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Posts by Isa Tousignant

Meet a Montrealer: Daniel Iregui

As the Creative Director and founder of Iregular, Daniel Iregui is one of those people who is responsible for creating the rich, artistic fabric Montréal is known for. He and his colleagues François Loubert-Hudon and David Surprenant mix technology and design to create ambitious, immersive public experiences, which then travel around the world. The next piece they are doing will be at the heart of the Montréal Digital Spring launch, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). This is how Daniel experiences Montréal. Job: Creative Director and founder of Iregular Favourite pastime: I have a jam space in my studio where I play music with some friends. It’s always different people, so it’s like a group without a name and without albums. I love Mutek, and the jams we do around Mutek are always particularly inspired. How long have you been a Montrealer? For nine years. I’m originally from Colombia, but I moved to Toronto to finish my studies. Even though I lived there for three years, I always felt like an immigrant; but every time I came to Montréal, it was completely different. I felt at home. It was very strange, and it’s very hard to point out why. I really fell in… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 5 to 11

With Art Souterrain continuing through the month, FIFA around the corner and Art Matters kicking off this week, March is definitely an arty month. But there’s also new music symphonies in the Old Port, combat-dance at Place des Arts (yes, you read right) and outdoor fun to be had. Why art matters Concordia University art students have been putting on the annual Art Matters festival for 15 years now, and this edition marks that landmark in style. There are more parties than you’ll know what to do with – don’t miss the opening bash at Plaza Theatre on March 6 – and a million exhibitions throughout the festival, from March 7 to 21. A couple of the highlights not to be missed: Oppression Aesthetics, presented at the VAV Gallery, which addresses the current political climate and the battle against austerity in Québec with a multimedia exhibition; and An Evening of Alchemy, a one-night event at the Loyola Chapel on March 19, where visual artists and performance artists mix to create spontaneous creative interactions throughout this historic space. Place of expression Place des Arts is bustling with great shows this month, starting with Masters of Illusion on March 5, America’s largest touring magic show featuring an… / Read More →

A classical start to spring with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

One of the true crown jewels in Montréal’s rich cultural scene, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) is a gateway to an internationally acclaimed range of classical music. From within its slick, contemporary headquarters at the Maison symphonique de Montréal, it’s planning a spring full of treats for connoisseurs and newbies alike. Here are 10 concerts not to be missed between March and May. Adventures in the East kicks off the month on March 4 (8 p.m.) and 8 (2:30 p.m.) with a program presented in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and its exhibition Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time. Directed by Kent Nagano, the concert features pieces by Saint-Saëns, Dukas and Strauss (“Dance of the Seven Veils”, from Salome), as well as the world premiere of works inspired by Sephardic and Arab-Andalousian songs by contemporary Montréal composer Kiya Tabassian. The eastern inflections continue with the concert on March 7 (9 p.m.), Travels with Philip Glass, which unites the work of Tabassian and Dukas with that of groundbreaking composer Glass. From March 11 to 13, flamboyant contemporary pianist Lang Lang is on the menu with two concerts, one titled Kent Nagano Greets Lang Lang (on March 11 and 12, 8 p.m.), the other… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Dominique Anglade

With a stellar career that has spanned engineering, strategic management and high-level organizational transformations, Dominique Anglade is an unquestionable authority on good business. Who better to have at the helm on Montréal International, then, an organization dedicated to bringing new and exciting business to this fair city? This is how Dominique experiences Montréal. Job: President and CEO of Montréal International Favourite pastime: Dancing and listening to music, both pop and Caribbean. How long have you been a Montrealer? Since birth. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? Going to the Karnaval Kanpe, at SAT. It was a party in honour of the Kanpe Foundation, where there was a mix of Caribbean and techno music, dance routines, Haitian items for sale, makeup booths – all sorts of things to recall Haiti. What’s your favourite Montréal memory? Camping in Oka, which by the way is part of Greater Montréal, as a kid. It was in the woods, by the lake, with a tent – the whole nine yards. What’s your favourite Montréal restaurant? Européa. Where do you like to go for drinks with friends? We usually hang out either at their house or mine, but if we go out… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: February 26 to March 4

Yes, yes, y’all, it’s Nuit Blanche! This Saturday brings with it the best excuse to stay up all night since the last Star Trek marathon on Space TV. Grab your friends and family and hit the streets and cultural centres of the Montréal, open all night and jam-packed with special programming. All-night art The only bad thing about Nuit Blanche is figuring out how to divide your time – there’s just that much to do. The best strategy this Saturday, February 28, is to start with all your favourite places, whether that’s the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Phi Centre, the Olympic Stadium, Fonderie Darling or the Belgo Building, because you’ll get to access them for free. Plus you can be sure they’ll be pulling out all the stops for this special night with unusual and exciting programming, whether that’s live music, workshops, free performances and more. But afterwards, it’s time to discover. Nuit Blanche is really about broadening your perspectives, while having a good time, so an adventurous attitude is de mise. This year you might be tempted by the film screening night at Nouveau Palais restaurant. Or maybe you’ll want to try the all-night collage party at Monastiraki? And,… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 19 to 25

The city is alive with art this week, starting with a late-night art party that’ll put us in the mood for next week’s Nuit Blanche. There’s also a handful of new plays not to be missed, and a million hot music shows to warm your cockles. Art with heart For a full night of entertainment, look no further than the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal on Friday February 20, when the monthly Nocturne turns the museum into a party house. Starting at 5 p.m., and going all the way till 2 in the morning, get access to the three new exhibitions (Sophie Calle, Simon Starking and Allan Sekula and Noël Burch), a stream of video works in the “Projections” series and two performances (one by Sabrina Ratté and Roger Tellier-Craig, the other by Erin Gee), plus food, drinks, and electrifying music by DJs Dave Luxe, Ryan Playground, Nick Wisdom and Myfriendrick. All that for $14, or even better, for FREE if you purchase the super-cheap MACarte membership card! Meanwhile, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, don’t forget to check out the new exhibition by Benoit Aquin this weekend – the Montréal photographer was one of the very few people to have access to the site of the Lac-Mégantic… / Read More →

5 Montréal essentials: scarves

Montréal may be chilly in wintertime, but it’s a hotbed of creativity. Known for its unique Euro-American approach to style, the city is rife with fashion designers that make ordinary objects extraordinary, and create souvenirs actually worth bringing back. Get a load of the five hottest – literally – made-in-Montréal scarves out there these days. Mélissa Nepton Montréal designer Mélissa Nepton created a series of gorgeous scarves in her F/W collection, including the thick and chunky, grey, 100% wool felt Agathe scarf (pictured extreme left). It’s neutral enough for both genders, warm as heck and about five miles long, with an oversized fringe that gives it its signature flair. Find it online, or at carriers like Espace Pépin (350 Saint-Paul Street West), Unicorn (5135 Saint-Laurent Boulevard) and Olam (1374 Sainte-Catherine Street West) $88   Eve Gravel Always one to put a sexy twist on simple things, Eve Gravel dressed up the tube scarf with touches of leatherette this season. Available in both dark heather grey and sleek black, the scrunchy Tea Party scarf will give a sculptural look to any overcoat. Find it online, or at carriers like Onze (4151 Saint-Laurent Boulevard), Belle & Rebelle (6321 Saint-Hubert Street) and Simons… / Read More →

Plunge into Montréal’s Underground Art

Get ready for February 28, because it’s one of Montréal’s most exciting days all year: Nuit Blanche. Especially because that means it’s the launch of Art Souterrain! The winter edition of Nuit Blanche, the all-night cultural extravaganza, has a unique Montréal vibe because not even sub-zero temperatures can discourage the crowds of thousands who love culture best at night. That enchanted evening is the best time to get started on your exploration of Art Souterrain, the three-kilometre-long art walk through Montréal’s famous underground city. Art Souterrain 2015 unites no fewer than 72 works spread over 12 sites, much more than you’ll be able to cram in on launch night – so luckily, it continues until March 15. There are all sorts of special activities this year, like meetings with the artists, talks, tours for kids and adults, and exclusive visits through private collections. As director and general manager Frédéric Loury explains, the year’s theme, “security in society,” has been brewing for at least a couple of years. “It doesn’t only address concepts of surveillance, or security, but rather poses a much more fundamental question: how far are we willing to go, as individuals, to protect our own comfort?” We asked Loury to name five artists not to… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 12 to 18

Love is in the air! There are a million ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in this joyful city, some involving the traditional red roses and gushy stuff, and some a little more unusual. Take your pick and show your favourite someone a good time – the Montréal way. Wining and dining You’ll never want for romantic spots for a tête-à-tête in food-centric Montréal, but some restaurants are pulling out all the stops during the Valentine’s Day period. This Friday, Saturday and, exceptionally, Sunday, treat your better half to one of the most memorable gastronomic experiences of their lives at Toqué! There’s a special eight-course tasting menu on offer at $135 a head. Nestled on Roy Street, on the Plateau, enjoy a sophisticated Basque feast at Pintxo, for an eight-course menu – this one to be $90 for two. On offer from February 12 to 15. XO Le Restaurant, at the opulent Hotel Le St-James, is serving an exclusive Valentine’s Day menu for $125 a head on Saturday, February 14 only. At Restaurant Tandem, in beautiful Villeray, enjoy seven courses on Valentine’s Day itself for $75. There’s nothing more Valentine’s than champagne, so head to La Champagnerie for the $50 special… / Read More →

Top 5 spots to propose in Montréal

With its sexy French accent and its seductive European streets, could Montréal be any more romantic? It’s no wonder thousands of couples flock here for tête-à-tête weekends every year, especially around Valentine’s Day. Take your lovers’ getaway to the next level by actually popping the question this Valentine’s in one of these five oh-so-romantic Montréal spots. Atop Mount Royal Ask any Montrealer what their favourite part of the city is, and nine out of ten will tell you it’s the mountain. Winter or summer, the mountain is the crown jewel in this very pretty city’s jewelry box, filled with trails and vistas that are perfect for a romantic adventure à deux. For a surprise your sweet pea isn’t likely to forget, dress warmly, hide a thermos of hot chocolate and a couple of heart-shaped cookies in your parka, and head for a leisurely hike up to the Belvedere. When the moment is right, as you both gaze down at the breathtaking view, whip out the goodies, get down on your snow pants knee, and pop the question.   On the skating rink at Parc La Fontaine An evening under the twinkling lights of a skating rink is always romantic, but there’s… / Read More →