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Posts by Laure Juilliard

Meet a Montrealer: Thierry-Maxime Loriot

Since its inauguration at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2011, the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit has toured the world, attracting more than 2 million visitors on three continents. Now at the tenth stop on its tour, the exhibit is on display at the Grand Palais in Paris—the fashion designer’s hometown—where it will remain until August 3, when it will pack up and head to Munich for the fall.  To mark this symbolic milestone, we met with Thierry-Maxime Loriot, former international supermodel and the exhibit’s curator, to discuss this extraordinary experience and ask about his favourite spots in Montréal. Here’s the interview. Why were you interested in being appointed as curator of the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit? This is the first exhibit that I’ve curated on my own. I had already done two other exhibits for the Museum of Fine Arts. There was Imagine: A Ballad for Peace from John and Yoko as well as Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918. But fashion has always been my main area of expertise, since I spent 10 years in the field and still have strong ties to this industry I love. I find it really exciting to make… / Read More →

The must-see exhibitions this summer in Montréal

As the culturally vibrant town that it is, Montréal is host to large-scale exhibitions this summer. From the dreamy and glassy universe of David Altmejd to Rodin’s spectacular bronzes to the luminous photographs of Horst, the town beams with artistic brilliance.  David Altmejd’s Flux and Jon Rafman Be sure to catch Flux from David Altmejd at the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC). Through materials (e.g., plexiglass and mirrors), scale (of the massive kind), and fantastical iconography, this Montréal artist now based in New York City exposes his creative world of wonders. Breathtaking and fascinating, you can easily spend hours just examining the many facets of The Flux and The Puddle, an impressive and massive showcase of the artist’s wild ingenuity. Meanwhile, The Spectre and The Main, at once static and dynamic, recalls the discovery of the ruins of an enchanted civilization as described in Barjavel’s “La Nuit des Temps.” And what about those giant figures—somewhat exotic, somewhat decomposed, and totally extraordinary. Also at the MAC is Montréal artist Jon Rafman’s inaugural exhibition of new and recent works. Drawing inspiration from the Internet and video game culture, as well as from some particularly obscure sub-cultures of the web, he creates alienated environments… / Read More →

Free things to do in Montréal this summer

Enjoying the Montréal frenzy without spending a penny is certainly possible. We explain how with this handy guide! Free concerts Every Wednesday and Thursday at noon, head to the Jardins Gamelin, a green oasis right in the heart of downtown to take advantage of free concerts. You can also check out the city’s parks for the Concerts Campbell, which feature numerous free performances until August 12. Not to be missed: the Sœurs Boulay at Parc Marcel-Léger on July 22, and concerts by the Orchestre Métropolitain at Parc de West-Vancouver and at the Chalet de la Montagne, on July 24 and 30 respectively. For classical music, Les grands orchestres are back for a 4th edition on the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Park, Sundays from July 26 to September 20. Also on the list of musts: the Big Free Concert presented by SiriusXM, from the Classical Spree, on August 5 at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, enthusiasts of enchanting arias can head to Saint-Laurent Boulevard for the Barber of Seville on August 16 at 9 p.m. during Montréal’s Italian Week. And, of course, there are the free shows at Montréal’s festivals: the Montréal First Peoples Festival from July 29 to August… / Read More →

The Mondial des jeux Loto-Québec: On your mark, get set, play!

For its second edition, from July 11 to 25, the Mondial des jeux Loto-Québec takes over the Quartier des spectacles, De Maisonneuve Boulevard, and Complexe Desjardins. For two weeks, some 20 exhibitors will offer serious gamers a digital and physical experience via close to 100 free activities. Lovers of board games and the outdoors will be able to get in on the action, literally, on the Gaming Boulevard, an open-air thoroughfare on De Maisonneuve Boulevard, between Jeanne-Mance and Saint-Urbain Streets. Numerous established and emerging board game publishers from Québec will host, among others, chess competitions (e.g., the Francophonie championship), Génies en herb, and Scrabble battles, not to mention juggling workshops. Also, from July 16 to 19, in particular, Nintendo will feature its recent release, Splatoon. New for 2015, the Mondial des jeux Loto-Québec will welcome for the first time at the SAT, July 10 to 12, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals, the largest tournament ever to be organized in North America, bringing together about 20 professional teams as part of the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC). Throughout the duration of the festival and for the second consecutive year, the North American qualifier for the free Just Dance Now competition will… / Read More →

Check out Montréal’s outdoor pop-up markets

In summer, outdoor pop-up markets emerge all over the city. Craftspeople, producers and farmers offer visitors and Montrealers alike a variety of fresh products and creations handmade with local flavour, creating a fine opportunity to fill up wicker baskets or suitcases with wonderful Montréal keepsakes. Here’s your review of outdoor pop-up markets with the best goods in town. Marché des Possibles For its second edition, the most popular market in Mile End offers day and night versions, bringing together the creations and merchandise of a wide range of selected artisans and food producers. Food trucks will also be on hand at noon every Friday, and a gourmet barbecue will be held Saturday evenings. On weekends, families can enjoy several free activities starting at 11 a.m., including yoga, hip-hop classes, and handiwork, circus, and theatre ateliers. When: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from June 19 to August 9 Where: At the corner of Bernard and Saint-Dominique Streets Night Market in Mile-Ex Located in an industrial setting, the summer Alexandraplatz bar, a symbol of the Mile-Ex neighbourhood, will be at the centre of a night market organized by Les Survenants. On the program: some 20 local artisan stalls, food trucks, Montréal DJs, and… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Sleiman-Tanios Chahwan, Owner of Adbeus

Sleiman is busy, a free spirit of Lebanese descent raised in Montréal, and a citizen of the world. After spending time in New York and Beirut refining his skills, this entrepreneur, soon to be 27, returned to his adopted city that he deems “passionate and populated with creative, enthusiastic, and open people.” Since 2010, he has been developing Adbeus, a website listing the best independent coffee shops in Montréal, which has gradually transformed into a mobile app and dedicated project. Sleek, aesthetic and practical, this guide focuses on the product quality, ambience, service, and décor of each of the establishments visited. Rather than admitting to being a coffee expert himself, Sleiman prefers to address the experiences that accompany coffee consumption. At the beginning of April, he launched the second version of his app, downloaded over 10,000 times in Montréal alone and offering additional international cities, including Toronto, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Prague, London, and Istanbul, all managed by trusted local partners. Tell us about the Adbeus app. It’s a handy list that fosters the discovery of independent coffee shops through a geolocation system and allows for customizing the experience with specific criteria, such as roaster, WiFi, the nearest Métro… / Read More →

Spotlight on new Québec cuisine: five excellent picks

The first time you set foot in Québec, the clichés about its cuisine abound. Montréal, mecca of poutine, beaver tails and pâté chinois. A paradise where rich dishes and heaping plates help protect you from the cold? Perhaps. But this description feels a little overcooked. And ever since Toqué—the restaurant that redefined Québec cuisine—opened its doors, the culinary scene continues to chart daring and creative new territory, so much so that the Omnivore food festival has been firing up Foodlab for the past three years now. Who are the chefs to watch? The restaurants not to miss during your next visit to Montréal? Our recommendations: Manitoba Manitoba is situated smack dab in the middle of the Mile Ex industrial district, in an up-and-coming neighbourhood that’s very popular among Montrealers. This delightful rustic-chic restaurant, which takes a walk on wild side, boasts a menu entirely dedicated to Québec terroir cuisine and feels entirely one-of-a-kind. The restaurant, created by the design firm La Firme, ushers the flora and fauna of Québec to its open kitchen past a slender dark wood bar and an intricate cedar ceiling. It’s pleasing to the eye, friendly and accessible. The menu changes according to product availability. Go… / Read More →

Montréal’s most scenic bike paths

Rated “North America’s premiere biking city” by the Copenhagenize Report (2013), Montréal boasts 645 kilometres of bike paths. Itching to explore the city on two wheels? Here are our picks for Montréal’s prettiest urban routes, pedaled carefree and car-free. The Lachine Canal bike path Ranked third on Time magazine’s Top 10 Urban Biking Trips in 2009, the nearly 15-kilometre-long Lachine Canal bike whisks cyclists alongside a canal that is operated by modern locks, open to small pleasure craft and bordered by old 19th-century factories. Starting from the Old Port, up to the Atwater Market, until the Chemin du Musée, in Lachine, where a stop-off at Parc René-Lévesque is recommended, this pretty circuit winds you through natural spaces and industrial parks alike. On the way back, follow the Berges Ouest bike path along the St. Lawrence River to Verdun and LaSalle, where you can watch surfers or kayakers navigating the rapids. De Maisonneuve Boulevard bike path Ideal for exploring downtown by bike! If you start from the Grande Bibliothèque (near the Berri-UQAM métro station), you can ride past skyscrapers right up to the sweet boutiques and museums of downtown Montréal, and get a glimpse of Place des Arts at the same time…. / Read More →

Celebrate Mother’s Day in Montréal

On May 10, we celebrate all Québec mothers! If you’re still short of ideas on how to honour mom best, we’ve carefully put together a few stellar suggestions that are sure to make her feel like the star she is. Gift ideas Before the big day, remember to get a gift (or two or three). Perhaps something glittery or chocolaty? Or maybe she’s more in need of some pampered tranquility? But then again, there’s nothing like the touch of the soft and leathery (from a local designer, of course), not to mention the joy of having something creative and artsy. And how about flowers (who doesn’t love flowers?)? Although she just might prefer getting out of the “maison” for a classical concert at the Maison symphonique. 11 a.m.: Gourmet Brunch Mother’s Day brunch is a must. Make reservations at Laurie Raphaël or at Maison Boulud for a chic treat for the eyes and the taste buds. At Auberge Saint-Gabriel, take advantage of a savoury menu served in an enchanting setting. Zucchini and white chocolate muffins, poached eggs on eggplant “caponata” and asparagus with hollandaise: only the best for mom. Here are some other ideas for exotic, French, English, or typically… / Read More →

Brunch around the world in Montréal

Coming to Montréal soon? Then you might want to take part in Montrealers’ favourite weekend activity: going out for brunch. More than a meal, it’s a religion; think of it as the Québec version of the traditional Sunday family dinner. Whether your brunch is terroir, exotic, tucked away in a bakery or an old-world tea salon, here are some great spots to try, no matter what your fancy, Saturday and Sunday included. Do it like the French! The restaurant: Leméac The neighbourhood: Outremont The ambiance: Refined and chic, Leméac has been a much-loved Montreal institution since 2001. Enjoy a Parisian-style brasserie ambiance, retro décor and cuisine that serves bistro essentials. Heads-up: you need a reservation here. What to order: poached eggs, smoked salmon and Spanish caviar on blinis ($18) and French toast, caramelized bananas and chocolate sauce ($15) When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We also recommend: Chez Lévêque and Holder A great québécois classic The restaurant: Le Cartet The neighbourhood: Old Montréal The ambiance: A cross between fine food store and gourmet canteen, this is the go-to spot for professionals during the week; on the weekend it’s just as busy. With its long wood tables… / Read More →