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Posts by Robyn Fadden

Where to hear live music in Montréal

Every band might say it in every city, but in Montréal it’s true: we’ve got the best audiences, not just on Friday and Saturday nights but every night of the week. Going to a live music show here is a glimpse at life as a Montrealer: enthusiastic applause, appreciative hooting and plenty of dancing are pretty much the norm, whether at a small venue or the Bell Centre. Since the 1920s, Montréal has been a musical mecca and nightlife destination, welcoming prohibition-era Americans to burlesque and jazz clubs that evolved into rock venues and dance clubs as the century wore on. Today, massive outdoor summer festival Osheaga, the electronic eclecticism of MUTEK and the indie-rock and hip hop of POP Montreal showcase not only touring bands but local musical geniuses, while throughout the year you can see live music at the following venues dedicated to brilliant music and quality sound. Théâtre Corona, Cabaret La Tulipe (4530 Papineau) and Le National (1220 Ste-Catherine E.): Among several venues that were at one time glitzy theatres, these three stand out for maintaining their theatrical charm – you can even go relax up in the balcony – while welcoming some of the latest and… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 25 to 31

With spring officially here and the Easter long weekend upon us, Montréal is in the mood to celebrate. Share a lively meal at a sugar shack or an award-winning restaurant, see  acclaimed dance and theatre performances, immerse yourself in multimedia art, or dance the night away. Easter treats If you’re spending the Easter long weekend in Montréal, you’ll find the city doesn’t really quiet down despite a pleasant vacation-like relaxation in the air. Take a walk up Mount Royal, go rock climbing or ice skating indoors, sample the city’s top-rated restaurants and shop to your heart’s content – most stores stay open during the holiday. And if you’re into late-night dance parties with thousands of other revellers and hot DJs, dress in white and look no further than Bal en Blanc – the theme for the party’s 22nd edition is “Hippie Chic” – interpret as you wish. For all the details and more Easter happenings, see our guide to What to do on Easter long weekend in Montréal. Signs of spring First off, we’ll let these entertaining gifs illustrate the 10 Signs that spring has totally arrived in Montréal. Whether you’re on Spring Break or simply shaking off winter with… / Read More →

Free things to do in Montréal this spring

There’s always something going on in Montréal whether the snow is falling or melting, and while many of those things come with a cost, all kinds of them don’t! We’ve got you covered for things to do in Montréal for free with friends, kids or on your own – from the first day of spring to the last. Free for the family Energetic kids can swing and make music at the same time on the 21 Swings art installation right downtown on De Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts starting April 11, and if you’re here on May 20 skip over to Parc Hydro-Québec for the Grand Pique-nique Urbain for parents-and-kids yoga and more free activities. Curious kids will love the hands-on Eurêka Festival, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12. Delve into Québec’s varied history, art and culture with a museums pass, taking advantage of the fact that kids 12 and under have free admission at many of the city’s major museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which hosts several workshops and tours for kids and where admission to the permanent collections… / Read More →

Your Montréal Digital Spring Survival Guide

When it comes to creative high-tech, Montréal ranks among the top cities in the world, often being called the capital of the digital arts in North America. New digital arts projects, video game production, the visual effects industry and virtual reality innovations all thrive here and are among the many reasons why Montréal Digital Spring has garnered international attention. The annual citywide event promises to free your mind and your body with interactive exhibitions and audio-visual performances, architectural installations and contemporary creations that cross artistic and scientific currents. Rules are meant to be broken during Digital Spring, so follow our Survival Guide to see the city of the future, now. THE EVENT  The 3rd edition of Montréal Digital Spring digital arts and culture initiative, at various locations throughout Montréal from March 21 to June 21, 2016. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO Whether you’re a forerunner in cutting-edge technology or your kids just figured out your smart phone for you, Montréal Digital Spring can take you however deep into the high-tech arts rabbit hole you desire. Also known as Printemps numérique, Digital Spring partners with local arts and culture organizations – meaning the whole city gets in on the act, from… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 18 to 24

As the snow melts away in Montréal, urban sugar shacks serve up delicious meals, spring break activities continue, film festivals and art events grant new perspectives, dance and theatre move us, and live music sets the weekly soundtrack. Spring starts Welcome spring with thousands of Montrealers at the city’s boisterous 193rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade, taking place downtown along Ste-Catherine Street starting at noon on March 20, and keep on celebrating the luck of the Irish at the city’s best Irish pubs. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Flames on March 20 and the Ducks on March 22 at the Bell Centre. Whether you’re on Spring Break or not, check out our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for places to eat, drink, dance and chill out. If you’re here with family, our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide has kids covered. And if the warmer weather has you itching to paint the town red – whether that means sampling local microbrews or going late-night dancing – Montréal’s nightlife has it all. Seasonal food If you’re in Montréal in March, you must experience the Québecois tradition of the sugar… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal March 11 to 17

As much as Montréal loves its winter festivals and snow sports, the city welcomes spring with open arms – we’re feeling a hint of it this week as restaurants roll out new dishes, film festivals and art events open our eyes on the world, our sports teams fight to the finish, and dance, theatre and live music keep us inspired. Spring sights and sports With winter festivals over and the city starting to thaw out, thoughts of spring are in the air – see our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for high-energy nightlife and restaurant ideas or find all kinds of things to do with kids of all ages in our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide. Downtown’s underground city welcomes art lovers to do some shopping and see excellent contemporary art in expansive exhibition Art Souterrain. Celebrate the luck of the Irish on on March 17 at the city’s best Irish pubs, see the Olympic Stadium tower lit up in green, and stick around for Montréal’s legendary St-Patrick’s Day Parade on March 20. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Wild on March 11 and the Panthers on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 4 to 10

Where better to be in winter than in Montréal? Immerse yourself in the entertainment and culinary arts of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival, the city’s all-ages Spring Break activities, hockey games and Barbegazi sports, dance, theatre, film, art and live music. Brighten up MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE keeps downtown bright and bustling until March 5 with music and theatrical performances, extraordinary meals (including pay-their-age prices for kids), and a free outdoor site at downtown’s Place des Festivals featuring multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, a zip line, fabulous food and more – get the inside scoop with our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE. Art lovers can do some shopping and see excellent contemporary art throughout the underground city during winter exhibition Art Souterrain. Consult our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for high-energy nightlife and restaurant ideas. On the glittering ice at the Bell Centre, watch the Canadiens play the Stars on March 8 and the Sabres on March 10. And make your visit even smoother with these Montreal-specific apps. Delightful menus Along with the many fine dining options at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, sit down to a gourmet meal during restaurant festival Relâche Gourmande, highlighting special table d’hôte menus… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 26 to March 3

This week everyone’s talking about Nuit Blanche, Montréal’s city-wide all-nighter event with free music, theatrical performances, art exhibitions and more, part of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival. Add to that Spring Break activities for all ages, butterfly spotting, the games festival, dance, theatre, film, art and live music. All night long Spend the night of February 27 out of the town with thousands of jubilant Montrealers – and do it just right with our Nuit Blanche Survival Guide, letting you in on what it’s all about and what not to miss, from circus acrobatics and African dance to YouTube battles, NFB documentaries, the Karnival dance party and must-see contemporary art event Art Souterrain throughout the underground city. Nuit Blanche highlights Montréal’s biggest family-friendly festival of the season, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, featuring music and theatrical performances, culinary feasts and workshops, and a free outdoor site at downtown’s Place des Festivals with music, multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more – get the inside scoop with our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE. And if you’re technically inclined, make your visit smoother with these Montreal-specific apps. Urban outdoors Whether you’re outdoors or having an indoor day, find something… / Read More →

Four seasons on Montréal’s Lachine Canal

Find abundant nature, local history and physical activity all year along Montréal’s scenic Lachine Canal. From the Old Port to its western edge along the Saint-Lawrence River, the Lachine Canal travels across the city for 14.5-kilometres – walk, run, bike or ski along the once-industrial canal’s green banks or drive to festival sites, historical destinations and excellent restaurants to glimpse yet another side of Montréal. Winter While the canal’s path isn’t maintained from November 1 to mid-April, Montrealers make their own cross-country skiing and snowshoeing routes alongside the frozen waters. Bring your own gear or rent snowshoes and sleds at Fitz & Follwell near the foot of Mont-Royal Park, and skis and snowshoes at La Cordée in the Village and in Mile End, MEC or Poubelle du Ski. If you prefer your sports indoors, try rock climbing at one of the biggest and best climbing gym’s in Canada: Allez Up, canal-side on St-Patrick Street in Pointe-St-Charles. Last but not least, let’s eat: restaurants, cafés and bars proliferate in the blocks surrounding the canal in the neighbourhoods of Old Montréal, St-Henri, Griffintown, Little Burgundy, Pointe-St-Charles, Ville-Émard, Côte-St-Paul, LaSalle and Lachine. The bountiful Atwater Market is a must in St-Henri as are… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 19 to 25

Montréal’s downtown sparkles with free entertainment this week at the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival, while indoors you can go butterfly spotting, play games at the games festival, watch hockey, and see stars of dance, theatre, film, art and live music shine. Snowy celebrations Montréal’s biggest family-friendly festival of the season is in full swing: MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s free outdoor site fills downtown’s Place des Festivals with music, multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more, while the festival’s indoor performances highlight musical performances and theatre – let our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE lead the way. Go for a scenic skate next to the Saint-Lawrence River at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Park Esplanade. Talk a walk through nature right in the city in Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau parks. And make it all easier with these Montreal-specific apps. Indoor activities Spring is truly in the air at the Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free event at the Space For Life (also home to the Biodôme, Insectarium and Planetarium) – this year butterflies share the spotlight with furry caterpillars. Game lovers of all ages can play board games,… / Read More →