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Posts by Isa Tousignant

Your 2015 Osheaga survival guide

With stages every few feet and programming so richly packed there are always two acts you want to see at the same time, Osheaga is a frenzy of a festival – especially on this, its 10th anniversary! Ergo, you need a survival guide. From where to take a breather to what (not) to bring to what type of clothes to wear, read further for all the deets and insider tips you’ll need to get the most out of your festival experience. EVENT Osheaga, July 31 to August 2. Doors open at 11 am, and performances begin at noon. Performances end at 11 pm. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO A bucolic music and arts festival in beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau, across the St. Lawrence from downtown Montréal, put on by Evenko to unite some of the world’s best acts in an open-air site. From Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2, get ready to party to live performances by Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys, NAS, Interpol, Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, The Kills, Run the Jewels, First Aid Kit, A Tribe Called Red, Young Fathers, Sza, Milk & Bone and Cri – and sooo muuuuch mooore. Truly, it’s a never-ending gold-plated, chewy-centered… / Read More →

High Times and Hot Air Balloons in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Fun flies sky high in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, just 45 minutes from central Montreal, where from August 8 to 16 hot air balloons and even hotter music will give us all a week-plus to remember. With top acts like Meghan Trainor (on August 8), Our Lady Peace (August 13), Radio Radio (August 13) and Moist (August 14) sharing the lineup with luminaries from closer to home like Éric Lapointe (August 11), Misteur Vallaire (August 10) and Jonas and the Massive Attraction (August 14), the International des Montgolfières Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is a high colour date not to miss even before the hot air balloons join the party. Aside from the cool notes, there are activities for the entire family, including bouncy castles, forts and citadels in every colour, a crafts village featuring goods by all sorts of local artisans, and rides that’ll give you a taste of the heights and high emotions that are in store once you get to the balloons. The main attraction is of course the beauty and wonder of the hot air balloons that are all uniting from all over the world on this one site, a unique event to say the least. Keep an eye open for the beautiful… / Read More →

5 Montréal essentials: Totes

If only to lug around your other Montréal possessions, a nice canvas tote is a must in anyone’s everyday wardrobe. Plus, they’re often the most affordable way to sport a designer label! From the silly to the scintillating, here are five totes that carry Montréal’s torch. I Like Maps It may not be quite detailed enough to help you find your way, but it’ll certainly put you on the style map! This fashionable tote by I Like Maps is brightly printed on both side on 100% spun polyester fabric, for ultra durability no matter how many goodies you fill it with. Find it on Etsy here. Ships worldwide. $60 Jules Mon Poisson Bulle In the cutest darn tribute to Montréal’s creepy crawlies ever seen, this series of totes conceived by artisan Isabelle Aubut lets you choose between four designs. Whether you favour the squirrel, the pigeon or the skunk, each bag features a snap closure and is made from 100% cotton and silkscreen printed with water-based inks. Find it on Etsy here. Ships worldwide. $25 Café Press There are hundreds of cute Montreal-themed totes on Café Press, but this one feeds our need for a laugh. Advertise your love of… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 24 to 30

Fantasia Film Festival sets the tone this week, with cool and captivating screenings that provide the perfect interlude to long days in the sun. There’s also great art to be seen, hilarious comedy, and live music galore – this is Montréal, after all. Festival offerings MEG Montréal lights up our days and nights with hip hop, electro and indie rock at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. The Just for Laughs comedy fest continues too until July 28, with chuckles courtesy of Dave Chappelle, Howie Mandel, Norm Macdonald, Neil Patrick Harris and Kevin Hart (for the first time in Montréal!) still to be had. Get your survival guide here. For more local comedy year-round, our guide to English comedy clubs is your starting point. Until August 1, Zoofest offers a counterpoint to Just For Laughs with a focus on Canadian comedians and some saucy burlesque in the mix. Fresh-air fun There’s no doubt, Montréal’s green spaces are an amazing place to park it. Catch the last couple of days of Twelfth Night… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 17 to 23

Whether you’re looking for laughs, experimental post-punk, a chance to shake your tail under the sun or the best souvenirs EVER as produced by local artisans, Montréal is the place to be this week. Come on, jump in! (hot music) Catch the last of the Nuits D’Afrique festival until July 19 for a taste of the best of African and world music from all over the globe. For continued world-music bliss, check out this guide to clubs and happenings around town. It’s the second and final weekend of the inaugural feminist/queer Slut Island Festival, with a focus on experimental, post-punk, rock, plus raging dancing fun in the sun and around the city, July 17, 18 and 19. Don’t miss Dômesicles on Thursdays until August 13 at SAT, where dance beats rule both the Satosphere dome and the Foodlab terrasse. July 26 features Shaydakiss, A-Rock, TiND and Push 1 Stop. Starting July 23, dive right into MEG Montréal, Montréal’s hip hop, electro and indie-rock fest at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. (arts… / Read More →

Crazy In Love Getaway at Hovey Manor

With its dimly lit cocktail nooks, gastronomic scene and narrow European streets, Montréal is an ideal city for a romantic getaway. It’s a rich epicentre of cultural happenings, but it’s also a great launching pad for some glorious daytrips or weekend getaways. The Canadian countryside is unique in its lush greenery, and in fall, the colours of the changing leaves are spectacular. Take a quick drive – just under a couple of hours – and you can land in a lovers’ haven like Hovey Manor. Set on the outskirts of North Hatley in the Eastern Townships, Hovey Manor is a storied property that saw its beginnings as a fine farmhouse, but became an inn as early as the 1950s. Since 1979, it’s been the luxurious getaway it is today, run by Steve and Kathryn Stafford, who have elevated it, added a lauded gastronomic element and updated it with a deft touch, respecting the property’s original design and feel. It’s one of the handful of Relais et Châteaux properties in Québec – a well-deserved honour bestowed upon them by the international organisation as a mark of excellence in service and fine dining. The gleaming white property is set atop a rolling… / Read More →


Your survival is important to us. More than that, we want you to thrive! While the 2015 edition of the Montréal Just For Laughs Festival promises wall-to-wall good times from July 8 to 28, it’s also a monster-sized festival that can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned of culture vultures. To eliminate any uncertainties you may have and give you all the deets you need to get the most out of the festival experience, we’ve devised this Just For Laughs Survival Guide. EVENT Montréal Just For Laughs Festival, July 8 to 28, 2015 WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO A world-class event that unites the globe’s funniest people in Montréal’s downtown core, pretty much. From July 8 to 28, Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles and a few venues slightly beyond host dozens of ticketed indoor shows and more free exterior entertainment than you can shake a funny bone at. This edition features unmissable headliners including Wanda Sykes, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Hart, Alan Cumming, Patton Oswalt, Trevor Noah, Margaret Cho, Jane Lynch, Ellie Kemper, Rob Schneider, Neil Patrick Harris, Omid Djalili and Norm Macdonald.   Don’t be surprised if, when you enter the festival site, someone asks to look in your bag. This… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal : July 10 to 16

Feel like slutting out? More into hot Nuits d’Afrique? Or maybe you want to catch plays, have picnics, get laughs, shop till your credit cards drop or curl up in a cute club with some good music. The world is your oyster – as per usual– in Montréal this week. Music is in the air In Old Montréal and the Old Port soak up the last couple of days of the International Percussion Festival, an interactive drum, dance, arts, film, food and workshops festival that runs until July 12. Of course, the main attraction this week is the Nuits d’Afrique festival, featuring the best of African and world music from all over the globe. The headliners include South African folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla; Colombia’s answer to the Buena Vista Social Club Ondatropica; and Réunion Island angel-voiced chanteuse Maya Kamaty – just to give you an idea. Want more world music? Check out this guide to clubs and happenings around town. Party heads won’t want to miss the inaugural edition of the feminist/queer Slut Island Festival, featuring two weekends of raging, rabid dancing fun in the sun. July 10, 11 and 12 features NOIA, Hua Li and many others. Thursdays are… / Read More →

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 →