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Posts by Robyn Fadden

Things to do in Montréal: October 9 to 15

The sun still shines and the leaves turn bright orange and red in Montréal this week as the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, a Great Pumpkin Ball, hockey season, live music and much more keeps us warm indoors and out. New worlds in new films The 44th Festival du Nouveau Cinéma screens hundreds of fabulous Québécois, Canadian and international films October 7 to 18 – join the jovial crowds of film lovers to see much-awaited new work by Guy Maddin, Atom Egoyan, Jaco Van Dormael, Paolo Sorrentino, Wim Wenders, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, Jia Zhangke, Laurie Anderson, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and more, including Les P’tits Loups, a whole program of films and activities just for kids, interactive sound and food experience Food Sessions, and several late-night parties and performances – consult our FNC film picks and see the official Festival du Nouveau Cinéma site for more details. See the Common Space? project’s innovative multimedia art and film outdoors in the Quartier des Spectacles every night October 1 to 18. And see mind-blowing 360° image and sound immersive experience Versus by French/Japanese duo Nonotak, at the SAT dome to October 30. Fun for all ages Enjoy the natural beauty of autumn… / Read More →

New films to see at Festival du Nouveau Cinéma

Almost 400 new films from around the world light up Montréal screens this October 7 to 18 at cutting-edge Festival du Nouveau Cinéma. Now in its 44th edition, the film festival is a must for fans of international cinema that challenges the mainstream – on top of that, FNC features films just for kids, live music, and several stellar parties. Festival du Nouveau Cinéma rolls out the red carpet on opening night for Jaco Van Dormael’s comedy The Brand New Testament, which sees God living in an apartment in Brussels and his young daughter rebelling with six apostles against his fire-and-brimstone ways. The festival closes with Canadian director Guy Maddin’s mysterious and dreamily atmospheric The Forbidden Room, a film experiment made in part at Montréal’s Phi Centre and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Several long-awaited films have fans buying their tickets early. Taiwanese director Hsiao-Hsien Hou won best director at Cannes this year for The Assassin, an artistic martial arts film set in 9th century China. Chinese director Jia Zhangke follows up his brilliant cultural and emotional examination A Touch of Sin with Mountains May Depart, spanning the life of an affluent young man as he grows up in… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: October 2 to 8

Montréal welcomes fall with invitingly crisp weather and a packed cultural season: this week sample the gourmet goods of the city’s food trucks, watch the world’s newest films at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, wonder at the National Ballet of Canada, see multimedia art outdoors, hear dozens of live bands, and more. Urban culture Eat well and often at Montréal’s First Fridays, a.k.a. Les Premiers Vendredis – the last food truck rally of the season! The family-friendly food and entertainment event happens October 2 at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Stadium, from 4 pm to 11 pm. Nearby at the Insectarium at Space for Life see the high-tech Bearers of Light exhibition and take an evening walk through the Botanical Garden’s Gardens of Light event, illuminating the Chinese and Japanese gardens with dozens of lanterns and light art. Downtown, make music as you swing on the colourful 21 Swings interactive art (and exercise) installation at Place des Festivals on de Maisonneuve Avenue, to October 28. Also in the Quartier des Spectacles, at the SAT dive into Québécois French culture and literature at Le Buvard event on October 7 and try the gourmet FoodLab’s Autumn Tasting Menu on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 25 to October 1

As the leaves begin to change, the music, theatre, dance and art of Montréal’s fall cultural season entertains and inspires – plus city-wide Journées de la Culture events, KidCon and the Instagram Relay give non-artists of all ages a chance to create, take winning snapshots, learn some fancy footwork and sing along. Cultural days & nights Enjoy three days of free arts and culture during Journées de la Culture, September 25-27 at galleries, museums, cultural centres and dozens more venues – use the Journées website to pinpoint your interests, areas of town to explore and what time of day to go – an easy way to discover Montréal’s creative sector. Become a cultural producer yourself, whether you’re a budding photographer or an Instagram star: on September 27 celebrate United Nations World Tourism Day with the world’s first Instagram Relay on 25 global interactive screens at Square St-Louis starting at 11 am. And find the latest in popular culture for kids all in one place at KidCon, a new fan convention created just for kids and featuring a screening of the Frozen Sing-Along Edition movie, performances by TV characters, video and board games, inflatable rides and much more, September 26-27 at… / Read More →

Indoor family activities in Montréal

No matter what the weather – but especially in winter – indoor activities are a must for kids and adults alike. Montréal’s many inside attractions, games, sports and skill-testing challenges keep families active and having fun together year round. The glow-in-the-dark mini-golf at Putting Edge proves you don’t need chipping skills or even green grass to play golf. Walk off Sainte-Catherine Street downtown and right into the colourful, musical 18-hole course – a journey through oceans, forests and jungles, each with its own challenges. Have more high-energy fun in the dark at downtown’s Laser Quest, where hide-and-seek turns into a laser lit game of hit-or-miss. Play together at the Montréal Forum’s bowling alley, games centre and billiards room – and when everyone’s tired out, catch a film at the Forum Cinema multiplex. Engage older kids (13 and up) with mind games as you work together to get out of tricky A/maze Montréal scenarios: three reality-based tests of survival and problem solving – Prison Break, Mad Scientists and Lost Temple stories – challenge each team to come up with their own solutions in a white-knuckle countdown situation. No matter what their age, kids will be wowed by the wonders of the… / Read More →

Extreme Films, Extreme Parties at iF3 International Freeski Film Festival

It’s never too early to prepare yourself for ski and snowboard season, so says the iF3 International Freeski Film Festival, September 24-26. iF3 gets our minds ready first with films about famed mountains, pro and amateur freeski athletes and filmmakers, and the deepest of deep powder – plus parties raucous enough to match. Unlike traditional skiing, freeskiing makes tricks and jumps a must, using snowboard park rails, pipes and other obstacles or playing with the hurdles nature provides. As expected, that makes for some seriously awe-inspiring visuals. The 9th annual iF3 takes us on a wild trip around the world, screenings films set in Canadian and U.S. mountain ranges, the Swiss Alps and beyond. The International Freeski Film Festival lives up to its international moniker by launching online on September 24, with free films webcast all afternoon on, including Finnish film Brain Massage shot in Italy, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Russia; Swedish ski-lifestyle movie Bon Vivant; Canadian film Ski the North, a sequel to last year’s award-winner Meanwhile in Canada, and more. See filmmakers and athletes take the stage at Thursday night’s Awards ceremony at the plush Imperial Cinema, where the next night the fest’s first screening is… / Read More →

See affordable shows on Montréal stages

The curtain goes up and the theatre, dance, circus or comedy show unfolds, its live tension palpable, often unique and unforgettable. In Montréal, that memorable experience doesn’t have to break the bank – all year round, the city’s stages are filled with live shows at affordable prices (some of them are even free!) The city’s biggest and arguably most opulent show venue, Place des Arts, houses six large theatres and several more show spaces right downtown. With shows every night, there’s usually something for every budget. Find inexpensive balcony seats for under $25, as well as student and seniors pricing and matinée deals at the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal  (OSM) conducted by Kent Nagano, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Grands Ballets, Canadian premieres of Broadway productions, and internationally touring dance company shows presented by Danse Danse. Especially watch for shows at Cinquième Salle, which often hosts cutting-edge productions by celebrated choreographers and directors. While theatre in Montréal is often quite affordable as it is, watch for inexpensive shows at the Segal Centre and Centaur Theatre studio and second stages, as well as theatre at the city’s many Maisons de la culture, host to productions by both established and… / Read More →

Shop and eat local at POP Montréal’s Puces POP fair

Shopping and souvenirs might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think POP Montréal International Music Festival, but the city-wide fall festival’s Puces POP is one of the best places to find made-in-Montréal wares, from jewellery to baby clothes to baked goods. This year, Puces POP expands to fill a 14,000-foot loft space at 160 St-Viateur East, right in the heart of the ever-hip Mile End neighbourhood. From September 17 to 20, find 140 artists and artisans – including 65 new vendors – selling accessories, clothing, art, posters, baby’s and children’s ware, jewellery, body care, ceramics, food and housewares. Even if you’re ready to shop until you drop, POP Montréal comes to your rescue with a new Puces Lounge, a relaxing zone complete with a full bar – plus there’s food down every aisle, be it ready-to-eat chocolate and cookies or jams, pickled veg and hot sauce. Over those four days, Puces POP hosts an opening night party with a DJ providing ambiance and keeps the tunes going every day for a uniquely musical shopping experience. Find leather and cloth bags, wallets and belts from Marc Simard, Annoukis, Lajoie, Noujica, OUT and other great artisans. Prepare… / Read More →

Autumn Glows in Montréal with Gardens of Light and High-Tech Fireflies

As fall leaves turn and nights start earlier, Montréal gets brighter than ever, beginning on September 4 with the annual Gardens of Light display at the Botanical Garden. Putting on a light show of its own nearby, the Insectarium’s Bearers of Light exhibition lets loose hundreds of “fireflies.” In its 4th edition, Gardens of Light introduces hundreds of lanterns and lights to the Botanical Garden’s striking natural setting, just minutes away from downtown. Walk along tree-lined paths and plant-covered grounds of the Chinese and Japanese gardens to discover the fauna at night in the Botanical Garden, part of the country’s largest natural science museum complex, Space for Life, also home to the Biôdome, Insectarium and Planetarium. This year, the colourful hand-made lanterns of people and animals in the Chinese Garden tell a new a story – a compelling and festive myth about the Chinese New Year. While bright pandas climb trees and glowing boats float in the garden’s pond, a soft and subtle light display in the Japanese Garden conveys the beauty of the changing seasons, illuminating trees, waterfalls and stones. With so much to see and ground to cover, a visit to Gardens of Light can be a fun… / Read More →

Places to go dancing in Montréal

No matter what your taste in dance music, Montréal’s got you covered when it comes to shaking it off, breaking it down or getting your groove on. Dance in style to electro, hip hop, soul, top 40 and more any night of the week at the city’s best dance clubs. The big names in EDM show up at New City Gas, a converted factory that’s now a massive club for energetic party-goers. Nearby in Old Montréal, boutique-club Peopl. and subterranean lounge spot Velvet Speakeasy beckon with international and local DJs rubbing shoulders with the city’s beautiful people. And electronic and hip hop merge at one of the city’s newest and talked-about clubs, Newspeak, in downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles – dance to cutting-edge DJs, hip-hop artists, live indie-electro bands and more. Underground house, techno and dub in the style of the MUTEK music festival keep the grooves smooth and dancers happy at Le Bleury Bar à Vinyle, Salon Daomé in the Plateau on Mont-Royal Avenue and Datcha in Mile End. When last call at 3 a.m. just isn’t late enough and you’ve got plenty of dancing energy left, look no further than Stereo and Circus, two of the best world-class afterhours… / Read More →