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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.

 

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 →

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 →