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Posts by Robyn Fadden

Fun things to do with kids in Montréal

It’s August and whether we’re kids or adults, we’re all trying hard not to count down the last days of summer. Thankfully Montréal’s late summer and early fall festivals, live music, games, sports and more family-friendly activities make it easy to stay holiday-minded and carefree. Set butterflies free at the Monarch Odyssey this September, when monarch butterflies are labeled and released on their migratory journey south, and learn more about fireflies in the Bearers of Light exhibition at the Insectarium at Space for Life, also home to the Botanical Garden, Biôdome and Planetarium. And walk through the illuminated the Botanical Garden in September during the Gardens of Light event, a brilliant array of lanterns in the Chinese and Japanese gardens. More outdoor playtime is in store at Parc Exalto, an acrobatic park and obstacle course at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Park, and at the Old Port of Montréal where kids can ride a zip line, a French carousel, mini-train or boat, explore the huge SOS Labyrinthe, play video games at Game On or the Peur Dépôt live game or play at pirates at the Voiles en Voiles, obstacle courses set on high-seas sailing ships. Or become an… / Read More →

The loudest must-see shows at Heavy Montréal

The heavyweights of metal, rock and punk descend on Montréal as Heavy Montréal shakes Parc Jean-Drapeau August 7-9. The 7th edition of the festival once known as Heavy MTL may be its weightiest yet, with three days of music from over 60 bands. Where the August 1 weekend’s massive Osheaga festival teems with brightly-hued youthful enthusiasm, Heavy Montréal spans five decades of music and prefers to dress in black – at the same time, it’s more approachable than ever. With headliners such as spectacularly entertaining Slipknot, iconic Iggy Pop, 90s metal-fusion populists Korn and Faith No More, post-hardcore Alexisonfire and Heavy Montréal headliner veterans Lamb of God mainstaging as some of the most obvious must-see shows over the three days of the festival, several others carve niches of their own in the program. Die-hard metal fans all have their favourites in a music scene replete with sub-genres. Revered French metal band Gojira rallies the darkening crowds as Swedish extreme metal maniacs Meshuggah prove their continued might. Influential doom metalists Neurosis blow minds, British black metal originators Venom reboot as Venom Inc., founder of Norwegian black metal band Immortal, Olve Eikemo, returns solo as Abbath, while devotees of black metal underground… / Read More →

Anime, Manga and Games Come Alive at Otakuthon

Anime fans – many brightly and elaborately dressed as their favourite characters – come out to play at Otakuthon at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, August 7-9. The second-biggest convention of its kind in Canada, Otakuthon celebrates the storytelling and artistry of classic and brand-new Japanese anime, manga and games. Similar to July’s Montréal Comiccon, Otakuthon’s 10th edition features an exhibition space full of colourful merchandise and artwork, a roster of talent ready to meet fans, and a series of panels and workshops by artists and other experts. Yet Otakuthon’s abundance of upbeat energy really comes from the fans: thousands arrive in costumes far more detailed than you’ll see at any Halloween party. Known as cosplay (costume + playing), it’s an essential part of the weekend – a way to try on anime life, make new friends, participate in activities and show off all the work that goes into making a costume. See the best costumes all in one place on stage at the evening Masquerade event, August 8. Along with all the incredible costumes, based on everything from mainstream Sailor Moon to much lesser-known anime, Otakuthon adds live performances: this year see Japanese rock bands Angela and Flow,… / Read More →

Fun with Kids this Summer in Montréal

It’s summer and the kids must play – Montréal keeps kids happy, entertained and active all day and into the night with festivals, music, games, swimming, sports and more throughout July and August. Many of the city’s famed festivals not only welcome families but feature outdoor shows and activities made just for kids. Step into the Place de la Famille kids zone at Just For Laughs at Place des Festivals, full of amusement park rides and games, laughter workshops and performances, open afternoons and evenings July 11-25, while street buskers amuse us at every turn and the Twins Parade on July 18 delights with wild costumes and music. Hot air balloons may be the heart of the International de montgolfières de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, but the festival also boasts a variety of kid-focused activities and performances, August 8-16. With more activities than ever, it’s easy to spend a day or two in the Old Port of Montréal: from a sky-high zipline ride to an authentic French carousel, mini-train adventures to a Bateau-Mouche boat ride on the river, the SOS Labyrinthe‘s biggest indoor maze in the world and the skill-testing, all-ages Peur Dépôt live game. Kids can play pirates for hours at Voiles… / Read More →

Non-Stop Action, Amazing Animation and Rare Films at Fantasia

The Fantasia International Film Festival, now in its 19th edition, has earned itself a world-wide reputation for bringing the most bizarre, bloody and rare action, horror and animation films to Montréal every summer – but the fest also peddles in comedy, B-movies and even the occasional sentimental stand-out for the faint of heart. Whether you’re a seasoned film fan or just want to see a seriously memorable movie, the 2015 edition of Fantasia, July 14 to August 4, lives up to the challenge: choose among 135 feature films and 300 shorts from around the world. High-budget explosive action movies from Hong Kong, Japan, China and South Korea (see Choi Dong-hoon’s Assassination, Kung Fu Killer, Golden Cane Warrior, Robbery and more) rub shoulders with shoestring features from Uganda (Who Killed Captain Alex?), wild comedies (like iPhone-filmed Tangerine) and documentaries (from the emotionally complex inspiration Thor to karate-master unveiling The Real Miyagi). Animation films many years in the making (see Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan, which is this year’s official closing film, opening film Miss Hokusai, On the White Planet and Teana: 10,000 Years Later) screen alongside new sensations such as horror-comedies Cooties (starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson) and SXSW official… / Read More →

More New Music – and a Party Boat! – at MEG Montréal

Dive right into Montreal’s hip hop, electro and indie-rock music scenes this July at MEG Montréal. The 17th edition of the Montréal Electronic Groove summer music festival keeps the beat alive July 23 to August 2, at venues along St-Laurent Boulevard, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat. MEG’s first weekend proves why Thursdays are the new Fridays, starting off the fest on July 23 with synth-addled indie-rock and electronic experiments by Dear Criminals, Secret Secret Girl and Doldrums at La Sala Rossa and an unmissable night of heavy dance music by Fool’s Gold collaborator High Klassifed, electro-dreamscaper J.u.D. and hip-hop remixer Dave Luxe at Le Belmont. Friday lives up to the Friday-night hype with hypnotic psych-rock beats from Fragile Feet, About:, Human Human and Syzzors at Divan Orange as multi-DJ group Melt Mtl, jazz-influenced producer Robert Robert and genre-blending French producer Fakear shake the dance floor at Le Belmont. Saturday night’s alright on land and at sea as the MEG Boat cruises at party speed along the St-Laurent River with hours of dance music from French house producers Darius and Myd, Belgium’s DJ Slow and local Fonkyson, while Ragers and Wasiu mix underground electronic with hip hop… / Read More →

Where to Watch Films Outdoors This Summer in Montréal

While summer festivals keep Montréal buzzing non-stop with music and laughter, outdoor film screenings provide a short breather, whether right downtown or in a neighbourhood park – and all for free! Bring a cushion or a picnic blanket and settle in under the stars for a movie-going experience like no other. Just For Laughs has picked two Hollywood comedies to add to their impressive roster of stand-up stars this July: see Tim Burton’s beloved Beetlejuice on July 13 and Mike Meyers spy sendup Austin Powers on July 22 at 9 pm at Place des Festivals. See the city in yet another light every Tuesday at 9 pm as the Quartier des spectacles hosts Downtown Screenings Under the Stars at Place de la Paix: Pop Montréal programs a 16 mm screening of 1980 Québec comedy Pinball Summer a.k.a. Pick-Up Summer on July 7 and Fantasia International Film Festival picks The Incredible Adventure of Jojo (And His Annoying Little Sister Avila) on July 21, while the Montréal First Peoples Festival presents Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary Kanehsatake, 270 ans de résistance on August 4 and Festival International du Film sur l’Art screens Entre ciel et terre, quand le Hip-Hop devient art on August 25…. / Read More →

Montréal Ignites with Summer Festival Fun

Sunny days, high-energy nights and strikingly illuminated festival stages make the summer season bright in Montréal. The city ignites with a sparkling line-up of entertainment in July and August – get ready to laugh, dance, groove and be dazzled at these big festivals and more this summer. The one-and-only Montréal International Jazz Festival officially ignites the height of summer festival season June 26-July 5. Incredible talent graces historic night clubs and Place des Arts stages while downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles bustles with unmissable free outdoor shows, including the grand finale on July 5: a stylish, bluesy tribute to the late, great B.B. King. More music lights up the town as Festival International Nuits d’Afrique welcomes traditional and ground-breaking musicians from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and right here at home, July 7-19. Discover your new favourite indie, electronic and hip hop artists at MEG Montréal, July 23-August 2, and take a ride on the late-night MEG party boat. Osheaga Music and Arts Festival crams the biggest names and the brightest emerging artists in indie-pop, rock, hip hop and electronic music into three amazing days on Île Sainte-Hélène, July 31-August 2 – this year see Florence + The Machine, Kendrick Lamar,… / Read More →


Circus shows come in all shapes and sizes at the 6th edition of MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE – Expect to be amazed and delighted by international and local performers doing what they do best in a city known to push the limits of circus. EVENT MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, July 2–12, 2015. OFFICIAL TWITTER & HASH TAG @mtlccirque #mccirque LOCATION Various locations, including Place Émilie-Gamelin in the Quartier des spectacles downtown and one of the world’s largest circus arts centres, La Tohu. HOW TO GET THERE For downtown show venues, take the Métro to Place-des-Arts (Green Line) or Berri-UQAM (Orange, Green, Yellow Lines), and walk along Sainte-Catherine Street. For La Tohu, located at 2345 Jarry East (north of Highway 40 and east of Papineau Avenue), take the Métro Blue Line to Iberville station and bus 94 North, or the Métro Orange Line to Jarry station and bus 193 East. If driving, pay parking is available on site. WHAT TO BRING A sense of humour to go with your sense of adventure. WHAT NOT TO BRING A fear of clowns. WHAT TO WEAR Sunglasses, sunscreen and silly hats for daytime outdoor shows. Casual chic for indoor shows – It may be the circus,… / Read More →

Montréal Formula 1 Grand Prix Survival Guide

The Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada roars into town this weekend with a high-octane program of activities and events, on and off-the track. To help you make the most of this annual adrenaline-fest, we’ve put together an F1 survival guide to give you the inside track on all the hottest happenings. EVENT Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, June 4-7, 2015 OFFICIAL HASH TAGS #CanadianGP & #GPCanada LOCATION Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve at Parc Jean-Drapeau with more events downtown HOW TO GET THERE Since on-site parking is extremely limited, take the metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau station on the yellow line, a few minutes from downtown’s Berri-UQAM station – from there, take a bus or walk across the Concorde Bridge for grandstands 1, 2, 11, 12 and 31 or the Cosmos Bridge for grandstands 21, 15, 24, 33, 34 and the Popular Grandstand. Or bike along the Lachine Canal bike path from Old Montréal and across the Concorde Bridge. WHAT TO BRING Binoculars, camera, earplugs, portable radio to listen to Radio Grand Prix 99.1 FM or 104.5 FM, small cooler that can fit under your seat WHAT NOT TO BRING Chairs or stools, glass containers, barbecues WHAT TO WEAR Sunscreen and a… / Read More →