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Things to do in Montréal: January 29 to February 4

Montréal prevails as a bustling winter wonderland this week with the fun of outdoor festivals Fêtes des neiges and Igloofest, food celebrations La Poutine Week and Happening Gourmand, and a bounty of opera, dance, theatre, art and live music. Winter action Go play in the snow at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau’s family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, a massive activity park featuring tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, a toddler play zone, hot beverages, delicious snacks and lively entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. Also ice skate in the Old Port at Bonsecours Basin or head to Olympic Park (also home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH – or try curling in the courtyard of the Stewart Museum. Nighttime stays bright city-wide, starting downtown at Place des Festivals where you can play on 30 illuminated teeter-totters at Luminothérapie until January 31. Dress in your warmest winter gear and for massive outdoor dance party Igloofest at the Old Port – this Friday it’s Detroit techno legend Carl Craig and British producer Heidi followed on Saturday by Sébastien Léger, Gina Turner and Poirier, and the following Thursday by Modeselektor. Fight fans will be at the Bell Centre on January… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 22 to 28

We’ll never underestimate Montréal’s capacity to turn winter into a vacation-destination party – this week, it’s time to play in the snow at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Fêtes des Neiges, dance the night away at Igloofest, eat well at Happening Gourmand, and be awed by dance, theatre, film, and live music. Winter stays bright in Montréal this weekend at family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, where you can go tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, hot-chocolate drinking and doughnut-eating to your heart’s content at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau. Put on your brightest and warmest toque and parka and get ready to dance at massive outdoor dance party Igloofest – this Friday it’s Scuba and Jimmy Edgar, Rone and other artists while on Saturday hear the sounds of Maceo Plex, Odd Parents, Pierre Kwenders and more along with eye-popping visuals – and it all starts again on Thursday night with Mr. Oizo, Black Tiger Sex Machine and more! – at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Downtown at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie or head out to the Olympic Park (also home to the Biôdome, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH…. / Read More →

Montréal’s dance calendar for winter-spring 2016

Dance, the sixth art, is alive and thriving in 2016! The season kicked off in September with the inauguration of the much-anticipated Espace Dance in the Wilder Building, which is located in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles (Entertainment District). It’s the new home base for four of the city’s core dance organizations: Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Tangente, École de danse contemporaine de Montréal and Agora de la danse. To keep up the momentum, these popular dance troupes are offering an exciting program for the winter-spring of 2016. Wondering what’s worth seeing? We won’t tiptoe around the subject any further. Here are our top picks: Classic and contemporary ballet Les Grands Ballets Coppélia, February 18 to 21 at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, performed by the Shanghai Ballet Choreographer: Pierre Lacotte, inspired by the work of Arthur Saint-Léon Based on Hoffman’s The Sandman, this classic ballet uses pantomime, mazurkas and character dances to tell the tale of Franz, a boy who is infatuated with Coppélia’s silhouette, which he glimpses through the window of the workshop belonging to Coppelius, the wise man who is later revealed to be an automaton. Préludes, March 10 to 19 at Théâtre Maisonneuve: Dim Light of Dawn and RE-(II)… / Read More →

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE leaves the lights on even longer this year

The autumn leaves are barely off the trees, the first flurries have so far only teased, but winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is already planning a “blizzard” of arts and entertainment. Their freshly announced programming includes surprises in every corner of performance – music, theatre, dance, circus and more – and some welcome news for those who can’t get enough of Montréal’s cold-weather fun fest. MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, which annually attracts some 1,300,000 visitors, is already one of the largest winter festivals in the world, and now it will be one of the longest. The 2016 edition jumps from 11 to 17 days, February 18 to March 5, in order for families to take full advantage of the midwinter school break. Also new, as it is every year, is the festival’s featured country or city, and this year MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will celebrate Shenzhen, China. One of the world’s most rapidly developing urban centers, Shenzhen (population 10 million) is a UNESCO City of Design and a major arts and culture hub, making it a fascinating ambassador for the many Chinese-themed events at the festival. First among these is the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra – presenting Chinese and European classical works celebrating… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 18 to 24

It’s a pre-fall frenzy, with the cultural season on the cusp of busting open while Pop Montréal and Mois de la Photo alone are putting on more to-dos than you’ll be able to fit in. Hope you’re wearing your sneakers so you can hit the ground running! Pop till you drop Hop your way through Pop Montréal until September 20! Among the city’s most exciting music festivals, Pop unites hundreds of rock, pop, hip-hop, folk and electro artists in venues all over Mile End and the Plateau (and beyond). There are dozens of shows every night, not to mention music-industry insider talks, film screenings, the Puces Pop art & craft fair, Fashion Pop’s catwalk shows, Art Pop’s amazing exhibitions and talks (don’t miss yours truly interviewing amazing artist Olaf Breuning on Friday, September 18 at 6 pm). On Friday, September 18, highlights include AfriKeleKtro, Crystal Eyes and/or Mötorhead; on Saturday, Eleni Mandell is unmissable at an early 6 pm show; and on Sunday, finish the weekend off with an atmospheric smorgasborg courtesy of People Pretend, starting at 11 pm. A matter of image Sensory Stories at Phi Centre invites visitors to discover immersive experiences and new technologies that engage our… / Read More →

See affordable shows on Montréal stages

The curtain goes up and the theatre, dance, circus or comedy show unfolds, its live tension palpable, often unique and unforgettable. In Montréal, that memorable experience doesn’t have to break the bank – all year round, the city’s stages are filled with live shows at affordable prices (some of them are even free!) The city’s biggest and arguably most opulent show venue, Place des Arts, houses six large theatres and several more show spaces right downtown. With shows every night, there’s usually something for every budget. Find inexpensive balcony seats for under $25, as well as student and seniors pricing and matinée deals at the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal  (OSM) conducted by Kent Nagano, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Grands Ballets, Canadian premieres of Broadway productions, and internationally touring dance company shows presented by Danse Danse. Especially watch for shows at Cinquième Salle, which often hosts cutting-edge productions by celebrated choreographers and directors. While theatre in Montréal is often quite affordable as it is, watch for inexpensive shows at the Segal Centre and Centaur Theatre studio and second stages, as well as theatre at the city’s many Maisons de la culture, host to productions by both established and… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montreal: January 24-30

The days may be chilly, but Montreal’s penchant for entertainment and lively activities never freezes: celebrate snowy sports with the family, settle in at the opera, see the light in new art at the museums and outside, and rock ‘n’ roll or dance late into the night…

Things to Do in Montreal: January 17-23

Enjoy Montreal’s winter traditions this week, from tobogganing to warming comfort foods, and find yourself transported by all manner of entertainment: electronic dance music, Chinese dance, Russian ballet, high-tech French film, inventive art, and more…