Richard Burnett, Author at Tourisme Montréal Blog

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Richard “Bugs” Burnett is a Canadian freelance writer, editor, journalist, blogger and columnist for alt-weeklies, mainstream and LGBTQ publications. Bugs also knows Montréal like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter.


Montréal celebrates the 50th anniversary of Expo 67

Montréal hosted the iconic 1967 International and Universal Exposition – more commonly known as Expo 67 – to celebrate Canada’s centennial year. While the city had long been a choice visitors’ destination, Expo 67 put Montréal on the international map, and influenced the worlds of fashion, science, architecture and entertainment. Expo 67 set world records Expo 67 was a Category One World’s Fair, the first to be called “Expo” and became the most successful World’s Fair of the 20th century. With 60 participating nations and 90 pavilions representing “Man and His World” themes, Expo 67 set a single-day attendance record for a world’s fair, with 569,500 visitors on its third day, and 50,306,648 over six months, not counting over 5 million admissions by performers, the press, official visitors and employees. Today Expo 67 ranks as the fourth most popular world exposition of all time, after Shanghai, Osaka and Paris. Also celebrating its centenary, the CIBC’s on-site branch at Expo 67 served up to 10,000 customers each day, seven days a week – or some 1.8 million customers in 183 days! Montréal welcomes the world in 1967 Many world leaders visited Expo 67, which also drew the world’s greatest orchestras, ballet and theatre companies – including… / Read More →

Major League Baseball returns to Montréal

Over 100,000 baseball fans will attend two Toronto Blue Jays preseason games versus the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 31 and April 1 at Olympic Stadium, where Montréal Expos icon and 2017 National Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Raines will be honoured in a pregame ceremony. This is the Jays’ fourth annual preseason weekend in Montréal. After drawing nearly 100,000 spectators each of its first two years, more than 106,000 baseball fans attended last year. The 2017 weekend series will be followed by the 2nd annual Expos Fest on April 2, when former Montreal Expos superstars – including Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson – will raise money for the Kat D DIPG Foundation at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Five legendary Montreal Expos in town for the Expos Fest – Dennis Martinez, Bill Lee, Al Oliver, David Palmer and Jeff Reardon, as well as former Expos great Steve Rogers  – will be on hand when Raines is honoured during the March 31 pregame show. Une publication partagée par Fanatics Authentic (@fanaticsauthentic) le 20 Janv. 2017 à 10h46 PST As Raines told me when he was inducted in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, “I was 19 turning 20 when I first came to… / Read More →

ComediHa! Stand-up comics deliver big laughs at the Casino de Montréal

The ComediHa! Club tour hosted by veteran comedian François Boulianne showcases four up-and-coming Quebec French-language stand-up comics each week at the Cabaret du Casino de Montréal, in a fast-paced show modelled on American stand-up and comedy clubs. A popular performer at Montreal’s famed Just For Laughs international comedy festival, Boulianne says, “As host I have fun with the audience and introduce the comedians. The Cabaret du Casino is an ideal setting for our show because of its ambience. It’s a bigger room than your typical comedy club, but it’s a cabaret room, and is still quite intimate.” Fact is, the Cabaret du Casino looks and sounds great: the acoustics are outstanding, with its state-of-the-art 3D psychoacoustic system; the cabaret-seating sits up to 325; and admission to each weekly show is free. ComediHa!’s March 9 opening night featured guest comedians Gabrielle Caron, Ouellet, Martin Perizzolo and Québec’s hugely popular music-comedy act Sèxe Illégal. The audience laughed loudly and cheered enthusiastically. Produced by Québec City’s renowned ComediHa! Festival, which turns 18 this summer, ComediHa! is booking Québec’s funniest French-language stand-up comedians for their Montréal Casino shows. “Our guests will only be announced at showtime each week, but I can tell you that ComediHa!… / Read More →

The OSM celebrates Montréal’s 375th anniversary

Grammy Award-winning Maestro Kent Nagano has many special concerts planned as Music Director of the OSM (Orchestre symphonique de Montréal), to celebrate Montréal as a world capital of arts and culture during the city’s 375th anniversary in 2017. The OSM’s current season is packed with many hotly-anticipated concerts. Here are a choice few: The three-day Italian Festival presents the OSM under the direction of Carlo Rizzi in The Italian Violin: From Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to Paganini on March 14; Verdi & The Great Operatic Choruses with star soprano Marianne Fiset singing some of the finest Italian opera arias (including Ave Maria from Otello) on March 15; and The Pines of Rome & Famous Italian Film Soundtracks, which will showcase the  music from such classic films as The Godfather, La Dolce Vita and Once Upon a Time in the West, on March 16. A pairing generating a lot of buzz is famed British conductor Sir Andrew Davis who will direct pianist Louis Lortie and the OSM in a program that includes Chopin, Piano Concerto no. 1 in E minor, op. 11, and Tchaikovsky, Symphony no. 6 in B minor, op. 74, on April 6 and 8. The hugely popular all-star OSM Pop Series has… / Read More →

Guide to Montréal theatres

Montréal is home to numerous theatres that host English and French productions year-round. Here is a handy guide to many of the city’s most popular theatres and theatre companies: Une publication partagée par Sarah-Marie (@sarahmarieshula) le 8 Févr. 2016 à 21h07 PST Popular mainstream theatres Salle Wilfred-Pelletier – 175 Ste-Catherine W. The largest performance hall in Québec with seating for 2,996, Salle Wilfred-Pelletier is home to the Opera de Montréal and regularly presents concerts, special events and touring blockbuster Broadway shows such as The Lion King. Salle Wilfred-Pelletier is located in the Place des Arts complex, which is home to several theatres, including Théâtre Maisonneuve. Une publication partagée par Drowster (@drowster) le 5 Mars 2016 à 14h13 PST Centaur Theatre  – 453 St-François-Xavier Montréal’s largest English-language theatre was founded in 1969 and presents international, national and Quebec playwrights on its two main stages, with an emphasis on Montréal.   Théâtre Jean Duceppe – 175 Ste-Catherine W. Founded in 1973 by Jean Duceppe, this company is one of Montréal’s busiest French-language mainstream theatres, located in Place des Arts, and presents international, national and Quebec playwrights. #quebecshot #quebecoriginal #quebecregion Une publication partagée par Jennifer Lilly Gutierrez (@jlguti) le 21 Mai 2016 à 17h32 PDT… / Read More →

Additional dates for Opéra de Montréal’s “Another Brick In The Wall”

The worlds of opera and rock and roll will descend upon Montréal for the hotly-anticipated world-premiere of Another Brick In The Wall – The Opera, based on Roger Waters’ legendary work The Wall. With more than 17,000 tickets already sold, the Opéra de Montréal has added additional dates to meet the demand for what is fast becoming an opera phenomenon. “Ten shows is absolutely unprecedented for the Opéra de Montréal, this is the biggest run we’ve ever done,” says OdM Director General Patrick Corrigan. “We also have a bunch of producers travelling to Montréal from across Canada, the United States and Europe to see the production to find out more about this show. There is a lot of interest in this show continuing on, to travel the world.” Another Brick In The Wall – The Opera tells the story of Pink, a troubled rock star who isolates himself from the rest of the world following his father’s death during World War II, and continuous abuse from his mother and teachers. The break-up of his marriage represents the last brick in the metaphorical wall he has built for himself. If his survival depends on it, will Pink be capable of demolishing… / Read More →

Olympian figure skater Eric Radford champions Canadian Gay Curling Championships

Canadian Olympian champion figure skater Eric Radford loves performing on the ice: in addition to being a six-time Canadian national champion (2012-2017) and two-time world champion (2015-2016) with his pairs partner Meagan Duhamel, Radford loves curling and will take part in the 2017 Canadian Gay Curling Championships in Montréal, the city the Winnipeg-born Radford now calls home. Organized by Montréal’s increasingly popular Les Fous du Roi and Les Phénix curling clubs, the 2017 Canadian Gay Curling Championships will be held in conjunction with The King’s Quest bonspiel at the Town of Mount-Royal Curling Club from February 10 to 12. The championships and bonspiel will welcome Canada’s nine growing LGBTQ curling leagues, and Radford explains why he is looking forward to competing. Revolution on Ice will be a show I never forget. #Madrid you are amazing and I hope to perform for you again and again! @javierfernandezskater thank you for this amazing experience. Also thank you to @yolanda_cal for this photo! #ROI #Revolutiononice #Madrid #Spain #figureskating #figureskater #amazing #goodtimes #unforgettable Une photo publiée par Eric Radford (@ericradford85) le 31 Déc. 2016 à 11h30 PST Eric Radford Q&A Job: Figure skater Favourite pastime: Playing the piano Why do you love curling? I think in a… / Read More →

Montréal celebrates Black History Month 2017

February 2017 marks the 26th anniversary of Black History Month in Montréal, and this year’s edition features a full slate of film screenings, art exhibitions, concerts and other special events. This year’s theme is “Here we stay, here we stand!” Here are some highlights during BHM 2017: Montréal’s famed Festival Nuits d’Afrique presents the Afrique en Cirque with Kalabanté, a multi-media spectacle combining dance, acrobatics and digital projections to the rhythmic sounds of percussion, at the Olympia Theatre on February 17. The oldest professional Black theatre company in Canada, Montréal’s Black Theatre Workshop is performing the English-language play Bluenose in schools from February 6 to March 3. There are also two public matinees on February 18 at 1 pm and 3 pm. Bluenose is a musical aimed at a young audience. Through a group of pirates – including one called Bluenose – it explores themes of difference and acceptance. The ninth annual Massimadi Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ film and arts festival runs February 21 to March 4 at various venues. “Massimadi” comes from the con­traction of two pejorative Haitian Creole words: masisi, for gay, and madivinez, for lesbian. Organizers combined them in a bid to reclaim both words when they founded Canada’s first (and only) black… / Read More →

12 reasons for LGBTQ travellers to visit Montréal in 2017

As one of the gateway cities to the New World, underground gay life has flourished in Montréal for centuries. Montréal’s legendary joie-de-vivre and queer-positive embrace has turned the city into a choice LGBTQ international tourism destination, and there is much to see and do in Montréal for LGBTQ travellers in 2017. Summer kicks off with Montréal drag legend Mado Lamotte’s 17th annual Drag Race—the over-the-top two-hour outdoor live show predates RuPaul’s Drag Race—at the Montreal Fringe Festival, whose 2017 edition runs from June 8 to 18. Several professional Montréal drag queens team up with their amateur counterparts for a side-splitting outdoor afternoon competition in Parc des Amériques. Mado’s Drag Race is usually held on the final weekend of the Montreal Fringe Festival. Free admission. Montréal will be the place to be in August for the inaugural Canada Pride festival, as the city celebrates its 375th birthday and the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, and Canada marks 150 years of Confederation in 2017. Organized by Montréal Pride, the largest Pride festival in the Francophone world, and modelled on EuroPride and WorldPride, the 11-day Canada Pride celebration is expected to draw over 750,000 spectators from August 10 to 20, 2017. Canada Pride will feature a sports tournament, an international… / Read More →

Visit different worlds at Montréal Space for Life museums

From the tropics to outer space, children of all ages can discover new worlds at the Montréal Space for Life museums, the largest natural sciences museum complex in Canada, which comprises the Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Garden and Planetarium. Biodome The hugely popular Biodome—whose name means “House of Life”—is home to more than 4,500 animals from 250 different species and 500 plant species, all under one roof. As visitors wander around the Biodome, they will experience and witness five ecosystems of the Americas: Tropical Rainforest (where you will see piranhas, amphibians and reptiles such as the anaconda and yacare caiman), Laurentian Maple Forest (spot such mammals as beavers and lynx), Gulf of St. Lawrence, Labrador Coast, and Sub-Antarctic Islands complete with King Penguins. Meanwhile, the Biodome’s Naturalia Discovery Room exhibition runs to December 31 and explores how animals and insects adapt to their natural environments. The Biodome is closed on Mondays. Sa première visite à l’Insectarium de #montreal ou bien la première neige de la saison… Les années passent, mais il a toujours les mêmes beaux grands yeux contemplatifs 💕 . . . #souvenir #insectarium #montrealjetaime #quebecoriginal #quebec #familyfun #familyblogger #mamancomblée #jardinbotanique A photo posted by Valérie Thibault (@familleaumenu) on Nov… / Read More →