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Things to do in Montréal: November 27 to December 3

With December officially here this week, there’s something seasonally appropriate and festive to do every day of the week: see Santa and sip hot chocolate, go to a hockey game, shop and shop some more, see a show or a film or a choir, and drink wine and eat well. Santa, hockey and merry making  The city’s biggest Santa Claus parade was last weekend, but if you missed it there’s still more Santa to see at the Plaza St-Hubert Santa Claus Parade on November 27 at 7 p.m. on St-Hubert Street between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon. Also find Santa at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Stewart Museum, packed with handmade Santa figurines and free all month, while toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. Whether it snows this week or not, Merry Montréal makes Old Montréal feel like a winter wonderland – warm up around fires, drink hot chocolate, bring the kids to see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, watch Christmas-themed films and more, starting December 3. And, of course, there’s plenty of hockey: The Canadiens play on home ice at the Bell Centre three times this week, taking on the Devils, the Blue Jackets… / 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 →

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: 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 9 to 15

The sun still shines and the leaves turn bright orange and red in Montréal this week as the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, a Great Pumpkin Ball, hockey season, live music and much more keeps us warm indoors and out. New worlds in new films The 44th Festival du Nouveau Cinéma screens hundreds of fabulous Québécois, Canadian and international films October 7 to 18 – join the jovial crowds of film lovers to see much-awaited new work by Guy Maddin, Atom Egoyan, Jaco Van Dormael, Paolo Sorrentino, Wim Wenders, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, Jia Zhangke, Laurie Anderson, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and more, including Les P’tits Loups, a whole program of films and activities just for kids, interactive sound and food experience Food Sessions, and several late-night parties and performances – consult our FNC film picks and see the official Festival du Nouveau Cinéma site for more details. See the Common Space? project’s innovative multimedia art and film outdoors in the Quartier des Spectacles every night October 1 to 18. And see mind-blowing 360° image and sound immersive experience Versus by French/Japanese duo Nonotak, at the SAT dome to October 30. Fun for all ages Enjoy the natural beauty of autumn… / 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 Montréal: May 1 to 7

Feel your appetite being whetted? That’s because the food trucks are back! Outdoor life returns in full swing this week as the sun shines its heat on the city’s parks, bike paths and terrasses. But keep your evenings free: there are enough shows going on to fill two lifetimes. Spring is in the air You know it’s spring when you see your first food truck! May 1 marks the time for foodies to celebrate the great thaw with a sampling of what’s out there. Whether its tacos, poutines, grilled cheeses or salads, check out our list, and don’t miss a beat! Other reasons to celebrate (besides the Montréal Canadiens being in the hockey playoffs, which you should watch from these hot spots) include the reopening of the bike paths all over the city, the amazing jogging trails that are just waiting for you to enjoy and the millions of fun activities for the whole family happening over the next couple of months. Avid shoppers will want to stroll the streets for some made-in-Montréal style, thanks to this handy-dandy fashion map, whether you’re looking for jewellery or other goodies. And of course, every day is a good day for a drink on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal April 16 to 22

Who can get enough of this sun?! The pendulum has swung in this beautifully bipolar city, utterly bypassing spring and basically settling on straight-up summer. We’ll take it! The streets are teeming with life, bike paths are back in action, coffee shops are spilling out and Montréal’s famous terrasses are just waiting for you to come tipple between cultural happenings and live music shows. Lounging like lizards Sometimes the best way to spend time is to waste it. Nothing will make you appreciate the simple beauty of life like a day spent strolling around Montréal in your short sleeves. Mount Royal and the city’s other dozens of parks are bursting with green shoots and wild crocuses pushing their brave way through the snow, Montréal’s best terrasses are open again with promises of refreshing cocktails or caffeinated concoctions, and, best of all this year in terms of putting a spring in our step, the Habs are in the playoffs. Life is good! Take in the games at one of these great sporty spots. Taking in art The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has a great roster of spring exhibitions, including Sophie Calle and Simon Starling, the latter of whom examines metamorphosis… / Read More →

Holiday Nightlife in Montreal

The magic of the season always shines a little more brightly at night, and Montreal evenings are virtually (and is some cases, almost literally) on fire with family friendly happenings this year. And a couple of choice holiday offerings for grown-ups only, as well…