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.

 

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 →

10 things you need to know about the World Juniors

When it comes to highly skilled and hard fought hockey contests, the holiday season’s IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship is the annual gift that keeps on giving. With Montréal co-hosting, and the medal round taking place here as the city kicks off its 375th anniversary celebrations and more, this year’s tournament has several extra layers of special going on. With that in mind, here are 10 things you need to know about the World Juniors. Incredible but true: Since 2005 Sidney Crosby has won something – with the national team, Pittsburgh or an individual honour – almost every year. Full list on IIHF.com. Can he add the World Cup to the Stanley Cup triumph for 2016? Photo: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Une photo publiée par IIHF (@iihfhockey) le 27 Sept. 2016 à 10h02 PDT 1) The basics: The 41st edition of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship – organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in conjunction with Hockey Canada, Hockey Québec and the Montréal Canadiens, among others – will be co-hosted in Canada by both the cities of Montréal and Toronto over 11 days from December 26 to January 5. Canada’s best-on-best success is the result of… / Read More →

Setting trails ablaze at M for Montreal 2016

What do you do in the year following a ground breaking 10th anniversary edition? Well, if you’re the annual M for Montreal music festival and conference – showcasing both up-and-coming and established MTL artists like Martha Wainwright, The Damn Truth, Groenland and more – you up your game. Nos guides de programmation sont arrivés! Our program guides are here! 👀 #mpourmtl #montreal #festival #conference Une photo publiée par M pour Montréal (@mformontreal) le 31 Oct. 2016 à 11h42 PDT Over four days, from November 16-19, M for Montreal, which is open to the public, will welcome over 100 music artists performing at more than 20 of the city’s most distinctive venues both downtown and in historically music-making hotspots like the Mile End and Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhoods. (You can see the full concert schedule here.) Additionally, more than 200 music industry heavyweights and tastemakers from 17 countries will be on hand to participate in enriching discussions and networking activities designed to open the door on new business opportunities. #KROY à la @maisonsociale dans le cadre de notre #CityTour @dtcrecords #m4mtl15 Une photo publiée par M pour Montréal (@mformontreal) le 20 Nov. 2015 à 11h22 PST Panels and workshops with curated delegates… / Read More →

A horn o’ plenty of things to do on U.S. Thanksgiving

If your name is Cobbler, Popcorn, Cheese or Abe, the last four years of the Obama administration were good ones, because those were the names of the Thanksgiving turkeys that – per White House tradition – the president pardoned in his final term. But you don’t have to be a lucky turkey to enjoy U.S. Thanksgiving, at least not in Montréal, and the following represents just a small sampling of the bounty that awaits those who visit during the holiday. American Thanksgiving is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November, which this year falls on November 24, and marks the (un)official puck drop on the holiday season. Traditionally an expression of gratitude for a healthy harvest, it’s only fitting that we begin with one of the things that Montrealers themselves are most grateful for: the city’s incredible crop of topnotch restaurants. Congrats to Agrikol in Montreal, ranked #6 on our list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016! Check out this year’s winners for Air Canada enRoute Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016 by clicking the link in our bio. . Félicitations à Agrikol à Montréal, qui se classe en 6ème place sur notre liste des Meilleurs nouveaux restos canadiens… / Read More →