rosemont, in the 1960s. I had a delightful and worry-free childhood. I’ve never envied those who grew up in the countryside. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I think that would be going on set during the shooting of the film based on my work,… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 22 to 28

It’s hopping in town this week – between C2MTL, Museums Day, MUTEK and Festival TransAmériques, our schedules are already full! But with the weather the way it is, it’s essential to take a chill pill and hang out in the sun a bit too. Culture corner It’s Museums Day! This Sunday, May 24, all museums and most cultural institutions in the city of Montréal offer free entry, plus shuttle buses along five different trajectories to take you from one to the other. It’s the best way to explore areas off the beaten track. Two shows launch at TOHU this week: Les Étinceleurs, which runs from May 26 to June 7, a high-octane show featuring the best and brightest of the National Circus School, and L’Art de la Fugue, starting on May 27 and running until June 7, which is an homage to Bach, à la circus. Not to be missed! May 23 is your last chance to catch Death and the Maiden by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, a choreography by Stephan Thoss inspired by the Franz Schubert score of the same name and presented at Théâtre Maisonneuve. (Don’t miss the free pre-show talk hosted by Shelley Pomerance an hour before… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: May 15 to 21

You know it’s the unofficial start of summer when the season’s festivals start popping up. Time to hit the pavement and enjoy some of the best things about this city, including unparalleled entertainment, amazing green spaces and tasty, tasty food. Festival land The season’s first festivals are blooming left, right and centre, so be sure not to miss a beat with this festival guide. You’ve got until May 24 to take in some of the beautiful events during the 20th anniversary of Accès Asie, a festival celebrating Eastern cultures ranging from Iranian music to visual arts by Chinese artists. (Don’t miss the new media performance entitled The Thomas Wang Project on May 22 between 5 and 7 p.m. at Oboro). May 21 marks the opening of the exciting performance festival Festival TransAmériques, with offerings ranging from dance to theatre, and all the stage arts in between. Get the goods on six unmissable shows here. And, of course, the interactive spaces, visual and audio performances, immersive experiences, 3D productions, cutting-edge electronic music, vernissages and world-class events of Digital Spring also continue until June 21. Outdoor fun What better way could there be to celebrate the long weekend than by dancing it… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 8 to 14

Mom is queen this week (but isn’t she always?), which means amazing food, mimosas galore, good times over high tea and evenings of entertainment. Luckily the city is glad to oblige, with options ranging from classical music concerts to acrobatic burlesque – not to mention about a gazillion indie music shows. Springtime feasts With the return of the food trucks and the reopening of terrasses, good food is easier than ever to get in Montréal. Enjoy the view from the SAT’s reopened Food Lab terrasse and order the special Québécois Spring tasting menu (complete with buttermilk-dressed wedge salad), conceived by chefs Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse and offered between Tuesdays and Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m. Mother’s Day, on May 10, is the year’s best excuse for a decadent brunch, so if you’re heading downtown, you know where to go. Beat the morning rush and treat mom to lunch or dinner instead at one of these deliciously affordable spots, or if you want to go all-out, nothing beats the excessive experience of an all-you-can-eat-buffet. (I love you THIS MUCH, mom!) High tea at the Ritz or at XO in Hotel Le St-James are favourite mom-honouring rituals, but if your… / Read More →

5 Montréal essentials: Caps

It’s sunny and warm. In fact it’s SO sunny and warm that we want to spend every single second outside, which would make us liable to burn to a crisp… if it weren’t for our favourite It item of late. Tip your hat to these hot five designed-in-Montréal caps. Hip and Bone No one said caps were cheap! Treat yourself to some luxury with this dashing duotone headpiece, half rugged black textile, half fine crocodile leather in either grey, red, dark green or blue. The little golden bone embellishment is the cutest thing ever. Find it online or at stockists including Boutique Duo (30 Prince-Arthur W.) and Boutique Tozzi (2115 Crescent). $240 Raised By Wolves Express your “I was here” pride loud and clear with this very affordable soft grey herringbone ode to Québec. It also comes in black with white embroidered fleur-de-lys, the province’s national flower. Find it online, or at carriers like Off the Hook (1021 Sainte-Catherine W.). $50 New Regime Celebrate summer with some far-out colour. This hat is the loudest sort of camouflage, more efficient to hide amid a crowd of music festivalgoers than in the woods – which is perfect for us. With eyelets to… / Read More →

7 must-try Caesars in Montréal

Invasion Cocktail is right around the corner and, to get into the spirit (pun intended) of things, here are 7 amazing Caesars you absolutely must try in Montréal. This quintessentially Canadian cocktail is a salty take on the Bloody Mary that’s synonymous with summer and the patio lifestyle. And if anything defines Montréal in the summer, it’s terrasses! Maybe that’s why we’ve perfected this drink to the point of madness?  L’Gros Luxe This baby has the full-meal deal of Caesars, literally. There’s a whole Caesar menu featuring offerings from the humble classic to the outright outlandish! Take the Billy the Kid Caesar, which sidesteps the classic vodka altogether and is made with Jim Bean bourbon and topped with a fried pickle and onion rings. Or how about the Oh Dear God, which surprises with the spicy kick of Jägermeister alongside the Clamato and is topped with a slider? For the whole shebang, go ahead and order L’Gros Caesar. Le North End The concept behind the Caesar at this stylish Rosemont oyster bar is super cool: you basically build your own. Once you order, you get a glass with three ounces of vodka, tomato juice and fresh clams, and they present… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 1 to 7

Feel your appetite being whetted? That’s because the food trucks are back! Outdoor life returns in full swing this week as the sun shines its heat on the city’s parks, bike paths and terrasses. But keep your evenings free: there are enough shows going on to fill two lifetimes. Spring is in the air You know it’s spring when you see your first food truck! May 1 marks the time for foodies to celebrate the great thaw with a sampling of what’s out there. Whether its tacos, poutines, grilled cheeses or salads, check out our list, and don’t miss a beat! Other reasons to celebrate (besides the Montréal Canadiens being in the hockey playoffs, which you should watch from these hot spots) include the reopening of the bike paths all over the city, the amazing jogging trails that are just waiting for you to enjoy and the millions of fun activities for the whole family happening over the next couple of months. Avid shoppers will want to stroll the streets for some made-in-Montréal style, thanks to this handy-dandy fashion map, whether you’re looking for jewellery or other goodies. And of course, every day is a good day for a drink on… / Read More →

On the Run! Great Jogging Trails from Amazing Montréal Hotels

If your starting line is: The Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth Few hotels around the world can boast a Running Concierge, but then again, few hotel chains dedicate as much thought to fitness as Fairmont does. (Try their fitness-gear rental program – it’s so handy!) At the Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth in the heart of downtown Montréal, every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:30 am between May and late September, the lobby fills with avid runners led by Vicki Findley, Convention & Catering Services Manager in addition to being the Running Concierge. She and her colleagues – all marathoners or triathletes – combine the best of both worlds: fitness and exploration of this gorgeous city and its assets. “As we run, we give information about the hotel and the city,” explains Findley. “It starts out chatty, but as we go and the breathing gets heavier, it tends to get a bit more quiet!” Among the three jogging routes offered, the most popular is the 7 km downtown/Plateau run. The group goes up McGill, then runs into the McGill University campus to the exit on Milton. They continue east on Milton, until St-Laurent; then go north up to Prince Arthur. From there,… / Read More →

Montréal’s Ultimate Fashion Map

Mode Montréal is a resource every travelling fashion maven should know. Not only does it provide cues for the latest local street styles to help you pack appropriately (hint: beanies are a must), but it also gives you a pro’s plan of action for your shopping spree once you get here. Welcome to Montréal’s ultimate fashion map! “The idea for the map came five years ago, when the City of Montréal created the Fashion Bureau, because we did a survey with Léger Marketing and realized people were interested in buying local, they just didn’t know where to find it. So we created the Fashion Map to identify who Montréal’s fashion designers were and where they were located,” says Diane Duhamel, Commissioner of fashion for the Fashion Bureau. As it stands, Mode Montréal’s map is an amazing way to learn about who peoples this rich landscape of style creation, with a directory that covers hundreds of brands – from Anastasia Lomonova to Zenobia – and pinpoints their stockists all over the city. But lo and behold, it’s about to get even better. “We will soon be creating a new version of the map with Google,” says Sophie Rozon, Marketing and Internet… / Read More →