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Posts by Robyn Fadden

Things to do in Montréal: July 8 to 14

As always, July in Montréal means innumerable things to do: amazing shows at the Jazz Fest, Cirque Festival and in parks throughout the city; a Saturday night of fireworks; a family-friendly weekend of global culture activities and music; films new and old; and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. Jazz Fest fun The Montréal International Jazz Festival takes over the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montréal with hundreds of outdoor and indoor shows, numerous food and drink options, a kids’ activity zone and more to July 9 – let our Survival Guide to the Jazz Fest and our list of must-see concerts lead the way through the fest’s packed program. This weekend’s music includes the Swedish indie-pop of Peter Bjorn and John, The Wainwright Sisters, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a Women of Soul tribute concert, brilliant NYC pianist Aaron Parks and his trio, and dozens of amazing free shows. On top of all that, take a jazz-focused tour on foot or by boat during the festival, including a walking tour on the city’s history of jazz from the 1920s to present day, July 9-10 starting at noon. See even more of the city sights… / Read More →

MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL Survival Guide 2016

MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL features circus shows in all shapes and sizes – some for families, some for late-night thrill seekers – but no matter what, 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 The 7th edition of MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL, July 7–17, 2016 Official Social Media @mtlccirque #mccirque Location Various locations, including TOHU, one of the world’s largest circus arts centres, and Place Émilie-Gamelin and St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles downtown, plus neighbourhood shows city-wide. How to Get There For downtown outdoor venues, take the metro to Berri-UQAM, or Place d’Armes for Old Montréal. For TOHU, located at 2345 Jarry East (above Highway 40 east of Papineau Avenue), take the metro’s blue line to Iberville station and bus 94 north or the metro’s 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… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: July 1 to 7

Music and more at Jazz Fest The Montréal International Jazz Festival takes over the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montréal with hundreds of outdoor and indoor shows, numerous food and drink options, a kids’ activity zone and more to July 9 – let our Survival Guide to the Jazz Fest and our list of must-see concerts lead the way through the fest’s packed program. This week’s music spans from legends Taj Mahal, Brian Wilson, Kool & The Gang and Oliver Jones to Rufus Wainwright’s operatic show, the incomparable Lauryn Hill, folk hero Ian Kelly,  Jireh Gospel Choir, blues guitarist David Gogo, Jamie Cullum, Orlando Julius & The Afrosoundz, Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and so many more. On top of all that, take a jazz-focused tour on foot or by boat during the festival, including a walking tour on the city’s history of jazz from the 1920s to present day, July 1-3 and 9-10 starting at noon. See even more of the city sights on a guided tour, public art tours and guided bike tours. For the full Montréal festivals scoop, see our 2016 summer festival guide and list of summer music festivals. Bright and beautiful Celebrate Canada Day on July 1… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 24 to 30

The city heats up with a bang at the massive Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations this Friday and Saturday, keeps sizzling with great food and drink at outdoor markets everywhere, and stays hot as the Montréal International Jazz Festival opens on Thursday. Outdoor celebrations The whole city celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, also known as Fête National, on June 24 – and on June 23 too! Find live music, food and general festivities at Place des Festivals, Jardins Gamelin and along St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles, at the Olympic Park and in every neighbourhood including at the Marché des Possibles in Mile End – plus the annual parade along Sainte-Catherine Street downtown starting at 1 pm on June 24. In the Old Port of Montréal, ride the zipline, climb on the rope structures of Voiles en Voiles, and find your way through the SOS Labyrinthe. At the foot of the Jacques-Cartier bridge you’ll find Marché du Village au Pied-du-Courant, featuring free music events, an outdoor bar, food trucks and more all summer. The Botanical Garden continues its outdoor arts series with live music on the weekend, this Sunday with Ingrid St-Pierre. When night falls in Old Montréal, the building’s facades light up with the 20… / Read More →

Fun with kids this summer in Montréal

There’s so much to do with kids in Montréal all summer, from festival shows to outdoor swimming. We break it all down into things that are fun – and often free! – for the whole family and things for toddlers and pre-schoolers, kids in elementary school, and pre-teens and teens. Fun for the whole family Hours of entertainment await at Montréal’s summer festivals, many with activities made just for kids – see our 2016 summer festival guide and guide to summer music festivals for the full list, and note that the Montréal International Jazz Festival and Just For Laughs both feature big play areas and games for kids, while circus festival MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE wows indoors and out July 7-17. Downtown in the Quartier des Spectacles, interactive musical 21 Swings returns August 8, and every Sunday is family Sunday at the Jardins Gamelin with workshops, kids’ karaoke and more. In the Old Port of Montréal, the huge SOS Labyrinthe awaits unravelling and the Voiles en Voiles obstacle courses set on high-seas sailing ships lets everyone become a pirate for a day. The 41st annual Carifiesta parade is a must-see on July 2 for it’s colourful floats and music along Ste-Catherine Street. Family activities… / Read More →

Free things to do in Montréal this summer

One of the best things about Montréal in summer is how easy it is to happen upon free concerts by major music stars, see a high-wire circus act in a park, find games for kids in a downtown square or fireworks shows in the night sky. Festival freedom in June Montréal’s many festivals almost always have a free component. First: we’ve made both a 2016 summer festival guide and a guide to summer music festivals to help navigate all that’s going on. Second: Here’s a look at some of the free stuff. Just before summer’s official start, two festivals give us free, family-friendly concerts by local and visiting musicians: Les FrancoFolies festival of French-language music on several stages at Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles until June 18, and the Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal, outdoors in the sun by the Lachine Canal and Atwater Market, June 15-19. The Montréal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival brings free theatre and live music into its eclectic mix at Fringe Park (corner of St-Laurent and Rachel) to June 19. And there’s free art to be seen and music to be heard at MURAL Festival’s final weekend, June 18-19. In Old Montréal, the Montréal Baroque Festival takes us… / Read More →

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 →