With their graceful beauty and fabulous colors, butterflies amaze visitors of all ages.
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.
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 into mid-morning – this year, David Guetta headlines a fabulous array of DJs ready to rave at the Bell Centre.
As the season changes, Québec maple syrup begins to flow – take part in the delicious sugar shack tradition in the city and in the countryside around Montréal, where numerous cabanes à sucre stack their communal tables high with everything from down-home sausages and sugar pie to contemporary culinary inventions on a maple theme – including at picturesque Parc Jean-Drapeau’s La Cabane Chez Jean, just across the river from downtown. If you don’t make it to a sugar shack, try some tire d’érable (maple taffy) at Jean-Talon Market, Atwater Market, Mont Royal metro station, or possibly at the launch of the second issue of Quebecois foodie magazine Caribou at the SAT on April 8. Meanwhile, the unfurling butterfly is more than mere springtime metaphor over at the Insectarium and Botanical Garden at Space for Life – the Butterflies Go Free event features over 1,500 brightly coloured butterflies from Costa Rica, the United States, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, El Salvador and Tanzania. And the world of shadows comes alive in Philippe Beau’s captivating shadowgraphy Magie d’ombres… et autres tours at TOHU, April 2-6.
The present and the future look bright through the eyes of Montréal’s Digital Spring, a city-wide program of cutting-edge art, music and culturally-minded technological invention on until late June. On the other hand, you could travel deep into the past at Pointe-à-Callière’s exhibition The Greeks – Agamemnon to Alexander the Great, or see what invention and opulence looked like during the reign of the Kings of Egypt – the exhibition, beginning April 3 at the Palais des congrès, spans 5,000 years of Egyptian history and culture, including a recreation of King Tut’s tomb. Immersive film and performance experience Rouge Mékong takes us on a poetic, personal trip through Asia, at the Satosphere beginning April 2. The 20th Festival Vue sur la Relève, highlighting emerging Montréal artists from musicians to dancers, begins April 7 with a showcase of artists followed by a performance evening on April 8. The Darling Foundry launches its spring exhibition on April 2 in the presence of artists Chih-Chien Wang, who shows new photographic and video works in The Act of Forgetting, and Stéphanie Loveless, whose For Romantic Fantasy riffs on a well-known fairy-tale song. And art exhibition Have Fingers Will Travel honours pianist Oliver Jones and Montréal jazz history, at Place des Arts.
Jazz up Thursday night with the New Orleans style of The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, often called America’s best traditional jazz band, presented as part of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival’s TD Jazz series, at Place des Arts. On April 1-2, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal welcomes conductor Lawrence Foster and star cellist Alisa Weilerstein in a program featuring music by Georges Enesco, Malcolm Forsyth, Bloch and more. On Friday night, feel the electro-pop love of Jessie Ware at Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, dance the night away to the techno of Germany’s Stephan Bodzin at Club Soda, or rock out in melodic style with San Francisco singer-songwriter Hanni El Katib at Bar Le Ritz PDB. Saturday, April 4 brings German electro-folk duo Milky Chance to Metropolis, French alternative pop-folk duo Lillywood play Club Soda, British doom-rockers Electric Wizard descend on Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, Persian diva herself Iranian singer Googoosh thrills at Place des Arts, and Sultan + Ned Shepard fill the dance floor at New City Gas. On April 7, the world’s greatest Pink Floyd tribute show, Brit Floyd, celebrates 50 years of the band in its Space and Time World Tour, at the Bell Centre, and American alternative country outfit Houndmouth plays Fairmount Theatre. On April 8, Los Angeles-based electronic music artist Nosaj Thing makes beautiful beats with Clark and Sibian & Faun at Fairmount Theatre, while Screaming Females keeps it real (loud and heavy) at Bar Le Ritz PDB, and the adored and acclaimed Brazilian guitarist and singer Gilberto Gil returns to Place des Arts.