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EASTER ISLAND: AN EPIC VOYAGE

Travel, people and culture : my ultimate three favorite things on Earth – and the reason behind my excitement for the Rapa Nui exhibition happening at Montreal’s Pointe-à-Callière museum. What? You don’t know Rapa Nui? Don’t worry. It is, after all, one of the most isolated places on the planet. Thanks to the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History Pointe-à-Callière though, I’m about to satisfy my thirst for knowledge and learn all about this distant land and people.

ELEKTRA, A FESTIVAL OF THE DIGITAL ARTS

Montreal’s Elektra Festival, which runs from this Wednesday to Sunday, has been exploring some of the coolest things in the world of digital arts for 11 years. I recently interviewed Edwin van der Heide, the artist behind one of the fest’s more interesting presentations……

MONTREAL’S MUTEK: MATMOS, MOUSE ON MARS AND MORE!

In a city overflowing with festivals of all sorts, the fact that Montreal’s Mutek is now in its 11th year says something important about the electronic music and digital culture meet-up. That their overall attendance was up by 70% last year speaks to the same point. Let’s look at why that might be…

MONTREAL ON THE CHEAP

Montreal is the perfect destination for anyone living in North America looking for a significant change of scenery without having to travel to the end of the world.  It is only an hour flight from New York or Toronto, yet feels a lot more like a trip to Europe. On top of saving on plane ticket fees and jetlag ramifications, you’ll be happy to hear that Montreal is also a very affordable city. With its vibrant cultural scene and bountiful summer festivals, Montreal has all it takes to offer you a memorable time without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas for a sensational Montreal trip on the cheap!

MAGNIFICENT MARIONETTES: RONNIE BURKETT PULLS STRINGS IN MONTRÉAL

“Ronnie Burkett is one of the geniuses of the world… seeing his troupe every few years has just become a necessity of civilized theatergoing.” – The Village Voice (New York, NY) —————————————————————————————————————— Puppetry is an under-celebrated art form. As children, many of us enjoyed gluing faces on popsicle sticks and acting out creative, comic scenarios. Then we grew up, and we seemed to lose track of our ability to play. Ronnie Burkett, however, Canada’s most celebrated puppeteer, never abandoned his sense of wonderment. For the past 30 years, Burkett has been giving life to marionettes, exploring various themes such as loneliness, beauty and happiness. His most recent creation, Billy Twinkle, is about a middle-aged cruise ship puppeteer who gets fired and is force to rekindle inner passions. Burkett has received critical and public acclaim in Australia and the UK, and his final stop with this production with be in Montréal. I chatted with Burkett about life as a puppeteer, the challenges of creating marionettes and some of his favorite Montréal haunts.

TOTEM: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S NEWEST SHOW DEBUTS IN MONTRÉAL

From April 22 until June 27 you can revel in the magic of Cirque du Soleil on its home soil. The Cirque du Soleil is arguably Montréal’s greatest export. The imaginative blend of acrobatic performers, emotive music and street-style entertainers has captured the hearts of dreamers for the past 25 years. Now with a new show, TOTEM, just unveiled in the Old Port of Montréal, us locals are buzzing with excitement, knowing that we are the first city in the world to enjoy the show. And you can join us.

BLUE MET: THE WORLD’S GRANDEST LITERARY SHINDIG

Literacy is important – without books there would be no sexy librarians. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, that previous sentence was a profound statement, so take some time and let it resonate. Finished? Good. Now I’d like to tell you all about the cutting-edge literary event, the 12th Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, taking place in Montréal from April 21-25.

TRASH TO TREASURE: Il ÉTAIT DEUX FOIS [#BOUTIQUE]

“Everyone loves something clever, inventive and well made. Our products cut right across every demographic line.” -Christopher Spillane (Owner of Il Était Deux Fois) —————————————————————————————————————— Each year there is a massive amount of junk being tossed in landfills. It’s not a pretty picture. But, thankfully, I’m not here to kill your buzz with a lecture on sustainability. Instead, I’m going to gush about one Montréal store that is making art through rubbish. And in doing so, making our planet a bit greener.

THE MACM GETS NOCTURNAL

In a city like Montreal that gives residents and visitors alike more nightlife options than there are darkly lit hours in the day, it often takes a unique idea to grab people’s attention. The MACM’s “Vendredi Nocturne” is managing to do exactly that…