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Your New Year’s Eve guide to getting a glow on in Montréal

New Year’s Eve in Montréal is both the joyful pinnacle of a year of citywide festive celebrations, and the auspicious beginning of yet another round of merrymaking (and honestly, especially on December 31, who’s going to turn down another round?). Let the following be your guide to lighting up your New Year’s Eve night in the city where fun is an ever-present friend. The Merry Montreal-organized outdoor New Year’s Party in Old Montréal’s Place Jacques-Cartier and the quays of the Old Port, now in its third year, will once again be by far and away the largest gathering of New Year’s revelers in the city. Last year more than 50,000 celebrants turned up for the free concerts, midnight countdown and massive fireworks display, as well as the almost all-night DJ dance party afterward (until 2 am). This year top-tier Québec performers – namely Coeur de Pirate, Dumas, Bernard Adamus and Yann Perreau – will entertain all in attendance. The free concert and party gets going at 7 pm. Speaking of Merry Montréal, Old Montréal’s classy and sassy Hôtel St. Paul is offering guests a special Merry Montréal package perfect for ringing in the New Year: one night’s stay in one… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: World-class speed skaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais

In the case of world-class speed skaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais, it’s all about heart. It’s what propelled the young Montréalers individually to several Olympic medals (Hamelin has three golds and a silver, and St-Gelais has two silvers) as well as numerous national and international championship titles between them. It’s what caused Canadians to fall in love with them during their incredible medal run at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. And the fact that by that time they had fallen in love with each other didn’t hurt either. We caught up with the winning and winsome couple in advance of the ISU World Cup Short Track in Montréal, the first World Cup speed skating competition of the 2015/16 season, which will be held at the Maurice-Richard Arena in the Olympic Park from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. The elite facility houses one of Canada’s two National Training Centres for high performance short track speed skating, and it’s home base for Hamelin and St-Gelais. First of all, how exciting is it that the ISU World Cup Short Track is in Montréal? Charles: “When we have a World Cup in Montréal it’s always fun because that’s where we live, and… / Read More →

Seeing the world onscreen at the Montréal World Film Festival

The world is within reach – well, the world of cinema, at any rate! – with the arrival of the Montréal World Film Festival, on in downtown Montreal from August 27 to September 7. It’s got hundreds of films on view this year, with, as per usual, treats coming from the four corners of the globe, from Lithuania to Uruguay. Here are five flicks in the running for the World Competition – you won’t want to miss a minute. 2 NIGHTS TILL MORNING Directed by Mikko Kuparinen, 84 minutes This Finnish-Lithuanian production is a moody romance about a one-night stand between two strangers who speak different languages. Things take an unexpected turn when a volcano ash cloud grounds all outgoing flights. It stars Montréal actor Marie-Josée Croze across Finnish heartthrob Mikko Nousiainen. CHUCKS Directed by Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl, 93 mins Straight from Austria, this steamy, heady romance between a troublemaking cutie with long fuchsia hair and her older probation officer promises as much visual beauty as dramatic tension. The aesthetic recalls Tom Tykwer with the finesse of Wong Kar Wai, but despite the stunning settings, things aren’t all rosy in love land. THE MIDNIGHT ORCHESTRA Directed by Jérôme… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer… Andy Nulman

Since he’s a guy who has little time for self-important titles, Andy Nulman’s latest professional incarnation – Chief Attention Getter for the self-explanatory Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary – seems to strike just the right light-hearted chord. An indefatigable creative (he might also say “disruptive”) force, the colourful Just For Laughs co-founder is more than just a masterful marketing and big-picture business brain. In addition to his current work shouting about Montréal from the mountaintop, as it were, he also teaches a fairly unorthodox and in-demand marketing class at Montréal’s McGill University. And this summer he’s putting the “fun” in fundraiser, directing a multimedia musical benefit show for the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. Nulman is the definition of a free thinker, and his boundless curiosity is matched only by his limitless love for the city he calls home. In fact (and this might come as a surprise for some), this citizen of the world is also a wee bit of a Montréal homebody. What’s your role at 375MTL? “As the title says, it’s not necessarily a marketing position, it’s Chief Attention Getter. The goal is to start building attention around Montréal two years before it celebrates… / Read More →

Weekend brunch options around downtown Montréal

Brunch is a very Montréal affair. Montrealers partake in this culinary tradition quite regularly with complete abandon – and at a leisurely pace – to start the weekend on the right note. While there are tons of delicious brunch options all over the city, here are some of our favourites in and around downtown to Old Montréal. Old Montréal: Le Cartet Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Part restaurant, part fine food store, Le Cartet has a very New York feel to it. It’s open almost all day, every day but is especially nice for weekend brunch. Le Cartet also doubles as a fine food store with an impressive collection of chocolates. Suite 701 Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday brunches at Suite 701 are laidback while Sundays are set to the beat of an in-house DJ. The brunch menu includes items such as fried chicken, mac and cheese as well as your usual omelettes and egg dishes and their signature house cocktails. Restaurant Holder Saturday and Sunday: 10 3 p.m. A typical French brasserie, Holder’s cuisine is classic français. The brunch menu includes great omelettes and Benedicts as well as a kids’ menu… / Read More →

Your September 2014 To Dos

School is back and so is the frenetic fall schedule in this city bursting with arts and culture. So crack open your fresh notebooks, and note down these things to do!

Hotel Chez Swann: Inside Montreal’s modern gothic boutique hotel

Hotel Chez Swann, a 23-room bijou of a hotel in the heart of downtown Montreal, hits a unique flavour with its interior design. It is replete with art – not only on the walls, but in the design itself, which includes elements that exceed beyond practicality to make incredible aesthetic statements that hit a modern gothic note. In certain areas if feels practically theatrical, with dramatic pops of colour contrasting with one another into an animated, lively experience, all conceived by artist and designer Mary Moegenburg. We caught up with the globetrotter on the phone from New Mexico, where she was working on her latest project.