Christmas tree, crèche, songs, toy-making, wax Baby Jesus figurines. An entire month of celebrations.
As both winter and Halloween approach, Montreal continues to entertain with live theatre and music, intriguing art, designer shopping, and horror movies, along with many chances this week to make the most of the fall weather, whether it’s sunny for daytime ambling or eerily overcast for costumed cavorting…
(active Halloween) Halloween extends over two weekends this year, giving us several options, from the usual costume parties to spooky outdoor activities. While daytime walks and hikes in some of the city’s big parks are a good way to see city’s natural offerings, nighttime excursions are all the more scary. Walk through the Montreal Botanical Garden to see the Gardens of Light Exhibition, with a few Halloween twists this weekend, including Great Pumpkin Ball activities and the Spiders Unmasked tour at the Insectarium. Dress up and head over to Parc Jean-Drapeau on October 26 for Halloween: The Apocalypse Run, a creepily-decorated and zombie-infested running tour of the park for adults and kids alike. Take the Haunted Mountain walking tour from legendary Plateau drinking hole Barfly to the top of Mount Royal on October 25 and 27. Experience Halloween on screen on Monday, October 28 as Place des Arts and the Fantasia Film Fest present classic 1922 silent film Nosferatu le Vampire, set to a live musical score by the Orchestre des Concerts Cinématographiques de Montréal and directed by Gabriel Thibaudeau. Of course, Halloween wouldn’t be complete without the Rocky Horror Picture Show, with a costume competition hosted by Plastik Patrik, at Cinéma Impérial October 31-November 2.
(high-fashion shopping) Because we can’t clothe ourselves in Halloween garb every day and because personal style shouldn’t have to break the bank, Braderie de la Mode Québécoise offers a long weekend of designer shopping at reasonable prices for well-made, Quebec-designed clothing, jewellery and accessories. The massive 50-80%-off sample-and-inventory-surplus sale features unique designs fit for fashionistas and comfort-seekers alike, all located in Old Montreal at Bonsecours Market, to October 27.
(art life) The complexities of North American Aboriginal culture, intertwined with the imagery and music of popular culture, come to light in Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, a thought-provoking and often-entertaining new exhibition at the Musée d’art Contemporain. Catch the nature-inspired array of colourful blown-glass art at the Chihuly exhibition, extended only until October 27 at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum. And at the Phi Centre in Old Montreal, beautiful short films by legendary experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas capture moments of everyday life, on view to October 26.
(on stage) Famed Quebec choreographer Marie Chouinard presents a double-bill of her contemporary dance pieces Henri Michaux: Mouvements and Gymnopédies, making India-ink drawings come to life in the former and illuminating the music of Erik Satie in the latter, presented October 31-November 2, by Danse Danse. A story almost scary enough for Halloween, Sleeping Beauty, with a modern twist by Swedish choreographer Mats Ek, is danced by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, to October 26. And cabaret performance by Alexis O’Hara, puppetry of a different ilk by Julie Desrosiers, and poetic music by Jaap Blonk delights at the experimental Phenomena Festival on October 25.
(live music) The weekend begins with an early start to Halloween with a wild electro-dance party at L’Olympia courtesy of DJs Boys Noize, Oliver, Tommy Kruise and High Klass. Over at the SAT, indie-rockers Wintersleep are joined by the punk-rock of Fucked Up and the hip-hop poetry of Cadence Weapon. On an avant-garde note, the Akousma Festival of electroacoustic music, features Loscil and Brooklyn-based Ben Vida on Friday night, followed by a legendary pioneer in the genre, French musician François Bayle, on Saturday. Cyndi Lauper takes the Saturday night retro-party to new levels at Metropolis, while Toro Y Moi brings his chillwave style to the SAT in a double-bill with The Sea and Cake. More Halloween dance parties unfold at Casa del Popolo’s Casaween and at Sala Rossa with DJ duo The Goods. On October 27, Josh Groban is at the Bell Centre, while Montreal’s Pierre Kwender’s impresses with his trilingual lyrics and hip-hop-world-fusion beats. Also that night, sweat your troubles away with the danceable rock n’ roll of King Khan & The Shrines at La Tulipe. Tuesday, October 29 brings the art-rock drama and awesomeness of Montreal-Toronto’s Yamantaka//Sonic Titan to Cabaret du Mile End. On October 30, chill out with The High Dials at Casa del Popolo, while Groenland plays orchestral indie-pop across the street at Sala Rossa, and Steve Aoki and Waka Flocka Flame turn the good-time heat way up at Metropolis. In another galaxy, far, far away, Kent Nagano leads the Montreal Symphony Orchestra through Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, accompanied by images of art work from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, October 30-31. And on October 31, as the ghouls come out for Halloween, Amon Tobin plays a DJ set called Two Fingers at the SAT.
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