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Posts by Isa Tousignant

7 Montréal essentials: Festival wear

The key to an amaaazing festival experience? First: killer programming. (We’ve got you covered.) Second: The perfect gear. You want to be as cute as a groupie, but also light on your feet, prepared for weather changes, and ready to dance at all times. Here’s all the festival wear you’ll need, courtesy of 100% Montréal brands. Atelier New Regime The five-panel camper-style Hammers cap with snazzy New Regime label woven on the front says nonstop summer fun with its floral print and sportswear look. Lightweight and adjustable, it’s the perfect way to manage the sun during those hot daytime shows. Find it online, or in person at New Regime’s workshop at 4030 St-Ambroise, Suite 311. $20.95 Maison Bourdon These sunnies are designed and made in Montréal, which is only part of what makes them so cool. They’ll be an essential part of your daytime festival experience, both to add an air of mystery to your outfit, and to protect your eyes from the glare of the superstars onstage. Find this or three other models online, or at carriers including Diffusion Griff 3000 (350 Saint-Paul E.) and Signatures Québécoises (560 rue St Joseph E.). Starting at $150 The Editorial Magazine Face… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: June 5 to 11

There’s so much going on these days in the city, from big arts and culture festivals like MURAL and the St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival to music happenings like Suoni per il Popolo and Francofolies (see last week’s guide for more). But topping a lot of charts is the high-speed funfest of Formula 1 and all the gastronomic and bacchanalian celebrations that it entails. Get ready, get set, and go below to see what’s on the road ahead! EAT All Montréal is alight with the high rollers in town, and they’re laying out the red carpet. At Auberge St-Gabriel, the trio of owners – Guy Laliberté, Garou and Marc Bolay – haven’t spared any expense to create the momentous Momentum weekend. From June 4 to 7, expect culinary masterpieces, a constant flow of fine liqueurs, intoxicating music every night, not to mention drivers and international celebrities. There are a couple of foodie trajectories to choose from in Old Montréal. From June 4 to 7, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., all of Saint-Paul Street West is basically the venue for a terrasse-hop. And boy, what terrasses there are – get a load of the view from the Phi Centre deck! There’s… / Read More →

5 Reasons why you can’t miss MURAL 2015

We don’t need to convince you. Everyone wants to be at MURAL, the annual street art festival that takes over the Main with parties, street food and the live, high-colour spectacle of world-class street artists leaving their mark on the city’s walls. But this year, from June 4 to 14, you’ll notice some kick-ass new developments. In addition to bringing in 20 international artists from eight different countries (with Spanish artist Elian, American duo 2Alas and Mexican artist Curiot among them), MURAL is going bigger and better than ever! We asked co-founder André Bathalon to give us his top 5 list of hot new stuff at the fest. 1) The first two editions of MURAL were held over four days, but this year we’re doing it over a whopping 11. During the first weekend, not only are the murals beginning, but we’re also launching an art fair in the main exterior space, where the bloc parties happen, in the spirit of Scope in Miami or The Armory Show in New York City. It will extend beyond street art; we’ve invited a dozen Montréal galleries to come and show their artists’ works. It’s free, and it’s the perfect way to start… / Read More →

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 →