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5 art shows to see in Montréal before the holidays

Late fall in Montréal is a prime time for art gallery hopping, letting us bask in artistic genius as warm days and daylight wane. In addition to several Must-see Autumn 2015 museum exhibitions, the following five exhibitions on display in November and December offer a glimpse of the depth and quality of art in Montréal’s galleries year round. Begin your art tour with a solo show by Paris-based designer and Montrealer Rad Hourani at Arsenal, located in the Griffintown/Little Burgundy/Saint-Henri area of the city around the corner from several renowned restaurants, bars and stores on Notre Dame Street. In his solo exhibition Neutralité/Neutrality, Hourani uses painting, print, sculpture and video to expand on ideas in his unisex fashion line, challenging divisions of sex, gender, race, nationality and other social segregators. While we can’t touch the art despite its welcoming tactile nature, an on-site pop-up shop entices us to wear Hourani’s gorgeous fall fashions. While there, visit Galerie Division in the same massive industrial building just blocks from the Lachine Canal. On the western edge of Old Montréal, the factory-turned-gallery Darling Foundry greets visitors with Mirador, a public art mountain of scaffolding and other materials created by collective Acapulco, while in… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 13 to 19

Montréal offers a feast for the senses this week, with new films set on earth and in the sky, high-energy sports and video gaming, drama and dance, cutting-edge visual art and local artisanal creations, and a seemingly endless amount of live music. On-screen adventure Hundreds of new documentary features and shorts from around the world come to Montréal screens this week during the 18th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), November 12 to 22 – along with so many eye-opening films on subjects ranging from war and refugees to environmental issues and government reform, go to talks by directors, actors and film industry members, special events and more. Catch the newest in French-language films (with English subtitles, bien sûr) at the CINEMANIA festival until November 15, including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan and the premieres of Floride by Philippe Le Guay Marguerite et Julien by Valérie Donzelli and Je suis mort mais j’ai des amis by Stéphane and Guillaume Malandrin. As well, at the Phi Centre, see David Oelhoffen’s Loin des Hommes, November 16 to 18, an adaptation of a short story by Albert Camus and starring Viggo Mortensen. The Éléphant Classiq festival honours Québec cinema masterpieces, November 19 to 22, opening… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Rad Hourani

Lauded in Paris and New York as one of the finest fashion designers of his generation, Rad Hourani is the first designer invited by La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris to create and showcase a unisex line. In 2005, Hourani revolutionized fashion when, at the age of 23, he designed his first unisex collection, then launched his namesake label in Paris in October 2007. But Paris-based Hourani – who spends some four months of the year in Montréal, the city he calls his hometown – is more than a fashion designer: he is a visionary designer, artist and photographer, and his new multi-disciplinary exhibition of original artworks, Neutrality (Neutralité), at the Arsenal Montréal contemporary art venue, expands on his vision of a neutral world without boundaries or limits. What is your favourite pastime? Yoga and cooking. I love to cook. I also enjoy hiking and spending time with kids. I am the godfather of two children. How long have you been a Montrealer? I have been in Montréal for half of my life. I discovered myself as an adult in Montréal. That is a very important moment in one’s life, it happened here, so I will always… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 6 to 12

November warms us up with gourmet food and drink at MTL à TABLE, La Grande Dégustation and more delicious events, along with the thrills of this week’s high-energy hockey and dance, innovations in film and art, and joyous fun of theatre and live music. Go gourmet Eat well and often as the city’s best restaurants participate in MTL à TABLE, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, a celebration of food and drink with special prices to match. Until November 8, food lovers can enjoy table d’hôte menus at reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, chocolate sampling, special events and more at 150 restaurants and other locations throughout the city. See our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à TABLE for details and feast at brilliant brunch eateries, family-friendly restaurants, group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites and much more, plus try out local cheeses or take a gourmet excursion. Not only that but month-long event Happy November adds to the festivities, including La Grande Dégustation de Montréal, November 6 and 7, showcasing 200 wine producers, distillers and brewers and their fabulous wares at Place Bonaventure. And if you’re vegan or simply vegan-curious, check out the 2nd-annual Montréal Vegan… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal October 30 to November 5

Clocks turn back but Montréal faces forward this week with innovate and affordable gourmet cuisine at MTL à Table Restaurant Week, all manner of Halloween celebrations, mind-expanding new dance, theatre, film and art, and live music that shakes up the status quo. Restaurant Week specialities Food, glorious food, rules the city this week as MTL à Table, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, celebrates the pleasures of a good meal, a perfect snack and the best tipple to pair with it. Until November 8, food lovers can find table d’hôte reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, chocolate sampling, special events and more at 150 restaurants and other locations throughout the city. See our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à Table for details and get ready to feast at brilliant brunch eateries, family-friendly restaurants, group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites and much more, plus try out local cheeses or take a gourmet excursion. Alternatively, if you’d like to get in the kitchen yourself, choose the Montréal cooking class that suits your tastes. Find autumn delicacies at local farms and wineries and take a delicious piece of Montréal home with you in a jar with these locally-made treats…. / Read More →

10 (more) wonderful ways to explore Montréal

A second (or third or fourth) visit to Montréal is a time for really getting to know the city and its people – but where to start digging deeper? We’ve compiled a top-ten list that’s all about going beyond the main attractions – check our 10 Montréal “musts” for first-time visitors first so you don’t miss any of those! See a Show at Place des Arts Live music, theatre, dance and more is all under the roof of Place des Arts, the city’s biggest theatre complex, right downtown in the Quartier des spectacles. Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Orchestre Métropolitain play classical favourites and new music in the new Maison Symphonique, Opéra de Montréal stages lush opera productions, Danse Danse brings international dance stars to the Montreal stage, and rock stars and Broadway shows make appearances at PdA throughout the year. Shop the Plateau Find speciality stores and Canadian and Quebecois designers’ boutiques as well as bookstores, furniture and more on the streets of the Plateau neighbourhood, especially on Saint-Denis Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard north of Sherbrooke, Mont-Royal Avenue in the several blocks east and west of the Mont-Royal Metro station, and along Laurier Avenue west of Saint-Laurent. and if… / Read More →

A cultural autumn with Gino Chouinard

A Montrealer by adoption, Gino Chouinard admits to having discovered some of his favourite cultural spots in the city on Salut, Bonjour!, the TVA television program he has been hosting since 2007. It’s thanks to the show that he found out about Arsenal, a contemporary art gallery in Griffintown. “Since then, I often go to the gallery to see what’s new in the world of contemporary art,” he explains. “Being there affords me a nice break from my hectic work schedule. Arsenal is hip and very much in tune with local contemporary artists. Housed in a heritage building, which in itself is a work of art, the gallery is located in a fast-growing neighbourhood. It makes you feel like you’re in New York or London. Personally, I just love their Division Gallery.” Although he managed an art gallery for several years, Gino sometimes has a hard time understanding contemporary works. “I don’t always understand or love everything that’s exhibited at Arsenal, but I make a point of reflecting on the artistic process,” he adds. He also strives to share this understanding with his children, aged five and eight, when he takes them to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “When… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal Museums Social Calendar

This city’s cultural scene never sleeps, and a big part of that is thanks to museums. From all-night dance parties to weekend art classes for the kiddies, there’s always something going on in the fine arts! September • It’s time for your close-up: September 9 marks the opening of an exhibition of work by photographer George S. Zimbel at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. • Don’t miss the Nocturne at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, on Friday, September 11, 2015. The museum stays open late (till 2 am!), plus it features live bands or DJs, drinks, workshops and revelry. (Entry is free to MACarte holders.) • On September 13 at 1:30 pm, enjoy a lecture entitled The New Predators, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, featuring Mois de la Photo curator Joan Fontcuberta in conversation with the artists Joachim Schmid and Isabelle Le Minh. • Want to help your local contemporary museum while having the night of your life? Join Montréal’s jet-set scene at the annual Musée Ball, this September 19 at Arsenal. From ball gowns to foie gras, you’ll find it all here. • On September 22 at 5:30 pm, a lecture entitled Bach and His… / Read More →

Montréal Shows Off its incredible fall cultural calendar

We’re standing on the doorstep to September, and while we have lived and loved our gorgeous Montréal summer, we can’t wait for fall because the city’s got a cultural calendar that’s bursting with discovery. Looking for something to do? Let’s peruse just a sample of what Montréal’s got in store this autumn. Dance   The pleasure and passion of dance is everywhere this fall, from the lovely pirouettes and astonishing jetées of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal to the raw expressiveness of contemporary dance troupes like La La La Human Steps. Experience the seduction of salsa at the Salsathèque, the passion of flamenco, the amped-up energy of breakdance battles, or the fun of freestyling yourself! History The cooler weather tends to trigger a little nostalgia and introspection, and a great way to let it run its course is wandering through some of our halls of history. Whether you’re walking through the city’s past with the help of Montréal en histoires cutting-edge app, delving into stories of our communities at the McCord Museum or taking in an exhibition on the fascinating Aztec civilization at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, a trip back in time is great for reconnecting. Music Montréal’s music scene… / Read More →