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Posts by Robyn Fadden

Things to do in Montréal: June 17 to 23

The warm days and nights of Montréal’s festival season are upon us – hear a world of music for free downtown, in the Old Port and by the Lachine Canal, visit outdoor markets in happening neighbourhoods, see murals as they’re being painted, and as always, eat great food. Festivals for all From pop to hip hop, folk to rock, music from Québec, France, Belgium, Mali and more French-speaking countries lights up the stages of Les FrancoFolies to June 18 – catch free outdoor shows, events for kids, and more at Place des Festivals. See some of best street art  in the county at MURAL Festival, closing St-Laurent Boulevard to traffic from Sherbrooke to Mont Royal to June 19 for live painting, music and awesome parties – plus some fascinating talks with entrepreneurs and artists. You won’t go hungry on St-Laurent Boulevard either – not only do restaurant terraces stretch out into the road, but BBQ festival  Grill St-Laurent pairs with MURAL on June 17.Have a fun, family-friendly time at the Montréal Folk Festival on the Canal – it starts June 15 with indoor shows by John McEuen and more artists, including a tribute to the Grateful Dead on June 16, followed… / Read More →

A toe-tapping musical time at the Montréal Folk Fest

Expect sunshine and all kinds of live music, good food and happy people at the family-friendly Montréal Folk Festival on the Canal this year, June 15 to 19, from genre-spanning indoor shows to three days of free music at a picturesque outdoor venue. The 9th annual Montréal Folk Festival on the Canal starts June 15 with an opening gala with platinum recording artist John McEuen, a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and instrumental in preserving original and traditional folk and acoustic music – he’ll be singing those songs and more while deftly playing guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin. Check out the future of folk on Thursday night with artists Stefanie Parnell, Alexander Brown and Tamara Weber-Fillion. Friday night is all about letting loose and singing along at A Long, Strange Trip: les chansons de Grateful Dead with acclaimed local artists Joe Grass, Andrew Barr, Brad Barr, Steve Hill, Katie Moore, Li’l Andy and more – it’ll be nothing less than a party. The free outdoor entertainment happens Friday to Sunday on three stages next to the historic Lachine Canal, not far from the Atwater Market and the neighbourhood of St-Henri. With a community-centred vibe and French and English artists from… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 10 to 16

Fast cars, fun parties, great music, excellent food: it’s June in Montréal, that’s for sure. Music festivals dominate the entertainment field this week, from French pop to classical Baroque, loudly rivalled by F1 Grand Prix events plus a beer festival, a science fest, a celebration of street art, and more. Start your engines Fast, flashy and over the top, the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada returns this weekend with a race at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve near Parc Jean-Drapeau, plus meet-ups with star drivers, outdoor entertainment and too many parties to count in downtown Montréal. The biggest parties happen outdoors: at the Crescent Street Canadian Grand Prix Festival, the Peel Formula event a couple of blocks over, F1 Old Montréal activities and  Little Italy Racing Weekend celebrations, late-night electro dance parties at New City Gas  and more – cars, drivers, beautiful people, music, food and drink, what else could an F1 fan ask for? Outdoor entertainment for all ages All those outdoor stages at Place des Festivals downtown light up with new and legendary music stars from Québec, France, Belgium, Mali and other French-speaking countries for the Les FrancoFolies festival, ongoing to June 18 – plus there’s food and drink,… / Read More →

Your 2016 Montréal Formula 1 Grand Prix survival guide

With hundreds of thousands of elite racing fans about to converge on Montréal’s fast-approaching Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, many of them jockeying for the best possible position to have the best possible time, we thought we’d give you a bit of a head start. Consider this your Grand Prix Survival Guide. EVENT Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, June 10-12, 2016 OFFICIAL HASH TAGS #CanadianGP and #GPCanada LOCATION Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve at Parc Jean-Drapeau with more events downtown CIRCUIT MAP: Shows locations of restaurants, wheelchair platforms, pedestrian walkways and giant TV screens, among many other useful locations. Click here. 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… / Read More →

Your Montréal MURAL festival survival guide

EVENT MURAL international public art festival, 4th edition, June 9 to 19, 2016 OFFICIAL SOCIAL @MURALfestival, muralfestival, MuralMTL #muralfestival LOCATION On Saint-Laurent Boulevard and nearby streets and galleries, from the Quartier des spectacles downtown to Mile End HOW TO GET THERE The main festival site on “The Main” is easily accessed by bus and metro, bike and BIXI, or on foot – parking is at a premium in the area. Nearest metro stations: Sherbrooke and Saint-Laurent. Buses: 55 (St-Laurent) and 80 (Parc). WHAT TO BRING An eye for artistry and the patience to watch it unfold before you, a camera and/or smartphone to get pics of MURAL artists in action WHAT NOT TO BRING Outside alcohol, the idea that “street art” isn’t “real art” WHAT TO WEAR During the day, your favourite summer wear plus more to shield you from the changing weather: sunglasses, sunscreen, a brimmed hat, an umbrella or a jacket just in case. At night, it’s a casually cool party zone, so anything goes. MURAL FEST FACTS The largest gathering of urban art in North America 20 new murals to be created this year, bringing MURAL’s grand total of major art works to 60+ – this year’s… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 3 to 9

The start of June in Montréal means the streets and parks are officially filled with festival music and performances of all kinds – plus a city-wide family-friendly bike ride this weekend –  while public urban gardens bloom and chefs serve up dishes fit for hot days. Outdoor entertainment Walk the length of Sainte-Catherine Street from designer and brand name retail shopping downtown all the way to the redesigned Jardins Gamelin near Berri-UQAM metro station in the Quartier des Spectacles, where food, drink and entertainment awaits – on June 6, hear the Montréal Gospel Choir sing at 7 pm. Walk a little further and you’ll find yourself under a pink canopy in the Gay Village. The Montréal Botanical Garden is in full bloom this week – walk its paths to discover a variety of indigenous, foreign and rare plants, flowers and trees. The annual Mont-Royal Avenue street fair, June 2-5 in the Plateau neighbourhood, closes part of bustling Mont-Royal Avenue to traffic and fills the street with music, art, food, pop-up shopping, mini golf, a giant slide and more. Dance and lounge to electronic music, with food and drink in hand, at MUTEK’s outdoor stage at Place des Festivals – on… / Read More →

French music mania: Shows to see at Les FrancoFolies

The universal language of music gets a French twist at the 28th edition of Les FrancoFolies de Montréal, June 9-18 – and you don’t have to speak French to rock out, dance and even sing along with fans at these shows by artists from Montréal to Paris to North Africa. Orchestral heights Hot on the heels of cutting-edge art and music festivals MUTEK, ELEKTRA and TransAmériques, Les FrancoFolies give us something different too: The Montréal Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Leclerc, welcomes musician Arthur H and  Serge Gainsbourg’s muse and companion Jane Birkin in Gainsbourg Symphonique, a performance of the iconic French artist’s best known and loved songs, marking the 25th anniversary of Gainsbourg’s death. Charming Québécois artist Alexandre Désilets also brings an orchestra on stage for his mysterious new electro-pop show marking the release of album Windigo. And Juno award-winner Karim Ouellet adds musicians on acoustic guitars, brass and strings, boosting his soulful, quirky electro-pop further into joyous territory. Soulful singer-songwriters World music, trip hop and rock meet poetry and politics in the music of Emel Mathlouthi, a Tunisian singer-songwriter who sings her songs of peace and revolution in French, English and Arab and comes to Francofolies with a… / Read More →

Electronic wonders of the world at MUTEK and ELEKTRA

Two of Montréal’s most cutting-edge summer festivals, MUTEK and ELEKTRA, bring electronic music, high-tech creativity and experimental art from around the world to Montréal, June 1 to 5. This year marks the 17th edition for both festivals, with MUTEK’s roaster boasting over 100 musicians, producers and audiovisual artists – some in free outdoor shows – and ELEKTRA pulling out all the stops in digital multimedia performances and immersive art installations. Extraordinary A/V shows As part of citywide arts and culture event Digital Spring, both festivals boldly investigate our world’s digital tendencies through on-screen spectacles, intellectually considered artistry and long nights of underground techno. Audiovisual performances are one of the highlights at MUTEK: the A/Visions programs at the Salle Pierre-Mercure, feature immersive and astounding shows from Russian born, Berlin-based artists Dasha Rush & Stanislav Glasov, UK producer Paul Jebanasam, French musician Franck Vigroux and Belgian artist Kurt D’haeseleer, among many other talents. ELEKTRA joins the International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN) to presents its major multimedia exhibition AUTOMATA at Arsenal Contemporary Art gallery, under the tagline “art made by machines for machines,” while robotic performance Inferno, a theatrical music and light show of intense emotion and distortion called Blink, Bleu Remix a… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 27 to June 2

Music and performance festivals, a ticket-free Museums Day, fascinating outdoor entertainment, world-class opera and dance, glorious urban gardens and fabulous food make this week another uniquely Montréal way to celebrate spring. Fresh air Art, music and more entertainment fills the streets this week, from the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire projected on the walls, trees and alleyways of Old Montréal and the Old Port. The annual Mont-Royal Avenue street fair, June 2-5 in the Plateau neighbourhood, closes part of bustling Mont-Royal Avenue to traffic and fills the street with music, art, food, pop-up shopping, mini golf, a giant slide and more. There’s also plenty to see, eat and do downtown at the redesigned Jardins Gamelin near Berri-UQAM metro station. Over 80 exhibitors show off their green thumbs, plants and garden accessories at the 19th Great Gardening Weekend, May 27 to 29 at the Montréal Botanical Garden. Celebrate the 140th anniversary of Mount Royal Park at the dance night on Mount Royal event, with traditional folk dancing and an electro-trad performance on Saturday, May 28 outside Beaver Lake Pavilion. Outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles, as part of Festival TransAmériques, Montréal-based artist 2Fik reconstructs the… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 20 to 26

Outdoor life in Montréal heats up this week with the arrival of festivals and more activities – many of them free! – from multimedia projections on Old Montréal buildings to urban art by the river and live music and dance downtown. Sunny days, bright nights A new urban multimedia experience awaits visitors in Old Montréal and the Old Port: the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire are projected on the walls, in the alleys, on the ground and in the trees of the historic quarter, featuring images, dialogue and music that reveal some of the city’s most fascinating history. Also in the Old Port, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music rocks under the high ceilings of Hangar 16, May 20-22, with free art exhibitions, interactive installations and live music during the day – the space transforms into a club at night. Under the big top nearby, Cirque du Soleil’s newest artistic and acrobatic LUZIA, inspired by the culture of Mexico, thrills to July 17. In Griffintown/Little Burgundy, one-of-a-kind creative business event C2 Montréal takes over the Arsenal gallery space May 24-26. Over in the Quartier des Spectacles, go on a guided walking tour of public… / Read More →