Jamie O'Meara, Author at Tourisme Montréal Blog

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Posts by Jamie O'Meara


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.


Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour ready to score big in Montréal

While it’s actually quite remarkable that a city that’s equal parts hockey and festival crazy does not have an actual hockey festival per se, Montréal will nevertheless host the very next best thing when the super popular Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour pulls into town for the first time. Hometown Hockey will be setting up camp in the downtown Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles – also the site of other major MTL fests like the Montréal International Jazz Festival and Just For Laughs – on Saturday, November 12 (from 12-6 p.m.) and Sunday, November 13 (12-10 p.m.), and the atmosphere will indeed be festive. #ThatAwesomeMoment when Patrice Brisebois subbed in for a little one-on-one on the @mcdonaldscanada rink. #hometownhockey Une photo publiée par Rogers Hometown Hockey (@hometownhockey) le 22 Oct. 2016 à 10h47 PDT Fun for hockey fans of all ages Family-friendly programming and activities are planned for the entire weekend, and it’s all free. These include a concert by Montréal-based rocker Sam Roberts, two circus performances, as many as five or six Montreal Canadiens alumni live and in the flesh onsite (whom you’ll be able to meet at The Community Locker Room), local celebrities, a virtual autograph… / Read More →

Your guide to a wicked Halloween 2016

For those of us possessed by fear during the Halloween season – a profound fear of missing out, that is – Montréal has a witches’ brew of solutions for your All Hallows aspirations. Whether it’s fun stuff for the little monsters in your life, hair-raising thrills and chills, rollicking onstage entertainment or raucous Halloween parties, the following options will provide the healing potion for your FOMO. Not-so-frightful family fun It’s kooky for kiddos at the Botanical Gardens (part of Montreal’s Space for Life, which also includes the Biodôme, Insectarium and Planetarium), which invites you and yours to be the honoured guests of the good witch Esmerelda for the 31st celebration of The Great Pumpkin Ball. And you can truly have a ball in the company of the urban farming Esmeralda, Pépo the Pumpkin and some 800 wildly and wackily decorated squashes and pumpkins. The Ball rolls every day, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., until October 31. While there, be sure to mosey on over to the aptly titled, outdoor Little Monsters Courtyard where the wee ones can conquer The Tricky River, The Shaky Bridge, a straw maze, tunnels and monkey bars (for kids 10 and under). Over at the Insectarium,… / Read More →

Elite eSports teams will make Northern Arena rock

Attention all gamers: this is going to be, as a certain U.S. presidential nominee likes to say, uuuuuge. The Northern Arena video game tournament represents the first time a major eSports event has been held in Montréal. It will feature elite international teams competing for two $100,000 prize pools in front of a global audience that could reach well into the millions. Like we said, uuuuuge. The Northern Arena tournament finals take place at the downtown Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, on November 13, 2 p.m., following two days of qualifying matches in the city November 10-11. (The exact location of these preliminary matchups hadn’t been confirmed at the time of writing, though they will be broadcast live online, as will the final, on Twitch TV.) The tournament is made up of three main video game competitions: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and Gears of War 4. Each of the three competitions will feature eight teams of five professional players and their coaches, or approximately 150 competitors in total. The teams hail from across Europe, Brazil, Australia, the U.S., Canada and Asia, including two teams from China that are considered to be the best in the world at… / Read More →

Montréal’s KidCon turns terrific two

Like most two-year-olds, the second edition of Montréal’s KidCon is incredibly active, truly finding its feet and – with a live hand from Thomas the Tank Engine, Ravings Rabbids, Sesame Street and Star Wars characters, and beloved Montréal sports mascot Youppi! – something you really need to keep an eye on. Running for a fun-fueled two days, October 22-23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Stade Uniprix (home to the annual Rogers Cup pro tennis tournament) this year’s instalment of KidCon is offering an even more head-spinning array of entertainment for kids aged 3-12. And their parents, of course. Popular toys, television shows, video games, movies, books, comics, technology, sports, food and more are all represented under one roof, spread out over 75,000 square feet of floor space. “Live” is where it’s at this year, beginning with one of the most beloved, generations-spanning children’s characters, Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas and friends will take the main stage at varying times for shows in both French and English. As well, singing, dancing and surprises are all in store when award-winning French-language TV show Caillou celebrates its 25th anniversary with a live performance on October 22 (please go here for show… / Read More →

Double the love on a double-decker bus

No matter how deep the relationship, when we see the object of our love on a daily basis – whether it’s the cobblestone streets Old Montréal, the gravity-defying tilt of the Olympic Tower or the graceful silhouette of Mount Royal – we run the risk of taking them for granted. We’re happy to report that there is, however, a quick, red and rumbly fix for that: an authentic London double-decker bus tour. While visitors to Montréal can profit monstrously from bus tours – essentially a mobile city sampler pack that offers a taste of everything – they are also the ticket for Montrealers looking to reconnect. Take it from one who knows: there’s nothing quite like taking a tour on a vintage London double-decker bus for falling in love with Montréal all over again, for seeing the city through the eyes of a visitor, and feeling like a tourist in your own town. Hop-on Hop-off #MTLmoments Une photo publiée par Amélie St-Cyr (@astcyr) le 21 Juin 2016 à 14h43 PDT There are a variety of double-decker bus tours on offer from May through until the end of October. There are no-stop tours of varying lengths, night-time tours (highly recommended –… / Read More →

The pipes, the pipes are callin’ at Montréal’s organ festival

They call it the “King of Instruments,” and why not? Pipe organs – behemoth wind machines created in the service of worship – were meant to match the majesty of the churches that housed them. Thus Montréal, renowned for its incredible wealth of religious architecture, is also home to some of the most magnificent organs in North America. The Canadian International Organ Competition will be putting many of them to powerful use during the 2016 edition of their month-long festival, which this year promises to pull out all the stops. (Get it? Read on…) The Canadian International Organ Competition’s festival runs from October 2 to 30 at several locations throughout Montréal. It will see the participation of some 40 musicians at 15 different events including gala concerts broadcast on giant screens, moving tribute concerts, a guided tour of several churches and historic organs, a film screening and, new this year, a special one-day event that gives kids a chance to go “Nuts About the Organ.” “Nuts About the Organ” invites kids from 6-12 years old to the city’s historic, awe-inspiring St. Joseph’s Oratory for an entertaining workshop with the Oratory’s organist in the organ loft of the Oratory Basilica. Parents and children can listen… / Read More →

Survival guide: How to rock Montréal’s marathon

As tests of endurance and preparedness go, there are few things in life quite like a marathon, and the imminent Montreal Rock’n’Roll Oasis Marathon is no exception. Endurance and preparedness are also key for the fans cheering the runners on throughout the lengthy competition, so the following marathon survival guide is geared towards helping you make the most of your day at the races. What is it? It’s the 26th running of the Montreal Rock’n’Roll Oasis Marathon, September 25 from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and taking place in several neighbourhoods in and around downtown Montréal. It is one of 30 Rock’n’Roll series marathons that take place across Europe and North America each year. Parfaite journée pour tous nos coureurs! #RnRMTL #running #marathondemontreal #runMTL Une vidéo publiée par runrocknroll (@runrocknroll) le 20 Sept. 2015 à 9h53 PDT What you’re getting into It’s nearly a whole day of running around town for the over 20,000 participants and even more spectators alike. There are five different races that comprise the Montreal Rock’n’Roll Oasis Marathon. They all have different starting points, but they all finish at Parc Lafontaine in the city’s popular Plateau neighbourhood. The main marathon race course starts at the Jacques-Cartier… / Read More →

Autumn will make you fall in love with music in Montréal

Autumn is always a fertile time for music in Montréal ­ international calibre creators like The Kills, Adele, Maroon 5, Charles Aznavour, Simple Plan and more ­ and this year is proving no exception. Let the following be your guide to getting and giving some live music love in the cooling coming months. Heralding the arrival of the fall, fans of punk’n’roll have their work cut out for them on September 21. Naples, Florida nu-skool punks Against Me! will be playing tunes off their just-released seventh album, Shape Shift with Me, at Club Soda, while achingly cool post-punk indie rockers The Kills will be slinging songs off their fifth and latest, Ash & Ice, at Metropolis as part of the many-spectacled Pop Montreal (Sept. 21-25). And for the old school punks among us? Pioneering canuck skate-punk band SNFU will raze the stage at Petit Campus. It’s the 15-year anniversary of the release of Maroon 5‘s landmark Songs About Jane debut album, and as the L.A.-based pop phenomenon embarks on their only North American tour of 2016, they’re promising “to make a more traditional record next… like the way we made Songs About Jane.” Expect to hear some of the fruits… / Read More →

The Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal tells it on the mountain

Once a year, for five muscle-burning, perspiration-pouring hours, many of the world’s elite cyclists – competitors in the Tour de France, the Summer Olympics and the like – bring peak athletic performance to the peak of Mount Royal for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. For its seventh edition this year, 17 World Teams, three Professional Continental Teams and one Canadian National Team – comprised of 168 of the best cyclists on the planet – will converge on Montréal, September 10-11, for one of only two Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Tour races in North America. (The other takes place in Québec City on September 9). In other words, it’s a big deal. Organizers describe the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal as a key strategic race for the development of elite cycling on this side of the Atlantic, showcasing road racing for North Americans. Among the many notable peddling pros competing this year will be Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes (GPCQM) defending champions Rigoberto Uran, Tim Wellens and Tour de France stage winner Michael Matthews. Montréal’s 12.1 km Grand Prix Cycliste race course winds in and around Mount Royal Park on the city’s iconic Mount Royal. And while… / Read More →

Your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the warm 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. Here is your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals. The Présence Autochtone Montréal First Peoples Festival celebrates  its 26th edition, August 3 to 10. Theirs is an expansive programme of outdoor concerts (hip-hop to rock to Inuit throat singing to you name it), aboriginal video and film (a veritable international film fest unto itself), outdoor street theatre, native art and a variety of other events and entertainment all taking place in and around the Quartier des Spectacles. Heavy Montréal blasts big chunks of hard rock, August 5 to 7. Death metal, hair metal, black metal, hard rock and hardcore are all on the agenda, and this year’s line-up is sick with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Nightwish and Volbeat, to name a few. Parc Jean-Drapeau remains at the center of… / Read More →