Jamie O'Meara, Author at Tourisme Montréal Blog

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Posts by Jamie O'Meara

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Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

 

Your Montréal Nuit blanche survival guide, 2017

How do you distill year-long celebrations of Montréal’s 375th anniversary, Canada’s 150th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the Expo 67 World Fair into one wild party? Nuit blanche, that’s how. The arts, culture and performance all-nighter will take on a “1967” theme this year in commemoration of one of the pivotal moments in the history of Montréal, and we offer you this guide to “surviving” it in style. The event The 14th edition of Nuit blanche, part of the annual MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival taking place at locations all over downtown Montréal and in surrounding neighbourhoods. The “white night” starts on Saturday, March 4 and ends in the wee hours of Sunday, March 5. Avez-vous essayé notre Tyrolienne RBC ? #MTLenLumiere Photo : Victor Diaz Lamich Une publication partagée par MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE (@mtlenlumiere) le 20 Févr. 2016 à 16h48 PST What you’re getting yourself into One of the highlights of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is the always illuminating, always epic Nuit blanche all-nighter. Nuit blanche invites all comers to partake in upwards of 200 (mostly free) activities this year centred around the theme of revisiting the spirit of Expo 67. These will include live music, film, dance, performance art, interactive installations, storytelling, digital… / Read More →

Ministry of Cricket gives homeless sports a place to stay

Words matter; they have power. So we’re going to let these words speak for themselves: extreme archery, bubble soccer, ultimate Frisbee, cricket, touch rugby and, believe your eyes, quidditch. Montréal’s recently opened, and amazingly named, Ministry of Cricket (and Other Homeless Sports) has cornered the market on several uncommon-to-outlandish sports and activities that are, in a word, wicked. Located opposite Montréal’s Marché Central shopping centre, the Ministry of Cricket (and Other Homeless Sports) is comprised of three indoor, dividable turf fields capable of accommodating a multiplicity of sports on its 14,000 square feet. In addition to the aforementioned fun and games, the Ministry is also home to field hockey, lawn bowling, flag football and more conventional sports like baseball and soccer. As the name suggests, the space was born out of need. “About three years ago, [my friends and I] were looking for somewhere to practice our sport, cricket, and there was nowhere,” explains Ministry of Cricket owner Angus Bell. “And it was the same for certain other sports, so we decided to create a multisport event centre and it’s just grown and grown.” And indeed, if there was ever a sport that needed a place to call home, it’s… / Read More →

Hot music for a cold winter concert guide

What better way to warm your soul in wintry weather than by checking out some of the hottest rock, pop, hip-hop and more – from the likes of Bastille, Blue Rodeo, Green Day and Dinosaur Jr. – at many of Montréal’s most amazing venues? Let the following be your guide to great music and good times in the cool coming months. Elevation Montréal, January 27 (Bell Centre) EDM fans get their New Year’s prayers answered early when the first edition of Elevation Montréal brings the bass for a massive dance partaaay. Brought to you by the fine minds behind summer dance music fest ÎleSoniq, Elevation will feature headlining house duo DVBBS as well as Australian bass duo Knife Party and U.S. livetronica group Big Gigantic. Mogwai, January 31 (Théâtre St. Denis) Glaswegian post-rock monsters Mogwai make a rare Montréal appearance in support of their latest release, Atomic, which consists of reworked versions of tunes they composed for the acclaimed 2016 BBC documentary Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise. The soundtrack is said to “encapsulate the nightmare of the nuclear age.” Fun! Blue Rodeo, February 8 (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts) It’s always a great day when these legendary country rockers come to… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Kirk Muller

It’s professional hockey-player-turned-coach Kirk Muller’s third rodeo as a Montrealer, this time as the hugely popular associate coach of the city’s beloved Montreal Canadiens. He’s lived in the West Island, Westmount and now Old Montréal, and as such has cultivated a broad appreciation of the city. We caught up with the friendly and fun-loving Muller in between games to talk about the town he calls home (again) and, of course, hockey. What’s the coolest, or if you prefer, most satisfying thing about your job? “I’d say the most satisfying and cool thing about my job is all the hard work that you do behind the scenes that people don’t see, the day-to-day working with players and seeing them develop. That’s the satisfying part. And then you walk out at 7:30 and the rink’s full at the Bell Centre and the fans are excited for the anthem and you’re like, ‘Here we go again!’ You can’t replace that feeling and that energy, so that’s the coolest thing, especially on a Saturday night.” What’s something you do every day that you love to do every day? “A big thing that I love to do [laughs]… it’s nice to relax. After the hockey… / Read More →

Igloofest goes Nordik for Montréal’s 375th

There may not be any actual igloos, per se, but the same concepts of warmth and community under one roof are still two of the big drivers behind Montréal’s annual Igloofest outdoor dance party. And this year, as part of the wintry Hivernales portion of the city’s year-long 375th birthday party, Igloofest is far more than simply a celebration of the best that electronic music has to offer: it’s an expanded, family-friendly festival for all. With a beat. Over the course of six (up from four) weekends this year – January 12 to February 19 – dance enthusiasts by the tens of thousands will warm themselves to the sound of leading edge electro while immersed in Igloofest’s magical multimedia environment. Custom-designed stages, as well as immersive video and laser light displays, are all diamonds in a setting that’s equally spectacular in its own right: the Jacques-Cartier Quay in the picturesque Old Port of Montréal, in the glow of Old Montréal. As mentioned, Igloofest falls under the umbrella of Hivernales, which runs from January 6 to March 11. It’s a blanket term covering numerous events, from the opening Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival to the Classique Montréalaise pond hockey tournament; from the Montréal en… / Read More →

Barbegazi kicks off the outdoor winter action for Montréal’s 375th

There’s no ignoring the word action in this year’s fifth edition of the wild and woolly Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival, which this year has the high honour of launching Hivernales, the first major participatory event of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary celebrations. If snowskating, woodcutting, Christmas tree tossing or a large-scale obstacle course, among other things, tickle your wintry fancy, then Barbegazi’s got the family-friendly goods. And the snowball on the cake? It’s all free. The annual Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival – named for mythical, gnome-like, Alpine creatures with frozen beards and a compulsion for avalanche surfing – takes place this year at Îlot Clark in the downtown Quartier des Spectacles. Over two weekends, January 6-8 and 13-15, the outdoor space will be transformed into an expansive playground for both young and old alike. As mentioned, the festival kicks off the Hivernales portion of the city’s year-long birthday party. The all-encompassing Hivernales runs from January 6 to March 11 in Old Montréal, the Quartier des Spectacles and Parc Jean-Drapeau. It’s a blanket term covering numerous events: from the Classique Montréalaise pond hockey tournament to the Montréal en Lumière arts and culture festival; from the Fêtes des Neiges outdoor winter fun… / Read More →

Kiss 2016 goodbye with our New Year’s Eve party guide

It’s only fitting, in light of what’s shaping up to be 365 days of partying for Montréal’s 375th birthday next year, that we should kick it all off with what’s always the single biggest night of celebration in la belle ville, New Year’s Eve. We offer the following guide to help get you going in the right direction on the road to ringing in 2017. Speaking of big… The Merry Montreal-organized outdoor New Year’s Party in Old Montréal’s Place Jacques-Cartier and the quays of the Old Port, now in its fourth year, will once again be by far and away the largest gathering of New Year’s revelers in the city. Last year tens of thousands of celebrants turned up for the free concerts by top-tier Québec performers, the midnight countdown and massive fireworks display, as well as the all-night DJ dance party afterward. The free concert and party gets going at 7 pm. (And let’s put it out there right away that getting around will be a breeze on the Eve since the metro – Montréal’s subway – will be open all night.) Une photo publiée par Hotel William Gray (@hotelwilliamgray) le 6 Oct. 2016 à 6h15 PDT Speaking of… / Read More →

Why riding the rails has never been more appealing

For many a voyaging soul, yours truly very much included, the holidays – winter, summer, you name it – are synonymous with train travel both to and from Montréal. From convenience to comfort to cost, the train is as unbeatable as the age-old experience of rolling across the country on wheels of steel itself. Discover Montreal through the eye of photographer @jfsavaria (📷: @jfsavaria) #FF #followfriday #discovermontreal #exploremontreal // Découvrez Montréal à travers l’oeil de @jfsavaria (📷: @jfsavaria) #montreal #viarail Une photo publiée par VIA Rail Canada (@viarailcanada) le 28 Oct. 2016 à 16h14 PDT As either jumping off point or final destination, Montréal is ideally situated, located within easy reach of major metropolitan centres not just right across Ontario and Québec, but also the American eastern seaboard. VIA Rail offers frequent departures from downtown to downtown without the hassles of air travel (transportation to and from the airport, long security lines, baggage fees, etc.) and, especially important during the winter months, a travel option that is mostly impervious to the elements. In other words, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…” The VIA Rail experience is as stress-free as it gets. Easy on-and-off, comfy adjustable chairs, lots… / Read More →

Deck the concert halls: A can’t-miss holiday music list

’Tis the season to be jolly, and as usual there’s no shortage of Christmas-themed concerts – from choirs to symphonies, from gospel to rock – to help you troll the ancient yuletide carol. The following are virtually guaranteed to get those sugar plum fairies dancing in your head. Let’s commence with one of the most-anticipated highlights of the holiday concert calendar, the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir’s annual “Gospel Celebration” Christmas show, which takes December 4 at Théâtre Maisonneuve in Place des Arts, located in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles. This year’s 34th edition features over 50 singers and musicians (including a six-piece horn section). Indeed, Place des Arts’ cup overfloweth with Christmas cheer this year, especially at beautiful new concert hall Maison Symphonique. This includes Noël Symphonique, a classical interpretation of the “greatest Christmas classics” by a 38-piece symphony orchestra and some of Québec’s best known singers (two performances at 2:30 and 8 p.m., December 3). In the mood for a “Festive Russian Holiday”? Of course you are! Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Russian Christmas songs, and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and Ave verum corpus are all on the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s playlist December 14 and 16. Or maybe it’s a “Christmas with Valérie Milot” that your… / Read More →

Scoring with Montréal’s historic hockey hotspots

Anyone paying even an iota of attention right now knows that Montréal is (again) a hotbed of hockey action, and not just courtesy of the smokin’ season-opening play of the Montreal Canadiens. Though that, too. The upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship, the 100th anniversary celebrations of the NHL, and the imminent arrival of the popular Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour (November 12-13) are all part of the equation. And so is this city’s supersized love of the sport and their team, which can perhaps be better understood by visiting many of the places where Montréal’s crazy hockey heart beats, both historically and as modern monuments to the game. So let’s begin at the beginning… The very first recorded hockey game (i.e., one that had rules that players more-or-less stuck to) on an indoor rink was played in downtown Montréal in 1875 at the Victoria Skating Rink. Though the rink, once located between Drummond and Stanley streets south of Sainte-Catherine Street, is now a parking garage, its former 10,000-square-foot ice surface became the standard for hockey rinks. 8h35 et le Quad Windsor est vide… C’est congé! Bonne Fête du travail! It’s 8:35 AM and the Quad Windsor is empty. We’re off! Happy… / Read More →