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Posts by Jamie O'Meara

Your 2016 Osheaga survival guide

No one goes to the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival to get away from it all. They go to have it all: the spectacular sights, the tantalizing wealth of tastes and smells (most of them anyway), the feel of summer on your skin. And, of course, the many, many amazing musical sounds. It’s an immersive sensory bath that is designed to overwhelm, albeit in a good way. Consider the following tips and helpful hints your guide to maximizing your time at Canada’s most unique outdoor concert event. Event The 11th edition of Osheaga, July 29 to 31. Doors open at 11 am and performances begin at 1 pm. 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, Osheaga unites some of the world’s best acts at an open-air site. From July 29 to 31, get ready to party to live performances by Brit-rock royalty Radiohead, hip-hop pioneers Cypress Hill, hometown indie-rock phenomenon Half Moon Run, the inexplicably popular Lumineers, funk-rock icons Red Hot Chili Peppers, original indie hipsters Death Cab For Cutie, the very deservedly much-loved Lana Del Ray – and sooo muuuuch… / Read More →

Your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the impending warming of the weather. Here is your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals: The Montréal International Jazz Festival, from June 29 to July 9, needs little introduction, but heck, we’ll do it anyway: the planet’s greatest, grandest jazz fest representing numerous genres turns 37 this year with hundreds and hundreds of concerts representing numerous genres including some 300 free outdoor shows that inundate downtown Montréal with a flood of music-loving merriment. If the big city scene isn’t necessarily to your summertime tastes, treat yourself to a scenic, 45-minute drive to St-André-d’Argenteuil. The town’s historic Carillon Park will play host to a brand beatin’ new electronic music fest with the catchy acronym AIM (i.e., “Art Innovation Movement”) fromJuly 15-17. Promising an immersive experience for all electronic music fans in the shadow of the massive, monolithic monuments marking the location of the Battle of Long Sault, the Montreal AIM Electronic Music Festival offers a literal breath of fresh air when it comes to the electro-fest experience. Dozens of top-tier EDM artists are on tap for the non-stop, 32-hour dance party, and camping onsite… / Read More →

Montréal Alouette Kyries Hebert crushes opponents and touches Montrealers

There’s one thing Montréal Alouettes linebacker Kyries Hebert doesn’t like about Montréal. We’ll get to that. The Louisiana native, and Canadian Football League All-Star, is not only a key piece of the Al’s defensive line, he’s also active off the gridiron with the team’s Together at School program (which see players speaking to students in the off-season, inspiring them to stay in school and pursue their dreams) and his own personal passion, the Ky Cares Foundation, which works to enrich and positively affect the lives of young people, and is also dedicated to raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research at the annual Touched event in October. We caught up with Hebert, a proud Montrealer since 2012, immediately following a preseason Alouettes practice… [Kyries Hebert] I’m actually on the field as we speak [laughs]. It’s a little chilly, I would prefer it to feel more like summer considering I grew up in Louisiana where this would be like a winter day. This is your fifth year in Montréal, and you know the city pretty well now – what are some of your favourite things about living here? The food, the culture, the beautiful people and the shopping, anywhere from… / Read More →

Your 2016 guide to surviving the Montréal Jazz Festival

We don’t just want you to survive at the 37th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, we want you to thrive. With your good time in mind, we’ve put to together the following guide comprised of handy dos and don’ts and other valuable info tidbits about the Jazz Festival that will help you maximize your time at one of the most spectacular music experiences on the planet. What you’re getting into: In a nutshell, more amazing music and fabulous fun than should be legally allowed. From June 29 to July 9, Montreal’s downtown Quartier des Spectacles will host the largest Jazz Festival in the world. Get ready for 11 eye-widening and ear-pleasing days of ticketed indoor concerts – which this year will feature can’t miss blue-chip artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Melody Gardot, Kool & The Gang, Wynton Marsalis, Lauryn Hill, Noel Gallagher, Oliver Jones, Cat Power and Joe Jackson among many others – and approximately 350 free outdoor shows and activities that draw around 2 million visitors every year. When you arrive at the festival site: Don’t be surprised if, when you go to enter the festival site, someone asks to look in your bag. This is… / Read More →

No more FOMO – here are the must-see Jazz Fest concerts of 2016

While freedom of choice is fundamental to our existence as individuals, it can be a serious pain in the butt when it comes to choosing what shows to go see at the massive annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. From June 29 to July 9 in the Quartier des Spectacles, the Jazz Fest will welcome some 3,000 musicians and entertainers at over 1,000 concerts and activities (two thirds of which are free). So with your happiness front of mind, and to help make your choices easier, we’ve cobbled together a list of many of the must-see concerts at the festival this year. June 29 The Jazz Fest’s esteemed opening concert slot goes to eminently worthy American singer-guitarist-pianist Melody Gardot. This will be the first of two shows (the other on June 30) by the crazily charismatic performer… From punk to folk to blues to soul, the constantly evolving Cat Power returns to the fest for the first time in a decade for an assuredly entrancing solo set. June 30 In the Double Whammy Dept., emotive and imaginative Japanese piano virtuoso Hiromi returns to the festival with her 10th album, Spark, and she will be preceded by Colombian harpist sensation Edmar Castaneda… And on the topic of virtuosos, what would a jazz festival be… / Read More →

Your ultimate 2016 guide to Montréal’s many summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the impending warming of the weather. It’s also when the city is beset by a veritable onslaught of amazing music festivals, everything from Osheaga to the Jazz Fest, and from MUTEK and Île Soniq to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Classical Spree. For four sunny, summery months, Montréal is truly a music lover’s paradise. Summer is synonymous with picnics, and summer in Montréal has become synonymous with Piknic Electronik, the wildly popular weekly outdoor electronic music dance party. Typically held in Parc Jean-Drapeau (on Île Ste-Hélène, across from Montréal’s Old Port), this year’s Piknic Electronik series runs every weekend from May 22 until Oct. 2. To see their 2016 programming, check here after May 10. Speaking of living life on the edge, it doesn’t get more musically adventurous than the annual Suoni Per Il Popolo festival, June 2-20. The now 16-year-old brainchild (brainteen?) of the founders of leading indie music scene venues Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa, Suoni Per Il Popolo presents approximately 50 concerts featuring an eclectic range of experimental and avant-garde music and sound (think free jazz, musique actuelle, avant-rock, noise, etc.)… / Read More →

Montréal revs up: How to get your motor running on Grand Prix Weekend 2016

F1 fans, start your engines! The Canadian Grand Prix Weekend is nearly upon us, and from block parties, to live music and DJs, foodie happenings and cool urban art experiences, there is much in the way of off-track excitement to be had, so let us give you a hand with your planning. The F1 fun is family friendly at the annual three-day Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival, which runs all day from 11 am to 11 pm, June 9-11. Crescent Street – a centrally located restaurant and nightclub hub very popular with visitors to the city – will be closed off for live bands and DJs, F1 driver autograph sessions, racing simulators, race car displays and the Pit Stop Challenge (see how fast you can change a tire, pit crew style) at this free, outdoor celebration of all things fast. Just a few short blocks east is where the prestigious Formula Peel Event takes place, which closes off a block of downtown Peel Street from June 9-12. Last year, some 350,000 people took part in the festivities. Peel, renowned for its chic restaurants, clubs and high-end shops, provides a picture perfect setting for the displays of luxury cars, fashion shows,… / Read More →

Your 2016 Montréal summer festival guide

We don’t know everything, but we know how to do a few things really well in Montréal, and two of them are festivals – like Osheaga, Fantasia, the Montreal Jazz Festival and Just For Laughs – and time off. And like wine and cheese, those two things happen to pair up really well. With this in mind, and with summer vacation time on the horizon, we offer you our Montréal summer festival guide. Chromatic (May 19-22) Chromatic is a celebration of Montréal imagination situated in the Old Port’s historic Hangar 16. The program features an eclectic range of arts – visual, digital, performance, interactive and more –at events including concerts, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, parties and activities for all ages.  Both Montréal and Toronto talents will be teaming up for this seventh edition. Festival TransAmériques (FTA) (May 26 to June 8) The Festival TransAmériques (FTA) celebrates new works in contemporary dance and theatre. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this tenth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions. Fringe Festival (May 30 to June 19) The Montréal Fringe Festival (known as “the party Fringe” on… / Read More →

How to make the most of your C2 Montréal experience

It’s almost easier to begin a description of C2 Montréal by saying what it isn’t: a run-of-the-mill, off-the-rack, been-there-done-that business conference. Rather, C2 is a potentially career-and-mind-altering networking and problem-solving sensory experience that also knows how to have fun. In the parlance of the times, it has disrupted the traditional business conference. The fifth edition of C2 Montréal goes down May 24-26 this year, and will once again unite business innovators, entrepreneurial icons and social game changers at the top of their creative game. Some 60 speakers will be on hand to share their knowledge and experience. Those already announced include Martha Stewart, Dr. David Suzuki, Airbnb’s Chip Conley and master chef Massimo Bottura, as well as made-in Montréal success stories Byron and Dexter Peart (WANT Les Essentiels) and Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song (Frank & Oak).  Additionally, there will be even more of the popular masterclasses, hands-on workshops, experiential labs and other uniquely C2 activities designed to inspire creative solutions for today’s business problems. Once again this year, C2 will take place at Arsenal, an industrial heritage building that’s been transformed into a vast contemporary art gallery in Montréal’s historic Griffintown neighbourhood. Arsenal becomes a veritable beehive of activity… / Read More →

Discover “The Main” – the most storied street in Montréal

It’s a street, it’s the beginning (and in some unfortunate instances, the end) of a book of Montréal stories, it’s a Friday night dance party and a Sunday afternoon stroll. It’s also a National Historic Site. It’s Saint-Laurent Boulevard, or as Montrealers call it, “The Main.” The Main, the much-beloved north/south street that at one time fed a steady stream of new immigrants from just-docked ships straight into the beating heart of Montréal, once marked the symbolic divide between Montréal’s French and English communities. Just over 11 km in length, The Main bisects the entirety of the island of Montréal, literally representing a cross-section of the city. Classic cafés, trend-attentive nightclubs, old-world delicatessens, time-capsule-like greasy spoons, retro clothing stores, high-end eateries, low-end brasseries and ethnic grocery outlets all co-exist comfortably on the most walkable and culturally diverse street in Montréal. Lower Saint-Laurent Boulevard The Main’s steadily northward and upward trajectory officially lifts off at De la Commune Street, which separates the city’s repurposed Old Port district (a warren of cultural activity all year-round) and historic Old Montréal, which can follow its cobblestones back to the mid-1600s. A short walk north of Old Montréal, past the Place d’Armes metro station, takes one to Chinatown, a vibrant… / Read More →