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Posts by Robyn Fadden


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 →

Summer Theatre Mania at the Montréal Fringe Festival

Consistently one of the city’s most high-energy festivals, the St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival, June 1-21, is even more audacious and delightful this year as the indie-theatre fest celebrates its 25th anniversary. We talked to Fringe Festival Executive and Artistic Director Amy Blackmore to get the inside scoop on how to do the Fringe right. “You can travel all over the world and go to Fringe festivals,” says Blackmore, “but what makes me continuously fall in love with the Montréal Fringe is that it’s a reflection of Montréal’s diverse culture: the Fringe is a multilingual mixed bag of independent theatre, dance, music, visual art and family activities – and it’s all super affordable and all in just 21 days.” With several hundred performances by over 500 artists from Québec, the rest of Canada and around the world, the Fringe might seem daunting on the surface, but Blackmore asserts that it’s incredibly accessible. “The Fringe is one of the main ways the broader Montréal community connects to theatre – and one of the reasons why is that it’s easy,” she says. “There are so many different kinds of shows to pick from and they’re only 45 min. to an hour long and… / Read More →

Pop Goes the French Music World at Les FrancoFolies

The wide world of the French language comes to Montréal this summer for Les FrancoFolies de Montréal, with over 70 indoor concerts and 180 free outdoor shows, June 11-20. Hot on the heels of the electronic music festival Mutek and the theatre of the Festival TransAmériques, the 27th edition of Les FrancoFolies keeps the Quartier des spectacles lively with music of all kinds, from pop to hip hop. A festival-season must, Les FrancoFolies opens its indoor concert series with the smooth, sultry voice of chanteuse Isabelle Boulay as she follows up on last year’s sold-out shows with an all-new tribute concert to Serge Reggiani, and stars in their own right, Dumas and Fanny Bloom, transport listeners with dreamy, beat-heavy pop. Meanwhile, free outdoor shows for the whole family start mid-day and light up the night throughout the festival. Fans of rap and hip hop need to check out Québécois heavyweights Kasper, Saye and Souldia, French legends JoeyStarr & Nathy (Tüco), Kinshasa-born French star Youssoupha, and the rapid-fire rap-inspired wordplay of indie-pop collective Fauve, who have made a name for themselves as a politicized voice of French youth culture. Just as passionate yet from another era and style, the life and… / Read More →

Innovative Electronic Music and Art at Mutek 2015

Body, mind and music meet at Mutek once again, as the festival encapsulates the heart of innovative electronic music and high-tech visual art in its 16th edition, May 27 to 31 in Montréal, featuring a roster of internationally-known big names and emerging artists ready to set urban stages, screens and dance floors on figurative fire. With a well-earned reputation as one of the best live-performance electronic music and arts festivals in the world, Mutek 2015 continues the festival’s focus on true originality, impressive real-time experiences and creating an inclusive festival environment where artists and audiences easily mingle. A key player in the city-wide Digital Spring arts and cultural program, Mutek this year features over 100 artists and several world, North American and Canadian premieres, with both paid and totally free shows held at the chic Musée d’art contemporain, outside in the sun at Place des Arts and at top music venue Métropolis. Fans of electronic visual art with a music-minded bent flock to Mutek’s immersive A/Visions evening series, though late-night Nocturnes and Métropolis club events almost always sport jaw-dropping visuals too. Daytime events in the outdoor Experience program groove to accessible beats for both fans and passers-by, while the free-entry… / Read More →

Six Provocative Shows to See at Festival TransAmériques

Now in its 9th year, Festival TransAmériques (FTA), May 21 to June 4, continues to meticulously curate a stellar cutting-edge program of dance, theatre and performance art from around the world – this year we’ll see 25 thought-provoking shows from Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, France, Belgium, Portugal, The Netherlands, Israel and South Korea, as well as party nights, cocktail hours, film screenings and workshops. With festival ticket packages and more events in the city’s Quartier des spectacles this spring, any one of these FTA picks makes a unique cornerstone to the Montréal arts-and-culture experience. For unconventional Korean choreographer Eun-Me Ahn, age ain’t nothing but a number – her celebratory show, Dancing Grandmothers, features 12 older women from all walks of life dancing to techno and 1960s pop alongside nine acrobatic young dancers. The colourful, kitschy show is both larger than life and true to it, bringing together generations through shared memories and heartfelt connections. (New York artist Miguel Gutierrez also plays with the passage of years in his Age and Beauty, making its Canadian premier at Festival TransAmériques.) Radical German director Michael Thalheimer and the Schaubühne Theatre of Berlin take on Molière’s Tartuffe, reinterpreting the classic comedy of hypocrisy… / Read More →

Things to Do with Kids this Spring and Summer in Montréal

With so much going on in Montréal during the warm-weather months, it’s easy to experience the best of the city through the eyes of children – free outdoor activities, indoor entertainment and much more keep everyone amused. Parks and Rec Run and play in Mount Royal Park mere minutes away from downtown, featuring children’s playgrounds and wading pools, picnic grounds, walking and cycling trails, paddle boat rentals at Lac aux Castors and an incredible view of the city and beyond from the top of the mountain. A short Métro ride from downtown, Parc Jean-Drapeau boasts a huge amount of green space, an outdoor pool, a lake and sandy beach, the Biosphere ecological museum, a view of the city, flower gardens, and summer events such as July’s Week-ends du Monde. Next to the Parc Jean-Drapeau is Six Flags’ La Ronde, open all summer long, with plenty of rides just for kids and families – in July, kids who can stay up a little later will love the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Find the best swing set in the city in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles: the 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) art installation and instrument… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal April 9 to 15

As winter winds turn to balmy breezes, Montréal becomes the perfect place at the perfect time to spend a few hours exploring on foot and swinging (on art) outdoors as well as getting cozy inside with world-class dance, theatre, comedy and live music. Swing into Spring It’s easy to make your own music in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles this spring as the 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) art installation returns April 14 to May 31. The swings all make musical sounds – piano, guitar, harp or vibraphone – that create melodies as more and more people stop to swing along Promenade des Artistes (between De Maisonneuve Blvd. and President-Kennedy Ave.). More art that captures the city’s unique spirit from historical past to present can be found at several of Montréal’s museums and at the New Discoveries and Other Obsessions exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain, curated by the museum’s new director John Zeppetelli. Show time! Some of the best classical and modern ballet in the world graces the stage as Les Grands Ballets presents the Eifman Ballet in acclaimed Russian choreographer Boris Eifman’s passionate and psychologically complex Anna Karenina. With hockey playoffs just around the corner, catch the on-ice drama… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal April 2 to 8

The Easter long weekend in Montréal hints at the abundant spring to come – indulgence, playfulness, nature and creativity colour the many activities on hand this week in the city. Eat to your heart’s content at brunch or a sugar shack, relax with fine art and music, and find entertainment on stage and screen or in your own late-night dance moves. Easter treats Add some more Easter weekend ideas to your itinerary, whether you’re into egg hunting with the kids, visiting an historic church for Easter Sunday service, brunching with buds or partying with Montréalers. (Of course, whatever you’re doing, there’s always time for some high-quality, locally-made Easter chocolate.) In seasonal sports, the Canadiens play their second-to-last regular season NHL game at the Bell Centre, taking on the Washington Capitals on April 2 (the Habs go up against the Red Wings on April 9.) Meanwhile, baseball makes a comeback in Montréal this weekend too as the Toronto Blue Jays face off against the Cincinnati Reds in exhibition games at Olympic Stadium April 3 and 4. And for Easter Sunday party people, Bal en Blanc has become tradition, with thousands of revellers dressed all in white and dancing all night and… / Read More →

A guide to Montréal’s must-see neighbourhoods: Part 1

Every enclave of Montréal has its glittering highlights and its open secrets – in Part 1 of our guide, we look at Old Montréal, Griffintown, Little Burgundy, Saint-Henri and Verdun – from restaurants to historical sites, shopping to outdoor adventure, each of the city’s neighbourhoods has something unique to offer. Old Montréal Vieux-Montréal represents the city’s historical heart, yet boasts plenty of modern flare, especially among its boutique hotels and creative eateries. Tread the cobblestone streets past centuries-old architecture to visit museums, cathedrals and art galleries, walk along the Port of Montréal on the St. Lawrence River, dine at heavenly restaurants and charming cafes, relax at a bar or a luxurious spa, go shopping for high-fashion by local and international designers, or wonderfully kitschy souvenirs, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and see live music and more on the bustling streets. Griffintown In the past few years, some of the city’s hottest restaurants, bars and art galleries have popped up in Griffintown, just south of downtown, joining antique shops and historical sites to heighten the profile of the growing neighbourhood. On the foodie front, breweries and cafés rub shoulders with fine dining and cocktail lounges. One of the city’s larger commercial gallery spaces,… / Read More →